Get ready fish lovers because Local Poke has signed a lease for their second location in the Ella Oaks Center at Ella and 34th Street. Their first location in Houston opened in November 2017 at 4500 Washington Ave. #350, near Rice Military.
“Revive Development is excited to welcome Local Poke,” said Revive’s Monica Danna. “We signed them to the last remaining endcap in the center.”
Local Poke’s Andy Jan, who owns the restaurants with partners Christopher Farrell and Peter Hwang, said that he first was introduced to poke in California where he met a college friend of his cousin’s whose family owned sushi restaurants.
“I loved the concept of poke,” said Jan, who explains that poke is a classic Hawaiian dish, made from the less pretty, but still tasty scraps of fish.
“They cut it into little cubes,” he said.
According to whatscookingamerica.net – poke actually means “cut piece” or “small piece” in Hawaiian.
Fishermen would season the cut-offs from their catch to eat as a snack. Over the years, the seasonings used have been influenced by Japanese and other Asian cuisines. In Japan, they have the similar sashimi.
Jan’s California friend opened a Local Poke there and Jan and his partners opened in Houston.
“We share the brand but have different owners,” Jan said.
Jan said at Local Poke they cut up the entire fish, and customize the toppings and the sauces. The kind of fish depends on what’s in season whether it is Chilean, Scottish, or Norwegian. Their most popular dish, according to Jan, is an homage to the classic Hawaiian poke with ahi tuna, which is marinated with soy sauce, Sriracha and honey, and sprinkled with Macadamia nuts.
When looking for a second location, Jan said that since a lot of their customers told them that they came from just north of 610, they looked in Garden Oaks and Oak Forest.
“We wanted to stay close [to the first location] to maintain quality,” he said. Of Revive, Jan said they were glad to find a landlord to work with them and incorporate them into the community. They will be BYOB to start but may apply for a beer and wine permit later. Jan says that in addition to inside space, they have a 400 square foot patio where patrons can hang out. Other non-alcoholic beverages include the popular Stubborn Soda brand.
A website for Local Poke will be ready soon but Jan said advertising wasn’t their first priority.
“We just focused on customer service,” he said.
Local Poke is aiming to open the first quarter of 2019.