After holding soft openings the past week and a half, seafood spot Wanderfish Poke officially opens today on Capitol Hill.
As the poke scene grows more crowded, many purveyors of the popular Hawaiian raw fish salad seek to differentiate themselves with slight tweaks to the formula. Wanderfish is no exception, as the team appears to be capitalizing on the massively successful fast-casual trend (a press release refers to the restaurant as "fresh-casual") as well as the farm-to-table ethos now so common elsewhere in the restaurant scene.
Chef Jason Velasquez worked with Brian O'Connor of Bok a Bok Fried Chicken to develop the menu, which sources from local farms like Willowood on Whidbey Island. The menu also uses Alaskan sockeye and albacore from Lummi Island, scallops from Oregon, and sustainably-caught yellowfin tuna from Hawaii.
"We’re all about transparency and letting our guests see and participate in their own dining process. It’s important that they know that we share their dedication for wholesome, healthy ingredients," Velasquez said in a statement.
Diners can build their own bowls by selecting a base (shiso kelp noodles, bamboo rice, white rice, or citrus kale salad) and a protein (ahi tuna, wild salmon, albacore, scallops, or tofu), finishing with selections from 23 toppings like avocado, crispy lotus root, and enoki mushrooms. There are sauce selections, too, including traditional poké, umami shoyu, citrus ponzu, aioli, wasabi cream Sriracha aioli, and sweet chili soy.
The other route is to pick a pre-built bowl, one of eight seasonally-rotating creations from Velasquez and O'Connor. The initial eight includes a crunch bowl with some crispy-fried toppings, a truffle bowl with yuzu truffle, and a Seattle bowl with "krab salad." Other menu items include a poke burrito and poke nachos. Bonus: everything in the restaurant is gluten free.
"We look to further expand Seattle’s passion for poké," co-owner Tim Lee said in a statement. "We hope that with our broad array of delicious options, we’ll open poké up to a wider audience."
Here's a look at the opening menus:
1620 Broadway, website. Open daily 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.