Poke was easily the Seattle trend of 2016, hence an entire local Eater Awards category dedicated to the genre last year; the way things are going, the Hawaiian raw-fish salad could take 2017, too, as every neighborhood appears poised to score at least one dedicated poke place.
The latest purveyor, FOB Poke Bar (short for “Fresh Off the Boat”), dropped anchor quietly at 220 Blanchard St in Belltown in early February, but it’s already making a splash with diners. At press time it had more than 30 glowing Yelp reviews, with only a few below perfect at four stars.
As is the case at many poke restaurants, the name of the game here is fast-casual, with the efficient, affordable customization typical of the Chipotles of the world: For $9.99, customers build their own bowls with choices of rice or greens, two scoops of protein (it’s $12.99 for an extra scoop), sauces, sides, and toppings.
Some poke purveyors set themselves apart by touting the sustainability of their fish; this newcomer makes no such claims, but otherwise, it stands out with a signature rice — infused with matcha green tea and coconut — as well as 12 proteins ranging from the standard tuna and salmon to mashed spicy tuna, octopus, tofu, and even beef tataki.
There’s a signature sauce, too — a mix of Hawaiian shoyu (soy sauce), house shoyu, and sesame oil — as well as creamy cilantro, zesty mango sauce, and more. Pair the main course with sides like edamame, seaweed salad, even avocado or tamagoyaki (Japanese omelet) for a little extra money. Finally, top it off with the likes of taro string, crispy lotus root, or masago, a type of fish roe. Apparently, miso soup is dispensed from a vending machine for an additional $2.
It looks like Seattle has landed another catch.
220 Blanchard St, (206) 728-9888, Facebook. Open daily 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.