Pokéworks, a small poke chain with locations open or coming soon in California, New York, and Seattle, is expanding to Somerville's Davis Square, possibly resulting in side-by-side sushi burrito restaurants.
Poke — pronounced poh-kay — is a Hawaiian raw fish salad that can be made with yellowfin tuna, octopus, or numerous other fish and a variety of seasonings. Lately, especially on the West Coast, it has been popping up in a number of fast-casual chains. This Pokéworks location will be the first of its kind in the Boston area, although poke dishes can be found at some sushi restaurants around town. Uni, for example, serves a tuna poke with mung beans, onions, and seaweed.
Pokéworks' menu includes a number of pre-designed bowls, such as the Hawaiian Classic (ahi tuna, green and sweet onion, ogo seaweed, cucumber, Hawaiian salt, chili flakes, roasted sesame oil) and the Wasabi Shrimp & Scallops (sous vide shrimp and scallops, green and sweet onion, cucumber, masago, wasabi aioli). Customers can also go the DIY route by choosing a base (a bowl with white or brown rice or quinoa, a "pokirrito" — a wrap with white rice and seaweed, or a salad with chopped romaine), up to three proteins (various fish, chicken, and tofu options), vegetable and fruit mix-ins (edamame, mango, and more), flavorings and sauces (salt, Sriracha aioli, etc.), and toppings (seaweed salad, pickled, ginger, toasted rice puffs, and more).
According to the Pokéworks website and confirmed by a New England Real Estate Journal article, the restaurant is slated for 261 Elm St., once home to Dragon Garden. Interestingly, as reported last week, a new restaurant that may serve some similar food is slated for the space right next door — 263 Elm St., briefly Yumi and Pinkberry before that. A sign in the window at 263 mentions sushi burritos as well as bento boxes and ramen. An opening timeline (and a name) for that restaurant has not yet been announced, but Pokeworks could open in the fall, according to the NEREJ. The article also notes that the company is eyeing the Seaport District, Downtown Crossing, the Financial District, and suburban locations for future expansion.
But to start, prepare for side-by-side sushi burritos in Somerville.