It bears repeating: Every neighborhood in and around Seattle is poised to get at least one dedicated poke bar. Further supporting this not-so-bold prediction, Edmonds and Shoreline recently got restaurants that are right on trend, featuring the area’s favorite fast-casual Hawaiian raw-fish salad.
Shoreline’s Star Poke opened early this year at 19926 Aurora Ave N with about five seats, and early Yelp reactions to its Hawaiian-style raw-fish salad are generally positive, with most of the 30 Yelpers expressing pleasure. Five or so people suggested they couldn’t even finish their lackluster bowls, though, hopefully just a hiccup for a new business rather than a sign of things to come.
The offerings at fast-casual poke spots tend to be similar, with a variety of marinated fish like tuna, salmon, and eel available to pair with sides like seaweed salad and rice, so the ways in which businesses differentiate themselves are particularly notable.
Oddly enough, Star Poke’s unique quality is that it sports a Star Wars/Seattle Seahawks theme, with posters and figures from the beloved film franchise and some football flourishes decorating the interior. (Perhaps even odder: At least two of the small space’s major posters are from the reviled prequels, bound to give Star Wars fans pause.)
Nearby, Edmonds’ Ono Poke (10016 Edmonds Way) wears its island influence on its sleeve, inviting guests to come say “Howzit” to Hawaiian owner and namesake Steven Ono and providing a brief background on poke on the official website. It also promises fresh, sustainable, organic fish.
The interior is clean and features lots of light wood, including a vegetable cutting station made from a piece of lane 4 of defunct Ballard bowling alley Sunset Bowl. The company posted on Facebook that in an attempt to give back to the community, it started a Lohaki (Hawaiian for “balance”) Wall, which lets customers donate $10 to pay forward a poke bowl to anyone in need.
Early Yelp reviews are mostly quite upbeat, and the shop has been selling out regularly since it opened last week, so call ahead or get there early if you want a taste during these halcyon days of poke prominence.
Star Poke, 19926 Aurora Ave N, Shoreline, (206) 801-7237, Facebook. Open Monday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Ono Poke, 10016 Edmonds Way, Edmonds, (425) 361-7064, website. Open Tuesday to Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Correction, 3/9/17: An earlier version of this post took its cue from a post by Ono Poke and translated the Hawaiian word “Lokahi” to mean “gift” rather than “balance.” The owner told Eater he stretched the intention of the word too much.