Local Dining By BLAKE AUSTYN
NEW SUSHI OFFERING: Poke Bowl Love features a simple menu, with guests given the option of choosing a pre-determined dish made as a Poke Bowl or a Sushi Burrito or choosing the Make Your Own option. A Kids’ Meal is also available.
BLAKE AUSTYN for GTR Newspapers
On Oct. 21, Poke Bowl Love opened as the first retailer in the Meridia Building in downtown Tulsa at 522 S. Boston Ave. The fast-casual sushi concept was brought to Tulsa by Janet Love and a silent business partner.
Poke (pronounced: Po-keh) bowls are a Hawaiian dish that basically takes sushi from a roll to a bowl.
Love, who grew up in Tulsa, spent her college years in California.
While in California, “I discovered so many different options for food, including poke bowls,” she says. “Every time I would visit my family in Tulsa, it was always a struggle to find anything similar—affordable, quality and fresh sushi.
“After speaking with friends and family that work in downtown Tulsa, the constant feedback from everyone was that they love sushi, but they do not want to spend $15 on a role at lunch and not feel satisfied.”
Although Love’s target may be largely the weekday lunch crowd, the restaurant remains open until 9 p.m. every day of the week.
The decision to locate in the Meridia Building had to do with the space’s convenient location and the building’s modern design and (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) status, she says.
“We use all plant based compostable to-go containers in our store.”
The restaurant’s interior is bright and clean, with green walls and white tables and chairs.
The simplicity of the space matches the straight forward nature of the menu.
Guests have a choice between a Poke Bowl or a Sushi Burrito. Both are available in two sizes: regular and large. They, then, must choose between making their own bowl or burrito or ordering from the menu’s bowl and burrito dishes. There is also a Kids’ Meal option.
As I was walking down the line of ingredients, one of the employees asked me if I wanted additional vegetables at no extra charge, which is a nice perk, I thought.
For my meal, I chose The Works Poke Bowl, which consists of tuna, salmon, yellow tail, cherry tomato, cucumber, tangy ponzu, house shoyu, sriracha aioli, masago and ginger.
Reading some of the sauces, I was concerned that the bowl would be too spicy, but the girl at the counter confirmed that it was not. However, for me, and I can tolerate a fairly medium spice, it was extremely spicy.
The flavor of the bowl, though, as a whole was good, and the size I chose (Regular) is large enough to satisfy an adult.
My friend ordered the Slammin’ Salmon in a burrito, the concept like eating one long, uncut sushi roll, one of the employees told me. The burrito combines salmon, jalapeno, cucumber, tangy ponzu, house shoyu, sriracha aioli, crispy onion, masago and ginger.
Regarding the spice level, many of the same sauces from my dish were in this dish, and it wasn’t as spicy as The Works. Maybe one of the girls just had a heavy hand with my bowl.
For dessert, Love is proud to be the first to bring Macaron ice cream sandwiches to Tulsa. The restaurant sold out all of its ice cream sandwiches within three days of its grand opening.
Poke Bowl Love is open seven days a week, 11 a.m – 9 p.m.