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Thursday, 04 January 2024

Comments

kat

great memory and glad they didn’t disappoint

Alan

Great posting. Brings back many fond memories. I too used to frequent Ruger Market in the old days to eat poke, roast pork, and char siu. If you went to Aliolani Elementary School, you might have known my auntie who was a long-time cafeteria lady there -- Clara Kadaooka. Boy, do I miss the old days!

Kirk

It was fun Kat!

I kind of recognize the name Alan! Forgot about the char siu at Ruger Market...man, we used to love that! Thanks for reading and commenting!

Peter

Great story, Kirk -- thanks for telling it! Back in your youth, did they offer rice with the poke? My wife and I have made many trips to Hawaii starting in the '80s -- almost always with a stop at a Foodland or some other market to get poke, but never with rice. The poke bowl thing seems like a more recent phenomenon -- curious what your experience was.

Kirk

Hi Peter - Poke "bowls" are kind of a new thing. Also, you have to remember that places that used to traditionally sell poke, i.e. Tanioka's, Tamashiro, and even Foodland were markets, not restaurants. So, these days at a proper poke place, you have a choice of by the pound or with rice.

Junichi

Nice that your childhood spot is still going strong. I miss Woo Chee Chong and Hiro Shoten in Chula Vista.

Mar

Love this and thank you for sharing! Your post led me to try to remember the first time I had poke and I honestly can't remember where it came from. I recall it was ahi limu and it was served to me out of that one-pound container. I'm guessing it was most likely purchased at Foodland or Tamura's.

On another note, and this is a bit of a tangent, I'm curious about the origin of the popularity of "poke bowls" (and the Chipotle-style service with toppings) here on the West Coast. When I first moved to California, I mainly saw poke only on the appetizer menu at high-end restaurants, served on won ton chips like how Roy's does it, or stacked on avocado puree (I think that plating was Alan Wong's creation). But where did the proliferation of this California-style poke bowl come from? The Bay Area? Can it be attributed to a specific chef? I'm curious because in 2012/2013, no one really knew what poke was, and then in 2014 or so, it seemed these poke bowl places were opening everywhere.

Kirk

I've lost quite a few too Junichi! It has taught me to appreciate those that are still here.

Foodland; especially Market City near to where I live was a staple stop for many Mar! And I had been wondering when the poke bowl started getting popular here. I recall having poke in Vegas in 2013 and here about 2015. It might be an interesting rabbit hole to go down.
Here are a couple of articles I came across:

https://www.hawaiimagazine.com/how-the-hawaiian-poke-bowl-became-the-worlds-new-fast-food/

https://www.latimes.com/socal/daily-pilot/tn-wknd-et-0828-poke-takes-oc-20160827-story.html

Peter

I found a blog post that asserts Pa'ina Cafe invented the poke bowl back in 2008. Pretty sure I had my very first poke bowl at PokiNometry in the big shopping mall at Hollywood and Highland in LA. They opened there in 2015, though they had a spot in Anaheim starting in 2014 that my wife and I also checked out. Here's the blog post on Pa'ina's claim to poke fame... https://eatinhawaii.blogspot.com/2015/07/who-named-poke-bowl.html

Soo

I miss seeing the chickens everywhere.

Kirk

Love Nadine Kam Peter! Thanks for sharing! Was so sad when she passed away.

You don't mess with them Soo! ;o)

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