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The Seven Best Poke Places In Los Angeles

In Los Angeles, the poke scene is starting to heal from a bit of a hangover caused by rampant overindulgence. These are the true Hawaiian-inspired, fresh fish spots that endure for good reason. Most, located right by the beach to enjoy L.A.'s crisp ocean breeze with your sashimi-grade fish.

12:25 PM PDT on September 25, 2023

Here’s where you’ll find the best poke in Los Angeles.

Poke: The pinnacle of beach eats. It's widely considered the hallmark of [pre-contact] Hawaiian cuisine in Los Angeles, starting with the standard of fresh-caught ahi tuna cut into cubes marinated in a simple dressing. Traditionally, it was served on its own. But now it's standard to serve next to warm, white rice and sweet seaweed salad—a humble dish with an important legacy symbolizing strength, survival, and celebration. 

In Los Angeles, the poke scene is starting to heal from a bit of a hangover caused by rampant overindulgence. Around eight years ago, a poke bowl craze exploded throughout the city, adapting quickly to the town’s penchant for health and wellness and replicating on every trendy boulevard. 

Like most fads, that trend died down, along with numerous businesses and would-be empires seeking to capitalize on the fever. The few that survived are largely chains that mix the sauce into the poke with their gloved hands and retain a corporate feel that are legions removed from Hawaii’s soul. 

Even fewer are the gems that define L.A.’s poke scene today, all found at independent markets or poke shacks. Much of the fish here is imported directly from Hawaii and honors the traditional way of eating poke—where the insanely fresh fish shines on its own and doesn’t compete with a gluttonous amount of fix-ins.

You know you're getting the real deal when you taste the poke at these joints.

Ali’i Fish Company ~ El Segundo/Torrance

Every morning before the crack of dawn, fishermen off Oahu catch the plumpest of tuna and send it to the Hawaiian Fish Auction. That’s where buyers for Ali’i Fish Company handpick this high-quality tuna and ship it off to SoCal. 

By lunchtime, a rush of customers flock to the El Segundo and Torrance market’s prized onion limu poke, known to be one of the earliest styles of poke preferred by Native Hawaiians. It’s the most popular style of poke here for good reason. 

The meaty ahi cubes are dressed in a simple marinade that highlights the flavors of the supremely fresh tuna. Contrast that tender flesh with several crunchy textures - one from the limu seaweed and another from the roasted Hawaiian kukui nuts, and it doesn’t get more Aloha than this. 

The heaping spoonful of edamame that hangs next to this poke is pure comfort. Pair that with a smooth scoop of mashed avocado, and life is good. Sitting out on the patio under an umbrella sets the scene for this tuna haven. In addition to several tuna poke options, you can also order seared ahi, a plethora of ahi burgers, ahi tacos… you name it as long as it has ahi in it.

409 E. Grand Ave. El Segundo, CA 90245. Closest transit line and stop: Beach Cities Transit Line 109 - "Grand/Sheldon."

4437 Sepulveda Blvd. Torrance, CA 90505. Closest Metro line and stop: Bus Line 344 - “Hawthorne/Sepulveda.”

Jus’ Poke ~ Redondo Beach

Catch some surf and some sun, then scoop up the freshest poke you may ever find on the mainland at Jus’ Poke. 

L.A. TACO finds it to be the premiere poke spot in the South Bay region. Located right on P.C.H., ohana vibes radiate in and out of this small storefront. Their famous pickled cucumbers are a beloved family recipe of co-owner Stefanie Honda. Growing up, she would make poke with her dad and grandfather, who came from Hawaii. Their old family photos are hung up along the walls of Jus’ Poke, which she and her husband, Jeff Snow opened nearly a decade ago. 

The poke here feels spiritual. We’re still thinking about the ‘Cali Roll’ poke, which uses creamy avocado to marinate the poke instead of your typical mayo. The shoyu dressing in the more classic ahi poke laminates the tuna cubes to add a dreamy moisture and tackiness to the tender tuna. Then the warm snowballs of rice, topped with a friendly amount of powdery furikake, make you feel as if the fish were pulled from the salty ocean just seconds prior. Add sweet and tangy pickled cucumbers onto your fork, and you have a heavenly mouthfeel that will keep you coming back, no matter how far you may have to drive to get here.

501 N. Pacific Coast Highway Redondo Beach, CA 90277. Closest Metro line and stop: Bus Line 232 - “Pacific Coast Highway/Beryl.”

Vintage Grocers ~ Malibu

Whether you’re a dyed-in-the-sand Malibu local or just spending a day at Zuma Beach, Vintage Grocers is a mainstay on PCH that gifts us with much more than its high-end spirits selection and curated grocery products. 

It’s where you go for all of your beach eats to nosh on while baking in the sun. You can order a refreshing drink at the juice bar or a hearty sandwich at the deli counter, but the woman-owned business is beloved for its orange chicken and poke. Walking over to the poke bar here is akin to the Hawaiian custom of purchasing your poke at a grocery store. You scoop however much you want (probably a lot) and pay per weight. 

Generally, it’s hard to find good salmon poke that rivals one made with tuna, but L.A. TACO finds this to be some of the best. So fresh, so flavorful. 

The spicy tuna here is not doused in mayo like it is at many other places. Rather, the spicy housemade marinade is similar to the classic tuna poke, only with a kick of chile. While it’s a little disappointing that the rice at the poke bar isn’t warm, the amazing poke makes it easy to look past this. 

Vintage Grocers also has some of the best squid salad. Adding a scoop of it to your poke bowl adds an unique, chewy bite alongside your radiant tuna. 

At Trancas Country Market, 30745 Pacific Coast Highway #24 Malibu, CA 90265. Closest Metro line and stop: Bus Line 134 - “Trancas Canyon/Pacific Coast Highway.”

