October 8

Thanks for all the fish

Poke bowls, sushi, and more in South Lake Union.

Seattle’s poke bowl craze continues to run strong in South Lake Union. Sam Choy’s Poke to the Max food truck, which enlightened many of Seattle’s citizens to the Hawaiian dish, has robust competition from brick and mortar spots like the SLU outpost of 45th Stop and Shop Poke Bar (2121 Terry Ave, Ste 104), Kai Market (400 Fairview Ave N), and HMart’s recently opened District H (101 Terry Ave N).

Poke is typically made up of cubed raw fish (usually ahi tuna) and various ingredients such as ogo (fresh seaweed), raw green and sweet white onions, sea salt, soy sauce, and sesame oil. The bowl version layers sushi rice and salad ingredients underneath your fish of choice.

At 45th Stop and Shop Poke bar, bowls come with salad or rice (or a mix of both), plus seaweed salad, edamame, Japanese pickles, imitation crab salad, flying fish roe, fried onions, and a healthy scoop of ahi tuna, salmon, izumidai (tilapia), shrimp, or tofu. You can add eel, avocado, Japanese omelet, or a side of miso soup to your order for an extra $2.

Kai Market’s bowls are a little more simple, offering a choice of rice or salad and poke, but the actual poke selection is more diverse with options like spicy ahi, avocado and salmon, kimchi tako (octopus), and more. Kai Market also sells a number of sushi rolls and raw, sashimi-grade fish so you can make your own poke at home.

District H’s poke offerings straightforward—its bowls are in the grab and go section and only have tuna and salmon in them, but customers who are raw fish averse may enjoy vegetarian Korean rolls called kimbap. The rice in these rolls is flavored with sesame oil and they are filled with pickled vegetables like carrots, spinach, daikon radish, and more.

Will the lunch crowd maintain its appetite for poke in South Lake Union? As the neighborhood continues to grow, all signs point to yes.

Story by Ethan Chung and photographs courtesy of 45th Stop and Shop Poke Bar and Kai Market.

At The Center

SLU is the geographical center of Seattle