Something fishy is going on in Imperial Beach…and I like it! I visited Poke 123 earlier this week, and it stole my heart–hook, line and sinker.
Let’s get this straight…a legit, affordable poke shop is open JUST down the strand? You don’t have to drive over the bridge and stress out over parking? Or pay a $5 delivery fee on Uber Eats?
I’m here to tell you that it’s all true, and Poke 123 will satisfy the cravings of even the most persnickety poke eater. The shop is already making waves with locals, and shortly after I left, there was a line almost out the door.
An easy 10-minute drive from the Village, Poke 123 beckons from the new shopping center on Palm and 9th—The one with the Starbucks and Chipotle and the Grocery Outlet. (You know the one.)
The inside is clean, contemporary and inviting. Nothing fancy, and no booze here, but that’s not what we are here for.
The manager could tell I was a Poke 123 virgin, and he came out and walked me through poke-procuring process.
First things first…you pick your bowl. The bowls are ALL THE SAME SIZE…the only thing that varies is how many scoops of protein (i.e. poke) you get.
I opted for the medium bowl, that’s 3 scoops of protein.
(As you can see, they also offer “Norritos” which are basically poke burritos and “Waves” which are like poke tacos. I’ll have to go back to try those.)
Step 1: Choose your bowl “base.” Choices are white rice, brown rice, salad, rice noodles or tortilla chips. I chose the rice noodles.
Then, you get to choose your sides, and they are all delicious! I got avocado, cucumber and seaweed salad. Yum!
Step 2: Choose your protein. The best part! Ahi, salmon, Hamachi, octopus, shrimp, scallops and chicken…even tofu, for the vegetarians among us.
I got spicy tuna, Ahi 123 and the salmon. And they are pretty juicy chunks! And check out all the sauces! I got the Fire Shoyu, Spicy Shoyu and Spicy Mayo (because I like it hot.)
Step 3: Pick your toppings. You can get crazy here! I did onion, wasabi, cilantro, ginger, and eel sauce.
The finished product? So poke-licious, I don’t want to mar its beauty…but hunger beckons. And it’s as good as it looks! Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself.
Sure, when it comes to Poke, there are lots of fish in the sea…but I can promise you, if you drive down to Poke 123, you’ll be reeled in like me. Catch my drift?