The Hawaiian specialty helps keep foodies cool all summer long

Restaurant recommendations from MnMo food critics Jason DeRusha and Joy Summers

Joy’s Picks:

Poke (rhymes with okay) is totally the crudo of the moment. The Hawaiian specialty typically means marinated chunks of fresh seafood served cold and in the raw. And it’s great for sweltering temps.

• The Rabbit Hole: Cool vibes and dim lighting make this the perfect place for taking refuge from the heat. Try the Hawaiian-style salmon with creamy avocado, mangos, and wakame. (Powderhorn)

Poke mon from the Rabbit Hole in Minneapolis.
Poke mon from The Rabbit Hole

photo by tj turner

• Bibuta:  I was thrilled to track down the Bibuta “sushi burrito” truck and try their fun-to-eat-curbside take on poke. It’s a pile of succulent, fresh fish and avocado served over sushi rice. (Downtown Minneapolis)

Jason’s Picks:

With the wave of new ramen restaurants cresting, I believe we’re on the edge of a poke situation here. I’ve heard rumblings of a poke-focused food truck and a freestanding restaurant, and the Hawaiian-style, grocery store deli-case pokes have already made their way to Chicago. Cubed, raw fish, lightly dressed and served with grains or greens and veggies? I’m all for it!

Zen Box Izakaya: The menu says “must try” next to the tuna poke dish, and it lives up to the billing. The beautiful, bright red tuna with a hint of sesame oil, served with radish sprouts and sesame seeds on a bed of greens, is simple perfection. (Downtown Minneapolis)

Crave: Crave released a limited edition menu of poke bowls, but they’ve been so popular they’re sticking around. There’s a nice flash-seared, miso-marinated salmon as well as a Mexican poke bowl with ahi tuna and escolar. (Multiple locations including Minneapolis, MOA, Woodbury)