December 12, 2017 – Carmel is getting its own poke shop beginning Friday, when the Carmel Poke Co. opens at the Crossroads shopping center in the space formerly occupied by Island Taco.
“We’re very excited to be able to offer a very healthy and quick spot that’s going to be a great place for people from Carmel and Carmel Valley or people on their way to and from Big Sur,” says Alessia Ucelli, who owns the new eatery with her husband Brian Gorrell, a local fisherman.
Ucelli says they will feature as much local fish as possible, including Dungeness crab poke bowls and ceviche made with local cod when available.
Also on the menu is the original Hawaiian-style poke, which is much simpler than the bowls Californians have come to expect. Ucelli—who lived in Hawaii and owned a sushi restaurant on the north shore of Oahu—says it is basically just fish, sauce and rice.
Build-your-own poke bowls will let the diner choose a base of rice, brown rice or salad with fresh tuna, spicy tuna, salmon, Hamachi or Dungeness crab poke on top, and a variety of garnishes.
The menu will also feature a vegetarian poke served over rice or quinoa and Hawaiian shoyu chicken, a dish similar to chicken teriyaki.
Craft beer, wine and sake will all be served, along with kombucha on tap in several flavors from Brew Dr. and Health-Ade.
“It tastes so much better than kombucha in bottles, and it makes you feel good,” Ucelli says. Take out and eat in options are available, with outdoor patio seating. Carmel Poke Co. will be open daily from 11am to 8pm.
The new venture is joining a boomlet in local poke places that includes Seafood Watch member Poke Lab and Poke Time in Monterey, and Poke House in Marina, as well as Poke Lab’s roving food truck.