Fresh and Flavorful on the Menu at Fushipoke

Todays News

Pictured: If you are looking to add a relatively mild-yet-flavorful spicy kick to your poke bowl at Fushipoke, opt for the spicy kimchi cucumber as an add-in. Photo taken by Kevin Allen.

On the first football Sunday of the NFL season, I drafted a fantasy team of my own. Rather than assembling a cadre of backs, receivers and tight ends, my fantasy team consisted of bowl full of crisp, flavor-packed ingredients.

Fushipoké is owner Tyler Fushikoshi’s three-year-old quick-service Hawaiian restaurant on Orange Ave. across the street from City Hall. I made my inaugural visit there after a morning spent playing Spikeball with friends in the Rosemary District left me famished.

Natural light pours in through the front window, illuminating the simple, stylish interior. You can choose from a number of favorite pre-planned bowls or create your own. I opted to create my own, which meant I chose my own base (starch), protein, add-ins, sauces and topings. I somehow resisted the urge to tell the bowl architect behind the counter, “All of it. I want all of it.”

My first-round draft pick was a base of pillowy sticky rice, followed by an order of fresh (not frozen) Hawaiian tuna for a perfectly silky, tender and subtly flavorful protein. Topping the tuna was a heap of furikake seasoning that added an ideal umami zhoosh. Rounding out my team was a mix of sweet Maui onion, palate-cleansing pickled ginger, crispy tempura flakes, spicy mayo and a tangy wasabi avocado sauce.

My late-round sleeper pick for the team was — on the recommendation of the helpful gent behind the counter — spicy kimchi cucumber. Those kimchi pickles were the Tom Brady of the dish. Any bite combo that included them was made automatically better.

Admittedly, I only scratched the surface with my choices. So plentiful are the options that you could visit Fushipoké thousands of times and never have the same bowl twice. I also spied on some fellow diners whose crowded ramen bowls looked delightful.

When it comes to actual fantasy football, I am notoriously terrible despite a rabid football fandom that began with the 1985 Chicago Bears (ask me to perform the “Super Bowl Shuffle” for you, and I will gladly oblige). That said, in the world of fantasy poké bowl building at Fushipoké, I cannot lose.

Fushipoké, 128 N Orange Ave., Sarasota, 941-330-1795, https://www.fushipoke.com/

Pictured: If you are looking to add a relatively mild-yet-flavorful spicy kick to your poke bowl at Fushipoke, opt for the spicy kimchi cucumber as an add-in. Photo taken by Kevin Allen.

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