The Stony Brook area has a surplus of dishes with faraway roots, from dumplings to bibimbap to joojeh kebab. Restaurateur Jackey Chen noticed a gap, though: Not much poke, the Hawaiian-style raw-fish bowl that has gained a devoted following elsewhere on Long Island.
So this spring Chen -- who also owns Midori Sushi & Steakhouse in Mt. Sinai -- took over the Nesconset Highway space that once held Red Mango and began working on recipes. On May 3, he opened Aloha Poke, a cheerful take-out spot with lime-green walls where customers order poke bowls and sushi burritos via the now familiar assembly-line format: They choose a base (sushi rice, brown rice or mesclun), two or three proteins (salmon, tuna, shrimp and/or tofu), mix-ins and toppings (from tobiko to edamame) and finally, a finishing sauce. “I’m proud of the Hawaiian sauce,” said Chen, which blends soy, garlic, sesame oil and citrus.
Poke bowls come in plastic takeout containers, sushi burritos wrapped in nori, and both cost $11 for two proteins or $14 for three. Signature bowls, also $14, include a signature Hawaiian bowl with tuna, salmon and mango, and an onslaught of toppings.
Chen, who also once worked as the hibachi chef at Kumo in Stony Brook, has solid intuition: By lunchtime on day two, Aloha Poke was packed.
Aloha Poke is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
2350 Nesconset Highway, Stony Brook. 631-675-0888. alohapokestonybrook.com