Expansions of Seattle favorites Sam Choy’s Poké to the Max (1716 Pacific Ave) and Casco Antiguo (1901 Dock St) are both open in Tacoma.
They represent two strong trends: First is the spread of poke, the unstoppable Hawaiian-style marinated fish salad set in motion largely by Sam Choy himself. His latest namesake restaurant followed closely on the heels of another dedicated poke purveyor, Aloha Poke, according to The News Tribune.
Sam Choy’s Tacoma decor and menu are nearly identical to that of the Hillman City brick-and-mortar, although the new menu has fewer items — no bento box or cheesy musubi — as well as a katsu sandwich that looks like a Tacoma-exclusive.
The second trend is the growth of established Seattle restaurants into Tacoma. Casco Antiguo’s casual Mexican flagship is in Pioneer Square, with lovely gorditas, handmade tortillas, margaritas on tap, half-priced agave spirits on Tuesdays, and a killer happy hour. The new venue will incorporate some of the same rustic design elements and share the menu items of the original, The News Tribune says, but also feature water views and a more open feel overall.
Sam Choy’s and Casco won’t be the first Seattle eateries to creep south, nor the last. Capitol Hill’s Rhein Haus recently opened a Tacoma location, for example, and The News Tribune reports that El Borracho will add a Tacoma outpost this summer. As real estate continues to spiral out of control in Seattle, it’s a no-brainer for established brands to head to cheaper, up-and-coming areas. Which restaurants would you love to see expand from Seattle to Tacoma?