Despite poke remaining oh-so-hot in Seattle, Capitol Hill’s fast casual Wanderfish Poke has decided to shift its focus away from the Hawaiian raw fish salad, expanding its approach with the aid of chef James Pech, whose resume has highlights like Hitchcock, Altstadt, Blind Pig Bistro, and Osteria La Spiga. To whit, the restaurant has changed its name to Wanderfish and Co. and begun offering “comfort food that we cherish from our travels,” according to co-owner Tim Lee.
The restaurant’s efforts to branch out beyond poke include the addition of waffles on a stick with flavors like Toasted Samoan (inspired by the Girl Scout cookies sometimes known as Samoas, other times as Caramel Delites), Rainbow Wand (topped with Froot Loops cereal and drizzled with white chocolate), and Goo Tang Clan (the restaurant’s take on a sticky bun).
There’s also a brothless ramen served with a savory miso egg sauce, a soy egg, shitake mushrooms, pork belly, red peppers, corn, green onions, and bean sprouts. The ramen is served in a cup with a lid, and customers are encouraged to shake the cup to distribute the ingredients before eating. Pech is apparently also working on a fall squash melt sandwich with Tillamook cheddar and shaved Brussels sprouts, new drinks inspired by the flavors of Indonesia and India, a Burmese tea leaf salad, and internationally ranging desserts.
Will Wanderfish’s attempt to set itself apart pay off in an increasingly crowded poke scene on Capitol Hill? The neighborhood has recently seen Poké Bar open at 12th Avenue and Pine, in the former home of Gnocchi Bar, and Portland-born Quickfish (a fast-casual offshoot of sustainable Bamboo Sushi) will bring its bowls to 715 E Pike Street this spring.