I wish that Mainland Poke Shop could steal the Skittles slogan, "Taste the Rainbow" because I sure did when I had my first bite.  My layered bowl was so vibrant with pink salmon, red tuna, green cucumber and other tasty additions!  Poke (Pok-eh) is a Hawaiin dish and is essentially a raw fish salad consisting of Yellowfin Tuna, Maui onions, seaweed, soy sauce and other various ingredients depending on one's preference.  It's both parts satisfying and healthy, so a win-win meal all around.  A few other shops have opened in LA; Poke Bar, Poke-Poke, Big Daddy's Poke Shack but I'm here to tell you about my experience at Mainland Poke Shop...or as I like to call it "Yogurtland for sushi".

Located on West 3rd Street, Mainland has been open for just over a month, but word of the fresh, raw fish bar where you can mix and match bases, proteins, and toppings has spread quickly. There was a line out the door when I arrived for an evening snack at 6pm on a Wednesday!  Owner Ari Kahan and Executive Chef Kayson Chong have started something worth noticing.

My eyes darted between the fresh ingredients spread through the glass in front of me and the menu posted on the wall.  I didn't know where to begin. I explained to the staff that it was my first time having a go with the Poke.  They promised to be gentle. 

I learned there are a few different ways to order.  You can choose one of the "favorite" bowls or you can custom-build your own, either a Poke Bowl (with a base) or Aloha Bowl (without a base).  All come in small or large sizes. I chose to build my own large Poke Bowl! 

My Bowl

  • Brown rice base
  • 2 scoops Tuna 1 scoop Salmon (all large bowls come with 3 scoops of protein)
  • Sweet onions
  • Edamame
  • Cucumber
  • Avocado
  • Green onions
  • Pickled ginger
  • Sesame seeds
  • Shoyu
  • Coconut Sauce (more sweet than spicy)

    As you can see in the below photo, it turned out to be a delicious masterpiece! 

This was one of the funnest things I've eaten in awhile.  Shortly after this photo was taken, I stuck in my chop sticks, mixed everything together and smiled toward a setting So Cal sun.  My goal was to get a little bit of everything all in one "rainbow" bite.  The tuna and salmon were incredibly fresh: firm and melty at the same time.  I truly felt like I was nourishing my body with each chew.  My tummy was like, "Thanks for this, if I had to digest cheese one more night I was going to scream!" The next time I go, I'm going to add more spice...some jalepenos and sriracha for sure. 

If you already love sushi, but have never been "Poke'd" you must have the experience. It's fast, healthy, affordable and you can easily eat it on the go. That's right ya busy schmuck, you can eat and walk at the same time!  C'mon do what The Food Pervert says...

For more menu options and shop info please visit: www.mainlandpoke.com