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New restaurant brings quick, healthy Hawaiian dish to Lodi

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Posted: Tuesday, March 6, 2018 10:57 am

While on vacation in Hawaii last summer, Jennifer and Paul Polhemus discovered poke bowls: a dish consisting of rice or noodles as a base, topped with raw fish and a variety of vegetables, according to Jennifer.

"My husband kept saying that Lodi deserves this, to have a quick, easy, healthy choice that's good for young children and families," Jennifer said.

Upon their return to Lodi, the couple began working in August 2017 before opening Loco Poke at 1012 W. Lodi Ave. on Monday, Jennifer said.

The small restaurant offers both table and counter seating, along with a chalkboard on the wall near the entrance where guests can write their names. Customers choose from bases such as brown or white rice, chow mein noodles or kelp noodles -- Jennifer's favorite.

"Most people wouldn't pick kelp noodles, but they're a low-carb option with a little crunch," Jennifer said.

Along with raw fish such as ahi tuna and salmon, Loco Poke also offers cooked protein options such as crab and shrimp, as well as chicken for those who might not care for seafood. Employees assemble the bowls in front of the customers, who can choose from toppings such as cucumber, mango, fried onion strings and toasted coconut, to name a few.

Loco Poke also offers a variety of sauces, including ponzu, the traditional poke sauce made from soy sauce and citrus. Teriyaki ginger is the restaurant's most popular sauce due to its familiarity, Jennifer said, while Loco sauce satisfies those with a craving for intense heat.

The house sauce, Jennifer's favorite, is made from ponzu, Siracha chili sauce and mayonnaise and doesnÕt pack quite as much of a punch as the Loco sauce.

Poke nachos, a dish unique to Loco Poke, consists of wonton chips topped with house poke, fresh lime, jalapenos, avocado and wasabi aioli, is a dish that Jennifer says that all guests can enjoy.

"We just want Lodi to enjoy this. Being kind of centralized between two high schools, we want to have kids be able to come out and get something fast. We're going to start online ordering next week, which should help with that," Jennifer said.

Loco Poke is open 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. Contact Loco Poke at 209-625-8739.




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