Freshly opened in Scottsdale, Ahipoki Bowl serves up poke – a Hawaiian dish made with rice, raw fish and fresh vegetable toppings. Check out our exclusive interview with owners Jason and Mike, as well as an inspired recipe you can make at home!
“We wanted to be the first ones to bring poke to Arizona,” said Jason Jantzen, co-owner of the new Ahipoki Bowl restaurant on Scottsdale Road and Thomas.
Similar to a deconstructed sushi bowl, the restaurant serves up refreshingly cool poke perfect for the upcoming Arizona heat.
“We felt there was a huge need for this in Arizona,” said co-owner Mike Zimmerman. Mike and Jason teamed up with the owners of Ahipoki Bowl in southern California to bring the concept to the Grand Canyon State.
Jason is also the owner of a successful marketing firm, and Mike is one of his clients for his other venture, a construction business. The two have been working together for over three years, and when the opportunity to build a restaurant together was presented, they jumped on it. “He came in with the construction aspect and I handled the marketing and PR,” said Jason. It was kind of a match made in business heaven.
The restaurant in Scottsdale utilized much of the existing space’s structure, so there was little that needed to be torn up or redesigned. For future locations, of which Jason and Mike say they’re looking at 4-6 more in the Phoenix metro area, they are planning on incorporating as much reclaimed materials as possible to keep waste low and embrace what they already have.
As part of their fresh and healthy menu, Jason and Mike also get their fish from sustainable sources and will soon begin working with local farmers markets and farms for produce.
Jason and Mike are also rolling out a recycling initiative soon, and when asked about composting, commented “we have a very small waste footprint.” “There’s almost none,” continued Jason. Because they’re not cooking or frying anything, very little does not get used. “Because it’s fresh fish, we cut it up, serve it and then it’s gone,” he said. Mike added that due to high demand, the fish does not last very long, so you know it’s always fresh when you come in.
At Ahipoki Bowl, guests are able to customize their own creation by first choosing a base of salad, white or brown rice, or a combination. Then they select their fish and fresh vegetable toppings, including the favored avocado as well as seaweed salad, sesame seeds, additional sauces and much more.
The restaurant has been officially open since Friday, April 1st but is celebrating a grand opening later this month on Saturday, April 23rd by offering half-priced bowls all day long.
Stop by Ahipoki Bowl you haven’t already and try a refreshing bowl for lunch or dinner! Later, if you’re craving poke as a midnight snack, check out the recipe below, featured in Green Living magazine’s April issue.
For the bowl:
A base of white or brown steamed rice
2 oz. 1/2 inch cubed sushi grade ahi tuna
2 oz. 1/2 inch cubed Canadian (or other preferable, sustainable) salmon
For the toppings:
2 Tbsp Persian cucumber, cut into slivers
2 Tbsp masago
1 Tbsp pickled ginger
1 Tbsp roasted seaweed
1/8 cup daikon sprouts
1/8 cup crab meat
1/8 cup edamame beans 1/4 of a fresh avocado
1 Tbsp Furikake (sesame seeds and seaweed topping) Wasabi on the side
For the sauce:
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp garlic, minced
1. Make the rice according to package directions.
2. Slice fish and place on top of cooked rice.
3. Add toppings.
4. Whisk together sauce ingredients and pour on top.
5. Serve immediately.
Makes 2-4 servings.
For more recipes, visit greenlivingaz.com/recipes
For more about Ahipoki Bowl, visit ahipokibowl.com.