Just Poké: Just like a Maui Sunset

Rainy January evenings are usually grey and chill, but on this evening for our Neighbors’ Night Out we popped into the fresh, bright space of Just Poké and were able to share in the warmth of the colorful Hawaiian inspired cuisine. Just following the holidays, the myriad of healthy choices was a perfect way to start the new year off.

Guests were able to select their own hand crafted bowl from variety of inspired bowls such as the Eastside, a favorite, which included Ahi tuna, cucumber, sweet onion, green onion, house shoyu, spicy aioli and masago. We also had the choice to create our own custom bowl and neighbor Laura Smith commented, “the shrimp bowl was delicious. I loved choosing my own ingredients. The inspired bowls are a great idea for first timers.” For vegetarians, these who are gluten free, have special dietary needs or just wanting a healthy alternative, this is the place.

Owners Danny Brawer and Norman Wu were both born and raised in the Bellevue area. Best friends since the fourth grade, they had always dreamed of starting a business together. Norm studied Finance and International Business at UW and Danny studied Economics and Political Science at UC Davis. Born and raised in Seattle, eating healthy and living right had always been an important part of their lives. They first discovered poke while chasing sunsets in Maui. The store was a small shack, but the poke left a big impression. “Undeniably fresh and like nothing else we had ever tasted before, we went back every day for more before returning to the mainland. But when we got home there was just one problem…there was nowhere in town to grab our new favorite meal!” So they set out to change that and from our guest comments they did just that.

They made their decision to open their first store with the philosophy to Give More. Its a simple idea, but one taken to heart. Determined to run their business the right way they decided to put people first. They turned away big national players with lower prices, preferring instead to partner with local vendors to source their high quality, sustainable and nutritious ingredients. Additionally, recycled materials, energy efficient lighting and low VOC paint were used in the construction of their stores. They decided against cheap plastic inventory and pursued materials that were biodegradable and compostable. They both echo, “For us, Washington isn’t just a state to do business in, it’s a home to take care of.” When asked about their experience in Kirkland they comment how they’ve “loved meeting and talking to all of the wonderful people in the Kirkland Are and learning their stories.” Their belief is simple: Eat Clean, Act Right, and Live Well.

Next time you’re out on a walk in downtown Kirkland or looking for a healthy meal, stop by Just Poké and say hello to Norm and Danny and welcome them to the community.

Just Poké is located at 117 Kirkland Ave and is open Mon.–Sat. 11:00 a.m.–8:00pm and Sundays from 12:00–08:00 p.m. They also are associated with the following delivery services: Uber Eats, Door Dash and Chownow.

This article appeared in the March 2017 issue of Kirkland Living Magazine.