Do you remember when you fell in love with poké? Chef and owner Daniel Bouza, of the new fast-casual eatery PokéBao, recalls when he first experienced the freshness and simplicity of the dish while in Hawaii. He is now paying it forward with the culmination of his dream project. PokéBao is the name of this exciting new endeavor and it is scheduled to open in Coral Gables in November of this year.
Bouza has toured his fare of hot kitchens and we are excited to savor the textures and techniques introduced in this flavor-forward concept. And all the action is happening right on Giralda Avenue, which is being transformed for the City Beautiful. Also adding to the bustling food scene, Bouza will pair the cubed fish salad with bao buns on the menu—hence, PokéBao. Chef-made daily signature poké bowls include DB’s Spicy Ahi Tuna Poké – furikake rice, yellow fin, masago, fuego mayo, green onion – and Shrimp Lana’i Poké – seaweed and cucumber sunomono salad, local prawn, papaya, sweet potato, sesame seed, spicy ginger, and passion fruit dressing.
Chef Bouza’s signature buns will provide abundant variety with delicious offerings such as DB’s Sweet and Spicy Short Rib Bun – braised short rib, hoisin, pickled vegetables, and cilantro – and a Juicy Pork Belly Bun – roasted, braised and seared pork belly, ginger-soy sauce, pickled red onions, pickled cucumber, and red jalapeno.
Spoiler alert! Bouza is a Miami born-and-raised chef so expect to find a fun local spin on the menu, particularly incorporating Cuban flavors with a Crispy Chicken Vaca Frita Bun, filled with braised then seared chicken thigh, pickled vegetables and feta-tofu sauce. In addition to the namesake plates, small bites will also appear on PokéBao’s menu. Crispy Rice Tuna, Kona beer-battered Tempura Fries, and Yellow Fin Tuna Tacos will serve as enticing appetizers.
What to expect: creative takes on both Hawaiian and Asian cuisines, and quality food made fresh in-house in a comfortable setting. There will be no cutting corners as it is important to Bouza to honor the traditions behind each dish. The interior space will have a custom design by renowned local artist Anthony Hernandez (anthonyhernandezart). What you’ll be drinking: imported Japanese beer, local brews, and Hawaii-based Kona Brewing Company selections as well as wine and house-made, fruit-infused sake.
PokéBao is scheduled to open in November 2016 at 153 Giralda Avenue in Coral Gables and will be open seven days a week from 11AM to 10:30PM. www.pokebaomiami.com