Staying Fresh at Makai Poké

Jeffrey Somers
Jun 25, 2018 3:36 PM

Poké Bowls have been slow-motion invading Hoboken for a few years now, and why not—if you were going to create an ideal fast food for Hoboken’s current population of young professionals and students in a laboratory, you’d probably come up with something like the Hawaiian cuisine. With its focus on fresh, raw fish, sushi rice, and veggies it’s a healthy, light meal that offers a lot of customization.Not being particularly well-versed in Poké—I’ve had it once or twice and liked it—I decided to give it another whirl, and chose one of our newer Poké spots, Makai Poké (521 Washington Street), to check out. Not gonna lie: One reason I chose Makai Poké is because they have hot dogs on the menu. I wasn’t planning on hot dogs, but I figured if my Poké experiments failed miserably I would have a second option as a backup.

Bowls of Goodness

Luckily, resorting to hot dogs was not necessary (though I’m sure the hot dogs are delicious as well!). My wife was a newbie to Poké as well, and required a short master class in All Things Poké before she could order, which the staff at Makai were more than happy to offer. They were, in fact, some of the most cheerful and helpful folks we’ve dealt with in a while, and made learning a bit more about Poké a pleasure.

While my wife ordered a custom “regular bowl” (which has two proteins), I went with one of Makai’s signature bowls, the Makai (Ahi Tuna, Salmon, Shrimp, Cucumber, Avocado, Edamame, Scallion, Hawaiian Shoyu, Spicy Mayo, Sweet Midnight Drizzle, Makai Sauce Drizzle, Seaweed Salad, Kani Salad, and Crispy Onion).

Both bowls were absolutely delicious. Made right in front of you, the freshness of the ingredients was apparent, and there was just enough sauce to give the bowls a bit of flavor without drowning everything. I opted for sushi rice as a base, while my wife got the zucchini noodles, making her bowl about the healthiest thing I’ve ever seen.

The Sweet Stuff

Makai Poké also offers shave ice and ice cream if you like a little sweet after your meal, as well as “island plates” of pulled pork, acai bowls and pitaya bowls, as well as the aforementioned hot dogs. They also have a long list of sides you can throw onto your order, including extra sushi rice, kettle chips, miso soup, seaweed or kani salad, and kimchee.

There are a lot of Poké spots in Hoboken right now, which is good if you love fresh food that’s sushi-adjacent. If you’re trying to make up your mind about where to get your Poké goodness, check out Makai on Washington Street. You won’t be disappointed. Plus, “poké” is just plain fun to say.

Jeffrey Somers
Staff Writer
Jeff Somers ( is the author of 9 novels including We Are Not Good People ( and the publisher of The Inner Swine ( Jeff may be reach at . Follow him on Twitter at @jeffreysomers .