When I was invited to try some dishes at a poke place within walking distance of my house, I was already sun-weary but still hot to trot. Seaside Poke had received generally very positive reviews and I was eager to see not only if it lived up to the hype, but also if it had the potential to distinguish itself from the plethora of other poke places in town.
The first good sign was that even though Seaside Poke, located in EADO a few blocks down from the soccer stadium, provided ample parking that I was able to access easily despite large crowds for a Dynamo and an Astros game. Yes, I have wonderful timing.
Fish collage highlighting local people and institutions.
I found more things inside to like, such as the vibrant wall collage of fish shields featuring local persons of note and institutions, as well as tidy jars of accoutrements for garnishing your bowl.
I will take double ito togarashi, please.
And what I ate was even more exciting: an invigorating salmon ponzu roll, sweet and piquant from the inclusion of orange slices and toasted garlic to dress the tender chunks of salmon. I also enjoyed its heavier, richer counterpart, the tuna aioli, laced with rich pepper mayonnaise, thai chilis, shallots, and some cucumbers to cut the heat, all abed a fluffy mound of white rice.
But it's eclectic bowls like the truffle yellowtail whose disparate but yet harmonious flavors and textures from the shoyu, truffle, crackly puffed rice, airy cilantro, and searing threads of ito togarashi that will enable, IMHO, Seaside Poke to endure.
That and the ube rice krispie treats. Wish I had those at my elementary school bake sales.