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Friday, February 17, 2017

Pok the Raw Bar

**FYI. Their Grand Opening is tomorrow (2/18/17). From 11:30AM-10PM. Complimentary Matcha. Specialty Sake Shots. Raw Bar Teaser.** 

I have a new obsession you guys... My favorite new place of 2017. Pok the Raw Bar in West Village. Since discovering it at the end of January, I've been there 4 times in the last 3 weeks. And living in Rockwall and working close to Richardson... this is not a neighborhood that's remotely close to me. However! On the weekends I sometimes go workout in the Highland Park area. I've been taking advantage of that whenever I can! And since I'm working out, I deserve a treat, right? 

Pok The Raw Bar 
3699 McKinney Ave #306 
Dallas, TX 75204 
(214) 484-1139 
Price: $$ 

This place just makes me happy. From the bright and modern decor to the quality of the food and drinks. They are super busy all the time though, so you gotta be patient. But trust me, it's worth it. 

They have a very specific focus: poké bowls and matcha, so they can get the best ingredients and deliver the best quality. Their ingredients are sources from local farmers and the fish is flown in daily. I can taste the freshness in every bowl I've had so far. Their sushi chef is Chef Jimmy Park, originally from Nobu. 

They have a small menu... which is good for people like me who can't have too many choices. I would want to try everything! But they also have a BYOB (build your own bowl) option, so you can pick exactly what you want. I've always built my own bowl. I'm slowly working through all the different sauces. Oh btw,everything here is gluten free. :) 

First Visit: I got my order to go because I told my husband I would bring some back for him. 

While waiting for the food, I started chatting with the bartender, Emilio, and he was giving me info on the restaurant and the matcha. It's sourced directly from Uji, a city in the outskirts of Kyoto, Japan. They actually know the people in the village so they get the matcha powder directly. How much more authentic can you get?!? I also met one of the owners, Francois, who was just super nice! I've seen both of them on every visit so far and it's awesome that they recognize me and I'm able to chat with them. It makes the waiting so much more enjoyable. :) 

I got 2 drinks because I wanted to try different things. I had every intention to give one to my husband but I started drinking both while waiting for my food. :P I liked both of them. 

The Ceremony (pure whisked matcha) - iced $4~ I don't think I know anywhere else that does pure ceremonial matcha. It's literally water and whisked matcha. I get it unsweetened because I absolutely love the natural flavor of matcha. But if you want some sweetness they add raw honey so it's still super healthy. 

Matcha X Coco (coconut milk) - iced $5~ Emilio was telling me that they make their coconut milk and almond milk in house. I got it just barely sweetened so it was still really pure. I loved the light hint of coconut with the matcha. Plus the layers of color were aesthetically pleasing. hehe. Did you know that dairy (cow's milk) negates all the benefits of matcha? I did some research and found out that other milks don't... (soy, almond, coconut, etc.) so I wonder if that's the reason why Pok doesn't offer dairy as an option. Most people think they're getting all sorts of nutritional benefits when they get a typical matcha latte... buuuut it's really just green milk and sugar... XP 

Small BYOB $8.95~ 
Base: Bamboo Rice 
Top: Salmon 
Sauce: Spicy Aioli 
Add Ons: chopped kale, seaweed salad, pickled ginger, micro greens 

Large BYOB $12.95~ 
Base: Bamboo Rice 
Top: Tuna 
Sauce: Classic Sauce 
Add Ons: edamame, seaweed salad, cucumber, pickled ginger 

These bowls are absolutely gorgeous! Packed with bright colors and really fresh ingredients. I totally love their bamboo rice which they explained is rice grown in bamboo so it is fortified with extra vitamins and minerals like chlorophyll. And it's green, which makes the bowl even prettier. I fell in love as soon as I dug in. You can taste all the individual ingredients and the quality of it all. I thought the small bowl was quite small but it was surprisingly filling. My husband loved it as well. 

Second Visit: I went on a weekday, after a noon workout. I realized it wasn't the best idea since it was super packed and I had to wait quite a while to order and then wait for my food. Oh well, that just means I'll get back to work a little later. haha. But if you are looking for a quick lunch, this isn't it. 

This time I got the Matcha X Macadamia (macadamia nut milk) - iced $5.50~ This is the only milk they don't make. But they use the Unsweetened macadamia nut milk from Milkadamia... which comes from free-range trees in Australia and is free of dairy, soy, GMO's and gluten. This was my favorite milk with the matcha so far. It's creamier than the other two and just feels a little more like an indulgence. It also has a light natural sweetness. So no additional sweetness needed for me. 

Small BYOB $8.95 
Base: Bamboo Rice 
Top: Salmon 
Sauce: Spicy Yuzu (a mix between Spicy Ponzu & Sweet Yuzu) 
Premium: Avocado +$1~ 
I added avocado this time. It's in the premium add on section which is $1 more. It also adds more substance so I was happily full after I finished eating. I also tried the Spicy Yuzu sauce... which for some reason is only in their Signature Poké Bowls section but not under BYOB. But I requested it. I found out it's basically their Spicy Ponzu plus the Sweet Yuzu sauce. I love yuzu, and you can definitely taste the citrus tang. It just gives it an extra zing to the flavors. Love! 

Third Visit: I actually dined in this time. It was a Sunday, I brought a book, and just took my time. I'm glad I wasn't in a rush because they were soooo busy. It took about 20 minutes before I got my food. 

I got The Ceremony (pure whisked matcha) - iced $4~ Emilio gave me a double shot of matcha. :D It was amazing. That extra matcha flavor was perfection.

Small BYOB $8.95 
Base: Bamboo Rice 
Top: Salmon 
Sauce: Spicy Ponzu 
Add Ons: chopped kale, seaweed salad, pickled ginger, lotus chips 
Premium: Avocado +$1~ 
I went with just the Spicy Ponzu this time and added lotus chips. The chips made for pretty toppings. I also like the additional crispy texture. I really should venture out and try some of the other bases: cauliflower rice, citrus kale, or kelp zucchini slaw, but I just love their bamboo rice so much! 

Fourth Visit: I didn't have time to wait for food this time as it was a weekday... but I was in the area so I just stopped by to get a drink. I also found out that for every matcha drink purchased on a Monday in Feb, you get a free class to SoulCycle which is just 2 stores down. Free workout? Heck yea! I went with the Matcha X Coco (housemade coconut milk) - iced $5~ The drinks are soooo pretty!!

I'm counting the days until I can go back. I can't remember the last time I was obsessed with one restaurant. Yes, it's a little pricey. But for the quality of food, I'll just shut up and throw all my monies at them. hahaha. Plus it's healthy! So that's something right? 

If raw fish is your thing... definitely go check them out. And if you love matcha... then you really have to go. This place is legit. And I hope they stick around for a really really long time! :D 

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