Salmon poké tacos at Saltyard get a spice kick from sambal and jalapeno, and the shells are made of fried wonton wrappers. (Matthew M. Wong)

It’s poké, man. Go!

Hawaiian food is a thing in other parts of the country, but that culinary trend hasn’t quite gained traction in Atlanta.

Island victuals like Spam musubi (a slab of grilled Spam sandwiched between white rice and wrapped in dried seaweed) or loco moco (beef patties with a fried egg and brown gravy over a bed of rice) or the plate lunch of two scoops of rice, another of macaroni salad and a hot meat entree are still best reserved for a visit to Waikikie Hawaiian BBQ.

However, we can’t disregard the growing affinity among Atlanta chefs for another Hawaiian favorite: poké. It’s essentially a fish salad, typically made with chunks of raw tuna marinated in soy sauce and sesame oil — although other types of fish and seafood can hit the plate — and accented with the likes of avocado, green onion, jalapeno, sesame seeds, wakame and roe.

Around town, you’ll find poké as part of a bowl with crispy wontons on the side, stuffed in tacos or piled on nachos. Try the fishy mélange at Ba Bellies, Saltyard and Yard House.


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