Foodie Find: Let's Poke
3182 Center Street, Placerville, 530-402-7653.
Those who haven’t tried poke yet are missing out. The healthy and fun dish—that’s neither a dance nor annoying gesture, and pronounced “po-kay”—is a build-your-own bowl of sushi-grade seafood complete with a plethora of toppings. If choices make you wary, fear not, as the staff at Let’s Poke patiently walk you through the process with a smile. Starting with a base of half brown rice and spicy kale (white rice, spring mix, and wonton chips are also available), I topped my meal with salmon (other options include ahi tuna, yellow tail, shrimp, or tofu) dressed with red onions, wasabi, and pickled ginger. Next came a dash of ono (soy, ginger, and garlic) and ponzu sauce, though the spicy aioli, creamy miso, and Hawaiian white BBQ offerings all looked appetizing as well. Last but not least, it was topping time. Keep it simple or go crazy; customizable is the name of the game here. Avocado ($1 extra), surimi crab, edamame, mango, cucumber, wakame seaweed salad, and cream cheese sesame bites all made their way into my masterpiece, though peanuts, pineapple, cucumber, and coconut are popular picks too. Those who aren’t fans of fish can avail of the popular kalua pork bowl, where the namesake protein is slow-cooked for 14 hours in a brown sugar-pineapple marinade. Enjoy your hearty bowl to go or seated in the bright, cheery dining room while Hawaiian music plays in the background. Either way, don’t miss their complimentary water bar with refreshing fruit-infused selections, such as watermelon or orange mint, and imagine yourself being whisked away to the islands.
By Heather L. Becker