A small chain of Hawaiian-style poke restaurants is ready to debut its first Massachusetts location. Pokéworks opens its doors to the raw fish salad-loving public on Thursday, December 1 at 5 p.m. in Somerville, with a menu full of customizable bowls and burritos made with sushi fixings.
Pokéworks has existing locations in California, New York, and Seattle, with more coming soon to D.C., Chicago, and Houston. Poke (pronounced poh-kay) is a raw fish salad that originated in Hawaii and can be made with everything from tuna to shrimp (or even tofu). The dish is topped off with assorted accompaniments and seasonings. Poke has recently been gaining popularity outside of Hawaii, surfacing in a number of fast-casual chains, particularly in California. Here in Boston, Pokéworks will be located at 261 Elm St. in Davis Square, about a mile from the forthcoming Manoa poke shop, which is on track to open soon.
The Pokéworks menu consists of some pre-designed poke bowls, including the Hawaiian Classic, which is made with ahi tuna, green and sweet onion, ogo seaweed, cucumber, Hawaiian salt, chili flakes, and roasted sesame oil. Other options include the Spicy Ponzu Albacore, made with albacore tuna, as well as the Shisho Salmon and the Sweet Chili Tofu bowls. There is also room for customization: Alongside the option of getting poke over a rice or quinoa base, customers can order poke atop salad greens or in a burrito, held together with a seaweed wrap. There is a range of fish, chicken, and tofu protein options, plus fruit and vegetable mix-ins, sauces, toppings, and other seasonings.
Pokéworks will have shortened hours early on (5 p.m. to 9 p.m.) but will later extend to regular hours, according to a message from the restaurant.