Just Poke & Verve Bowls opened their new downtown Bellingham location in April 2019. The building, which used to house Benchmark Document Solutions, Inc., is now a trendy local eatery, with retro curved windows, teal armchairs, and a charcoal gray wall of decor.
As you enter the restaurant, you’re met with the station where an employee will build your poke bowl. You can choose from a predetermined menu or build a completely customized bowl. If you’re in the mood for something fruitier, Just Poke isn’t actually just poke — they also serve acai bowls and smoothies.
Poke is a traditional Hawaiian dish of diced raw fish — typically tuna or salmon — served in a bowl, usually on top of rice. To complete the bowl, just add your selected toppings, such as crab salad, avocado, fruits, or sesame seeds. Imagine a deconstructed sushi roll in a bowl. If you’d rather order off the menu, Just Poke offers six items, including the Pike Place bowl and the Hawaiian Classic bowl.
The Rainbow Roll bowl is a colorful concoction of ahi and salmon, served on a bed of sushi rice. On top of the two proteins, you’ll find a dome of crab salad, a beautiful ring of watermelon radish, cucumber, citrus ponzu, and ginger. It’s a delicious journey from start to finish, with sauces, textures, and flavors all complementing one another. It’s also visually appealing; it might be the most beautiful dish of food I’ve ever seen.
I also sampled a custom bowl, with the popular favorites tuna and spicy tuna. This mostly green bowl was topped with tempura crunchies, which provided a nice contrast to the soft fish.
Just Poke has recently started serving miso soup for the colder months. As the poke bowls are served cold, store manager Nathan Spencer thought a warm soup might be a good addition — and it is.
In addition to these menu items, Just Poke also offers unique beverages, like the Hawaiian Aloha Maid canned juices, and sweet Maui onion potato chips. They also serve San Pellegrino sparkling water. If you’re looking for something on the sweeter side, check out their case of chilled macarons.
201 E. Chestnut St., Bellingham, 360.922.3388, justpoke.com
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