‘The Chipotle of poke’: Fast-casual Hawaiian eatery to open in Boca

A poke bowl, a Hawaiian-style raw fish dish, from The Poke Company, opening in Boca Raton in mid-December. (Contributed: The Poke Company)

A poke bowl, a Hawaiian-style raw fish dish, from The Poke Company, opening in Boca Raton in mid-December. (Contributed: The Poke Company)

BOCA RATON — The Hawaiian poke food trend is making its way to Boca Raton, with a make-your-own poke bowl eatery opening in mid-December.

The Poke Company, opening on Federal Highway just west of Mizner Park, is described as the “the Chipotle of poke” (pronounced poh-kay) by its co-owners, cousins Seth Shaning and Maximo Cortese.

Poke is a Hawaiian salad-style dish with raw fish as a main ingredient.

“A lot of restaurants have poke as an appetizer on their menus, so the awareness is already there,” Shaning said. “Here, it just started poking it’s head up – no pun intended.”

» Related: Six restaurants in Palm Beach County to savor the Hawaiian poke trend

Poke Company doesn’t yet have a grand opening date set, but plans to open by mid-December, Shaning said.

The Poke Company, opening in Boca Raton in mid-December, will offer make-your-own poke bowls. (Contributed: The Poke Company)

The Poke Company, opening in Boca Raton in mid-December, will offer make-your-own poke bowls. (Contributed: The Poke Company)

Patrons will be able to build a poke bowl with a base of white rice, brown rice or cauliflower rice, then add raw fish, sauces and toppings, such as jalapeno, cucumber, seaweed salad and wasabi peas, among other toppings. The fast-casual eatery will offer a traditional poke sauce, a sesame-soy sauce, but also a house specialty sauce, “more of a garlic-y soy, with a little touch of spice to it,” Shaning said.

Shaning was first exposed to poke while working in New York as a manager for Nobu Restaurant Group, which owns several Japanese restaurants throughout the country.

“I always knew this was going to be a trend,” he said. Shaning partnered with his cousin, Cortese, a lifelong Palm Beach County resident. The Poke Company is the pair’s first restaurant.

The restaurant will also serve boba tea, a Taiwanese tea-based drink also trending now throughout the country.

“I think this is going to fit in perfectly (in Boca Raton),” Shaning said. “Everybody loves sushi, and everybody is healthy.”

For details on the grand opening as it’s planned, check out The Poke Company’s Facebook page and Instagram.