Eagle Rock Poke Shack ~ Eagle Rock

Like some kind of forgotten Elvis bomb, Hawaii meets rock & roll at Eagle Rock Poke Shack, where the rules are thrown out the window. Owners and Chicago natives Jason Novak and Kelly Britton are musicians-turned-poke connoisseurs – perfect for the small business-heavy landscape and independent music scene in Eagle Rock. 

The first thing you notice when walking inside is the curated rock tunes emanating from the speakers, anime playing on the TV, and a bold menu painted on the entire side wall. The menu obviously showcases a deep respect for Hawaiian cuisine, all while experimenting with creative, modern ways to consume it. 

How about a juicy, smoked kalua pork taco? Crab rangoon wonton nachos? One of each please… 

Eagle Rock Poke Shack is your best opportunity to take chances with your poke. Novelties here, like black forbidden rice, reminiscent of Hawaii’s black sand beaches, set the stage for one of the most unique poke bowls you can find in town. 

Try the specialty “Eagle Rocker” bowl featuring togarashi spice and tobiko (flying fish eggs) for increased Japanese fusion. Or the “Groovy Ghoulie,” with squid ink-unagi drizzled on top of your shrimp and salmon poke before it’s topped with tiny tempura balls for crispy crunch. 

The reason why all the toppings work here is because there is a clear intention behind the combos which create cohesive, badass dishes.

2152 Colorado Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90041. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Lines 81, 180 or 251 - “Colorado/Eagle Rock.”

Poke Etc ~ Carson

Poke Etc is where you go when all you need to complete your day is some insanely fresh poke. Don’t be turned off by the tiny size of the place. It’s a no-frills shop. In fact, it’s a no tables, no seats kind of shop. There is just poke. 

You go in, pick your poke, and head out. Whether in your car, the beach, or the party you just got a huge platter for, you will hear a hymn from the poke gods wherever you decide to chow down on this gorgeous, overflowing plate of poke. 

The straightforwardness trickles down to the poke itself. You get a scoop or two of white rice topped with furikake and a (huge) scoop or two of your poke of choice. There is a pretty wide range you can choose from. Maybe you’re in the mood for fresh ginger, kimchi or oyster sauce poke? They have those. Or you’ll go with a classic like the ahi or the Hawaiian poke dressed in a masago sauce. 

You can’t go wrong whichever you decide because Poke Etc knows how to make some mean poke. Mean in the nice way.

860 Carson St. #120 Carson, CA 90745. Closest Metro line and stop: Bus Line 246 - “Avalon/Carson.”

Fish King Seafood ~ Glendale

Seventy-five years after first opening its doors, Glendale’s Fish King Seafood Market is still bustling as one of the most well-known fish markets in the area. 

In addition to the vast selection of raw seafood and shellfish, the one-stop fish market is a popular lunch spot for fresh sushi, fish tacos, chowder, and - take a wild guess - poke. You have the option for a spinach base here if you’re trying to stay away from carbs, but there’s really nothing that compares with poke on white rice. 

At Fish King, it’s the tuna poke that wears the crown, particularly the Hawaiian Style tuna along with the Dynamite (spicy) tuna. 

But don’t look past the shrimp poke here, either. The bowl, complete with seaweed salad and a scoop of crab salad, only gets better the more you eat it. You dig in, then suddenly realize the bowl is nearly empty. 

There’s no doubt you’ll be ready for round two—a poke burrito. The go-to here is “The Honolulu” burrito, stuffed with all that stunning tuna plus crab salad, masago, crispy onions, and avocado in soy paper.  

722 N. Glendale Ave. Glendale, CA 91206. Closest Metro line and stop: Bus Line 90 - “Glendale/Monterey.”

Quality Seafood ~ Redondo Beach

Often referred to as the “Disneyland of fish markets,” Quality Seafood is the largest single fish market on the West Coast. 

On weekends, you may see tourists stopping by for the Instagram-worthy sea urchin with still-wiggling spines when served. On weekdays, locals buy the catch-of-the-day to cook up later that night. Grilled, fried, or raw, the seafood options here seem never-ending, extending, of course, to fresh poke.

The wasabi poke at Quality Seafood is my favorite. It doesn’t have the intense wasabi kick that clears your sinuses but reveals its flavor rather subtly. The market also prepares an option for tako (octopus) poke and opah poke—using a Hawaiian fish considered good luck and a bit tougher than tuna. 

One aspect unique to the poke bowls at Quality Seafood is that you can order yours with a tostada in addition to, or in lieu of, white rice. Enjoying your poke on the salty corn chip is exactly the bite that adds to the euphoric feeling on a sunny day in SoCal. 

Check out Quality Seafood before the end of the month for its annual Lobster Fest!

On the International Boardwalk, Redondo Beach, CA 90277. Closest Metro line and stop: Bus Line 232 - “Pacific Coast Highway/Emerald.”

Honorable Mention

North Shore Poke Co. ~ Huntington Beach

It's not in Los Angeles County, but that doesn't stop this O.G. from being insanely delicious. It's one of the first poke stands to open—since 2012—before the big poke rush of the mainland. It's destination-worthy for its high-quality salmon and tuna poke variations. We're fans of their spicy Coconut Waimea dressing, which amplies the paradise vibes. It's destination worthy if you're catching your first wave nearby, or if you have a dog since it it is walking distance to the most picturesque dog beach in Southern California. The portions are smaller, but that's not a bad thing since it's proudly quality over quantity here.

214 5th St. Hungtington Beach, CA. 92648. Closest transit lines and stop: OC Bus Line 1 - "Pacific Coast Highway/Main" or OC Bus Line 25 - "Orange/Main."

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