Restaurant of the Week: Poke Bistro

Poke Bistro,  11819 Foothill Blvd. (at Rochester), Rancho Cucamonga; open daily 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. except Sunday, closed; also at 2570 S. Vineyard Ave., Ontario

A former newsroom colleague used to talk up Poke Bistro, saying it was a little different than most poke restaurants, with a more Hawaiian touch. As often happens, it took me a year or two to get around to trying a recommended restaurant. I guess I’m (wait for it) poky. Anyway, I met a friend for lunch at Poke Bistro, in Rancho Cucamonga’s Masi Plaza, in mid-December.

The interior is rather minimalist, for good or bad, but the service was friendly, with the man behind the counter going over the menu and offering suggestions.

We each got bowls ($10). Mine, above, had Hawaiian tuna, spiny tuna, spicy salmon, plus cucumber, ginger, seaweed and wasabi. His, below, had Hawaiian tuna, Hawaiian salmon, scallops, cucumber and seaweed. We each got a sparkling grapefruit soda, which was delicious and provided a sharp contrast to the fish.

Aside from the Hawaiian-marinated salmon and tuna mentioned above, the menu has udon and ramen bowls and a shrimp tempura burrito, an interesting-sounding cultural mashup. So, it’s still a poke place, a trend that’s probably peaked, but Poke Bistro isn’t bad.

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Restaurant of the Week: Oke Poke, Chino Hills


Oke Poke, 3277 Grand Ave. (at Peyton), Chino Hills

Poke, as the menu helpfully explains “is a classic Hawaiian dish comprised of sliced, raw fish and various mix-ins.” It’s becoming popular out our way, with several poke spots having opened in Rancho Cucamonga, for instance, and two in the works for Claremont, which currently has none.

Oke Poke, pronounced like okey-dokey, is a chain with a location in Chino Hills in Payne Ranch Center across Peyton from the Shoppes. It opened in 2015. I met a CHills friend there for lunch recently for my second poke experience this summer (the other was in LA).

As with Chipotle or Pieology, you get in line and proceed to make a series of choices for your bowl: a size (regular $9, large $11), a base (white or brown rice, salad, noodles or cucumber), add-ons, fish (up to five selections for a large), sauce and toppings. Or you can save some brain cells and order a pre-selected bowl. Bowls are all they have, except for miso soup and dessert. Note that all seafood options are the same price, a rarity, and that avocado is free, likewise.


I got salmon, ahi tuna and scallops atop brown rice with moku seasoning, above; my friend had ahi atop a salad with sesame dressing, below. Both were regular sized.


They were tasty, light but filling. “I think that was a carb-free lunch,” my friend said with satisfaction. Then she pulled out her phone and played Pokemon Go for a minute (her daughter is hooked too) when a virtual creature appeared at the table next to ours.

Yes, fittingly, the poke restaurant is a poke stop.


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