Flights of Fancy

(page 5 of 9)

Poke Trio

“Poke is just a cheaper, faster way of eating sushi,” says Kru’s chef-owner Billy Ngo of the Hawaiian-Japanese food trend that’s been sweeping the mainland over the last few years. Poke joints are popping up everywhere, including landlocked Colorado—Ngo himself opened his third Fish Face Poke Bar last year, in Emeryville’s Public Market.

Meanwhile, the Poke Trio at Kru has been elevating the circa-1800s fisherman’s recipe of deboned and cubed raw fish, seaweed, shoyu and oil since the East Sacramento restaurant’s early midtown days. Raw ahi tuna, hamachi (yellowtail) and tako (octopus) are separately tossed with spicy chili oil, ponzu and wakame seaweed. Each tasty tangle is gently heaped into one of three concave indentations on a white rectilinear plate. An identical plate featuring scant amounts of three different flavor wallops—green-tea salt, seven-spice salt and ground-nori salt—is served alongside the main event. Ngo says that no specific salt is meant to accompany any one poke; using your chopsticks, just daintily dip a pinch of fish into any dusting you want. Think of this as Choose Your Own Adventure, poke edition. “I like eating this way because it’s light and healthy and my palate doesn’t get bored,” says Ngo. “You can’t say that about a 16-ounce rib eye.” $15. 3135 Folsom Blvd. 916-551-1559. —Leilani Marie Labong