Hawaiian style poke at the new Poke District in Orange

Poke District, Orange
Poke District

I love poke. Unfortunately, Orange County does not have many great poke options to choose from. One new option is Poke District in Orange, which is sure to to satisfy your poke cravings.

I actually had no idea Poke District existed until my friend invited me to try it out. The grand opening of the restaurant was only last month on February 4. I couldn’t resist an opportunity for fresh poke which doesn’t happen often enough for me.

As I hopped in the car, I used my trusty Google maps app to send me in the right direction. Turns out Poke District is hidden in a strip mall off Tustin Avenue just west of the 55 freeway. I would have never known the place existed, and even knowing its general location, I had to look around to find it. Once I found the place, I was happy knowing that fresh poke was only steps away.

The fairly basic interior of Poke District, Orange
The fairly basic interior of the restaurant

When you walk into the restaurant, the first thing you will notice is that it honestly looks like my apartment. Four white walls, a door, and a small kitchen. Only thing my place is missing is a couple surfboards on the wall, some black tables, and about 500 square feet. With that said, I really never judge a restaurant with how it looks. I come for the food.

The interior lacked any sort of ambiance, but sometimes that is exactly what I want. I often like places that are no frills, quick, and casual. Poke District is the perfect place for a quick lunch. In and out in no time.

The Poke District menu is located on a TV that is mounted to the wall
The Poke District menu is located on a TV that is mounted to the wall

The Poke District menu is quite simple. To find it, look up at the television mounted to the wall.

To order, first pick a type of fish: ahi tuna or salmon. Second, choose a side: brown rice, white rice, or cucumber salad. Third, pick one flavor: original, hotlava, godzilla, wasabilicious, or jay-yo-lee. To be honest, I’m not sure exactly what all those flavors are as I ordered wasabilicious.

If you just want fish you can order ahi tuna or salmon for $9.50 (half a pound) or $19 (one pound).

Ahi tuna with brown rice and seaweed salad
Ahi tuna with brown rice and seaweed salad

I love salmon, but today I had to order the classic ahi tuna. I chose the ahi tuna, with brown rice, and wasabilicious for $8.99.

The first thing you will notice is that the food is served in a plain Styrofoam container. Definitely not fancy, but if you have had poke before in Hawaii, or really anywhere else, then you know that eating poke is never fancy.

The second thing you will notice is that you get a lot of food for price. Usually it’s the opposite where you spend a lot of money on a little food.

According to the menu, all bowls are served with sesame, green and white onions, furikake (a dry Japanese seasoning), masago (a type of smelt eggs), kanikama (a fancy name for imitation crab meat) and a seaweed salad.

Close up of the ahi tuna at Poke District, Orange
Close up of the ahi tuna

If you love large chunks of fish then you will love the ahi tuna at Poke Distirct. I can never get enough of ahi tuna. I could literally eat it for every meal. As mentioned before, I ordered the wasabilicious flavor. I love wasabi so I was excited for some added heat. Unfortunately, the sauce was not spicy at all. I probably should have asked for a side of wasabi. Luckily, they had a bottle of Sriracha nearby.

But with that said, the fish was still delicious, though much of the flavor was masked by the sauce. Also covering the tuna were small eggs, which I assume was the masago. I can’t say for sure that this poke was the best or freshest I have ever had, but it was still pretty solid, especially for the price.

The brown rice, though simple, was quite tasty and filling. The large grains of rice were topped with furikake, which is a mixture of chopped seaweed and sesame seeds. Brown rice is usually pretty plain, but the furikake added a nice seafood flavor and a great crunch for a little added texture.

Wedged in between the ahi tuna and brown rice was a scoop of imitation crab meat, or kanikama, and a small seaweed salad. The bright green seaweed salad is quite interesting, especially if you have never tried it before. The best way I can describe the texture of the seaweed salad is to say that if you didn’t know you were eating seaweed, then you might think you were eating some type of noodle dish.

Small front counter offering friendly service
Small front counter offering friendly service

At Poke District, you order your food at the front and then wait for your name to be called. When your name is called, you go pick up your food. Since there was no table service here, all I can remember was that the staff was friendly and professional and made sure the food came out correctly and promptly.

Pros

  • Fantastic value for the price
  • Large chunks of ahi tuna
  • Quick and casual environment

Cons

  • Wasabilicious falvor was lacking typical wasabi flavor and spiciness
  • Limited item menu if you want more variety

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