For fish fanatics who can’t get enough
The Poke Fix
Sacramento, CA 95834
Poke places are ubiquitous these days. It seems like there’s a new raw fish joint popping up every other week, with not much to differentiate them besides location. So when I heard that another poke place was opening in Natomas in August, just off the Truxel exit on Highway 80, I was excited but without expectation.
On the surface, The Poke Fix looks like most other poke places you’d find outside of the grid: clean décor, smiling staff, a parade of proteins and toppings. Offerings include your standard assortment of seafood, along with Japanese add-ons like furikake, unagi, wakame salad and ponzu-style sauces. The fish is fresh and tasty. For the most part, the toppings are fresh as well.
What makes this poke place stand out? Its standard bowls are hearty, much more so than you’d get spending an equal amount of money at your local sushi joint. My personal favorite was The Poke Fix bowl ($10.45), which comes with salmon and tuna, plus a bevy of toppings—avocado, edamame and wakame salad—that provide great flavor and texture. A mixture of citrus ponzu and sesame shoyu sauces create a smoky-salty-savory-sweet sensory explosion.
One menu item had me stumped: The Poke Bake ($8.45). This funny dish comes baked in a small cardboard tray looking like a sushi-enchilada. It’s touted as a “deconstructed sushi roll” but truly defies any sort of explanation. It’s a hot mix of shredded crab salad, bay shrimp, masago, green onions and a sweet unagi sauce. The dish wasn’t bad—in fact, my dining companion loved it—but for me, the novelty wore off after a few bites. Ultimately, it was too sweet and crab-salad-y. I was over the texture after forking two big spoonfuls of shredded crab into my face.
My experience at The Poke Fix was positive overall, though they’re still working out a few start-up bugs. Every visit yielded a relatively minor mishap, from my first dinner where my young, smiling poke-maker had given me a single, rock hard lump of under-ripe avocado instead of chopping it up, to my last visit when my bowl had been filled with so much ponzu sauce that the manager marveled at the sheer volume of liquid in my bowl. (“I think we need to train that guy more,” he noted.)
But the primary thing that keeps me coming back: POKE BY THE POUND. Yes, you read that right—you can literally order as much poke as you want, by weight, and dump as many toppings into your bowl as you like. For the indulgence of devouring a full half-pound of raw fish, it will only cost you $10 for the protein and a few bucks more for toppings. An entire pound will only set you back $20. Yes, please.
Poke is everywhere, and The Poke Fix has carved out a niche that I appreciate, minus a few bumps common to new restaurants. If you’re looking for a fresh meal that will leave you full but also refreshed without breaking the bank, I recommend you check out The Poke Fix on your next night out.