By J. Shadé Quintanilla
For all you health nuts out there, there’s a new restaurant in town. Ahipoki Bowl, a fast-casual restaurant, is serving some of the freshest fish in Temple City. Fusion Hawaiian-Japanese food, Ahipoki Bowl is a spin on poke, a popular raw ahi tuna salad in Hawaii and in Southeast Asia. Offering freshly cut fish with rice or salad along with different homemade sauces and toppings, the restaurant is a great option for those health-conscious eaters.
The idea of creating a Californian-style poke restaurant came up as five restaurateurs, including the owner of Ono Hawaiian Barbeque, wanted to create a healthy fast-food option with a Southeast Asian and Hawaiian kick. Opened just last Friday, Ahipoki Bowl serves fresh fish and vegetable bowls at an affordable price. Customers can create their own bowl or salad by choosing from different types of fish, rice, vegetables, sauces and other toppings. Bowls come in two different sizes with regular-sized bowls pricing at an affordable $7.99 and large bowls for $8.99.
Ahipoki Bowl differs from restaurants serving traditional poke dishes in that customers have the option of picking from a variety of fish other than tuna. Guests have their pick from seven types of fish; including albacore, octopus, and yellowtail, and can choose to have more than one type of fish in their bowl. The restaurant also offers vegetables like jicama to add a different flavor to their poke.
Other than adding a little bit more flavor to their bowls, Ahipoki Bowl serves fresh fish from reputable Japanese vendors and cooks with the highest quality sesame oil.
“We pride ourselves in choosing the freshest and highest quality ingredients we can find,” Huang said in a press release. “All of our fresh fish is cleaned, cut, and prepared to meet the highest quality of seafood possible, prepared to order to guarantee our guests the freshest and tastiest meal.”
As with most new restaurants, Ahipoki Bowl’s current challenge is to appeal to customers and get the word out about their restaurant. The new restaurant has been open for about a week, and the owners plan on having the grand opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Temple City Chamber of Commerce sometime next month. But even without a big grand opening, Yelpers are already reporting on how busy the restaurant is during lunchtime. One reviewer on Yelp wrote that she predicts the restaurant will be packed during weekends.
Huang thinks ahipoki bowl is already so busy because of all the options they offer.
“People can’t decide what to get because there are a lot of options, a lot of toppings to choose from, but they can everything toppings-wise. That’s what’s holding up the line,” he said with a laugh.
Ahipoki Bowl is located at 5813 Rosemead Blvd., Temple City, CA. Customers can get two different coupons for the month of December from their Facebook page, ahipoki bowl Temple City, CA, or their website www.ahipokibowl.com.