Poke Poke is the Healthiest Lunch on Venice Beach (But Don’t Let that Discourage You)


Finding decent raw seafood for under $10 is one of my favorite pastimes, whether it be a great chirashi bowl, hwedupbap in Koreatown, or ceviche from a food truck. The line between good and bad seafood is not something you want to be crossing on a regular basis, so finding that perfect balance between quality and price is pretty exhilarating. So when I read about Poke Poke, a newish Hawaiian tuna bowl stand on Venice Beach, I was pretty excited. Cubes of raw tuna, tossed in shoyu and sesame oil, and served over rice for under $10 at one of the (arguably) worst lunch strips in all of Los Angeles? Yes please.


I can’t decide what’s worse: eating lunch on the Venice Beach boardwalk or eating at a place that touts itself as the “healthiest lunch” on the Venice Beach boardwalk?  Seriously. What’s the point of eating on Venice Beach if you aren’t going to use it as an excuse to eat some disgustingly shitty hot dog, or fried dough or ice cream.  And yet there is something magical about the combination of poke and the beach (imagine that?), and Poke Poke is the perfect place to indulge.

There are two sizes of poke to choose from… the small ($6 w/ rice, $8 without) and the large ($10 w/ rice, $13 without), but both are kind of small. (The large is a plastic pint container you’d get from a deli, the small is half the size.) Then you choose your flavor. The “original” poke, made with shoyu, sesame oil, onion, green onions and sesame seeds, is the base for all the flavors, and on top of that you can add a spicy siracha mayo (“spicy tuna”), wasabi, or the aloha poke, which is like the original but a bit sweeter.


I went with the large original w/ rice , and asked for the spicy tuna mayo on the side, which they’ll gladly give you for free (bonus!) There are a bunch of free mix-ins available like kale, macadamia nuts, jalapenos, watermelon radish, ginger, masago, carrots, and fresh seaweed, but sadly I saw that too late. You can also get avocado for an extra $1, which is highly recommended but would have put me over my $10 price range. Fresh, delicious, and tasty the only complaint I have is the size. More of a snack than a lunch, I was hoping Poke Poke’s large would be something a bit more like the sushi salad at Wow Bento and Roll. Don’t get me wrong… it’s not a bad deal at all when you consider the quality, but this fat guy would have been far more excited about it if they somehow managed to squeeze a little bit more food in for the $10. I suppose I could start eating less…

I’ve never been to Hawaii (it’s terrible, I know) so I can’t really compare it to real deal poke, but if you’re on Venice Beach and looking for a super light lunch or a nice snack don’t use the boardwalk as an excuse to indulge in fried dough (believe me, I thought about it.) Yesterday I couldn’t imagine anything better than sitting in the sun eating a cool bowl of poke.

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • I LOVE POKE!  So great that there is finally a place on the westside that specializes in just that
  • Everything is made to order
  • Big chunks of raw tuna for under $10?  So great.
  • Nice and fresh tasting, and they give you plenty of free mix ins
  • It’s easily one of the best cheap things to eat on the Venice Beach Boardwalk

THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • Not enough food for lunch… more like a snack
  • Parking is impossible
  • You get what you pay for with this stuff… I’d rather pay a little bit more and get better quality and more food
  • Not as good as what you get in Hawaii

Poke Poke, 19th Ave. & Ocean Walk, 424-228-5132



  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Lots of options boardwalk (if you’re a tourist looking to get fleeced), but this place sounds legit– I’ll have to give Poke Poke a try.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Thanks for the write up! Very fair and good points, we should offer a larger option.

    Thanks for coming out and stay tuned for new location opening up soon!


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