South Hill’s Mix Poke Bar is now open. It also has boba tea
Poke bowl restaurant Mix Poke Bar is now open in Puyallup’s Sunrise Village. The fast casual restaurant is a duplicate of the Tacoma Mall location, but this one is a brick-and-mortar, not a food court restaurant. As I told you last month in this story, opening alongside Mix Poke Bar is Sip + Spoon with a beverage menu of bubble tea and other dessert drinks.
The restaurant concepts are locally owned by Bee Meas, who debuted her first Bellevue location five years ago. In 2018, she expanded to Tacoma. Meas is a Browns Point resident who attended Stadium High School. She’s locally born-and-raised and operates her restaurants with the help of family members.
For South Hill diners, the poke bowls are a great gain in a suburban community short on locally owned restaurants with unusual menus.
Mix Poke is a choose-your-own-adventure restaurant with all the ingredients to mix up a customized poke bowl. For those unfamiliar with poke, it’s a Hawaiian dish of raw, cubed ahi tuna.
HOW POKE BARS WORK
Mix-and-match poke bar restaurants let diners customize bowls – Chipotle or Subway style – with a myriad of ingredients that include raw fish, such as tuna and salmon, as well as cooked proteins such as chicken, shrimp and tofu. At Mix, there’s also octopus, seared salmon and avocado.
Diners select from a list of sauces and ingredients to whatever flavor combination works for them.
Add-ins at Mix include sweet onions, pickled ginger, diced cucumber, cubed avocado, edamame, masago, furikake, sesame seeds and more.
The bowls at Mix are built with a choice of rice, brown rice, chips or mixed green salad (or seaweed salad for a $3 upcharge).
Keto tip: The salad option makes this eating adventure friendly to low-carb eaters (just avoid the sweet sauces).
Vegan tip: With rice, tofu, salad and avocado available as a base and sauces that are free of animal products, you’ll have no trouble assembling a bowl here.
At Mix, diners can select from a variety of sauces including a house savory shoyu, a sweet-and-salty miso, a Korean-kissed gochujang ponzu and a creamy spicy that offers unrelenting heat when combined with the spicy tuna protein (you’ve been warned).
Mix poke bowls start at $14 for two protein choices, which is a fair deal considering you can double up on the raw ahi tuna with no upcharge (have you seen the price of raw tuna lately?). For big eaters, a large poke bowl with three protein choices is $16 and a mondo extra large size with four proteins is $18. That last one is built for sharing.
The menu board lists an easy format for ordering: Pick your base of rice, salad or chips; pick your proteins; pick your add-ins, pick your sauce, pick your extra toppings, if desired. They mix it for you right there and it’s served in a sturdy reusable plastic container with a lid.
You order and pay at the counter. Order drinks to the left and poke bowls to the right. Find a seat in the handful of tables. It’s a small dining room. There’s room for about 20 diners.
FIND POKE BOWLS THROUGHOUT PIERCE COUNTY
In Pierce County, diners can find poke bowl bars in Tacoma at Sam Choy’s Poke to the Max, in Lakewood at IC Poke and Poke Pop in Fircrest. For a purist’s poke with a simple mix of tuna, sauce and seaweed, head straight to Da Tiki Hut in Tacoma’s Sixth Avenue neighborhood.
DESSERT DRINKS AT SIP + SPOON
Drink desserts include milk teas ($4), matcha lattes ($5.50-$6), blended fruit and tea slush drinks ($5.25-$6), sea salt cream drinks ($4.50) and fruit teas ($4.25). Desserts also include macarons ($3), vanilla ice cream ($4) and there are also smoothie bowls made with acai or pitaya ($9-$10).
MIX POKE BAR/SIP + SPOON
Puyallup location: Sunrise Village, 10306 156th St. E., Puyallup
Mix Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mixpokebar/
Sip + Spoon Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sip.n.spoon/
Tacoma Mall location: 4502 S. Steele St., Tacoma; 253-475-5118
SOUTH HILL DINING TIPS
There’s been a lot of movement on South Hill for dining. Here are a few things to know:
Hello Pho, an upscale Vietnamese restaurant, opened in October in South Hill with a handsome dining room and a cocktail menu. Read a first-bite report with menu photos here.
Trapper’s Sushi is on the move. The South Hill restaurant in Sunrise Village will move later this year to a new location in the Sunrise Village complex where The Ram used to operate. Read more here.
Roadhouse in South Hill just moved to its new location two miles south to a new location. Read more here.
In nearby Graham, the Flying Tomato closed its doors, but it found a new home in Spanaway. Read more here.
Aceituno’s, the fast food Mexican restaurant that’s locally owned, is opening a branch in South Hill at the old KFC. Read more here.
Bros Burgers is located at the former Quizno’s location – I’ll have more details for you soon!