Poke chain rolls with California vibes

Alyssa De Leon and Rio Popper

You order a poke bowl: It begins with a rich base of rice or noodles. From there, it grows with additions of various types of raw fish, shrimp or crab. It’s topped off with a spicy or sweet sauce, some crunchy toppings and a sky-high bill—one that will soon be canceled-out by the phenomenal flavors in your meal.

This is a common experience at Go Fish Poke Bar, and one that we shared on our visit. The food was superb, but the bill did put a damper on the trip.

“I think raw fish kind of has to be your thing to pay that much,” senior and patron Victor Abou-Serhal said.

Bowl prices start around $15 and can be higher depending on the condiments. But, it certainly is some peoples’ ‘thing.’ With the new craze of poke across California, it has become a new version of fast food. Locations all over the Bay Area have been popping up spreading an alternative or “healthy” fast food option for Japanese culinary lovers.

“It’s down the street from Sequoia, it’s healthy, and it’s good,” Abou-Serhal said. “And the ambiance of the restaurant make the whole experience even better.”

The now-chain restaurant, with five locations across the Bay Area, was started by owner Chef Jerome Ito as a catering service. Then, after its growing popularity, he decided to launch Go Fish as a chain restaurant. Ito was raised and trained in cooking Japanese and Hawaiian foods.

“To celebrate the Bay Area’s diverse taste, Go Fish […] offers fresh Japanese handrolls, vegan and gluten-free options, and evolving weekly specials,” the Go Fish website read.

On our visit, we tried bowls, rolls, soup and desserts. Pro tip: the miso crab is fantastic. The soup is also quite good, and very cheap (though a little too salty). Another great find was the ‘real crab’ roll, which tastes like everything a California Roll should be (and, at other places, often isn’t).

It’s a good time to have a poke restaurant open, located in the state that prides itself on its food trends. Poke seems to be right next to the avocado toast—and it’s a good neighbor.