After years as a food truck-only enterprise, last year Sam Choy’s Poké to the Max finally set down some permanent roots in Hillman City, an attractive fast-casual home for the company’s Hawaiian fare that Eater Seattle named the Poke Restaurant of the Year for 2016. The plan was to pepper the city with additional outposts, including Ballard and West Seattle, though the next up will be slightly farther flung in downtown Tacoma, at 1716 Pacific Ave.
Owner Max Heigh told Eater he’s excited to be a part of the University of Washington’s Tacoma community, and he’s hoping to open this latest expansion on April 1. That soft opening will be followed a few weeks later by a grand opening with special guests, including namesake and business partner Sam Choy, the chef often referred to as the Godfather of Poke for his work popularizing Hawaiian cuisine.
As evidenced by the preview photos shared by Heigh, the look and feel of the new addition to the chain will closely resemble that of the Hillman City original, as will the food menu. “Our menu will be a duplicate of our Hillman City menu with one or two special items catered just for this location,” Heigh said. That means a lineup including various types of Spam-based musubi, loco moco, teriyaki short ribs, and, of course, poke, from rice bowls to offbeat preparations like poke nachos and wraps.
The shop will also serve sake, beers from Kona Brewing (a “Hawaiian” brand currently being sued for deceptive advertising since most of its products are produced in the continental U.S., including Washington), and, on the weekends, tropical mimosas. There are plans for happy hour, too.
Sam Choy’s Poké to the Max Tacoma will be open Sunday to Monday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.