Before New Yorkers were chasing Pokémon around the city, they were lining up for poke. The salad of marinated cubes of raw fish and various accompaniments like seaweed, sesame seeds, and tropical produce is a staple in Hawaii, where it is sold by the pound at the supermarket deli counter, like potato salad or coleslaw. Poke (pronounced po-kay) finally made it to the mainland a few years ago, when a number of fast-casual poke chains opened on the West Coast, blending the desire for customization à la Chipotle with the protein-heavy, paleo-friendly lunch options currently in vogue on both coasts. By the end of 2015, the trend officially hit New York, where it joined the frenzy for food served in bowls. Pokéworks in Midtown South, Sons of Thunder in Murray Hill, Wisefish Poké in Chelsea, Onomea in Williamsburg — the joints piled up like chunks of brightly colored tuna. Of course, nothing, in life or in food, is ever free of drawbacks, especially when it relies on dramatically increasing catches of fish from high up on the food chain even as ocean temperatures rise. Just one more thing to feel conflicted about while eating tuna by the forkful.
Pokéworks, 63 West 37th Street, Manhattan, pokeworks.com
Sons of Thunder, 204 East 38th Street, Manhattan, sonsofthunder.com
Wisefish Poké, 263 West 19th Street, Manhattan, wisefishpoke.com
Onomea, 84 Havemeyer Street, Brooklyn, onomeanyc.com