This May the Food Buddha himself, Rodelio Aglibot, plans to enlighten us all with a modern take on poké, a food that holds a special place in the heart of the Hawaii-raised chef/concept creator/larger-than-life personality. Aglibot has teamed up with his Los Angeles-based business partner, chef Frank Fronda, and Furious Spoon’s Shin Thompson and Anshul Mangal to dream up the quick-serve FireFin Poké Shop (10 S. LaSalle St., Loop).
“A year ago while in L.A. on business, I met with a former sous of mine who had just opened a poké shop,” says Aglibot. “I thought it was genius.”
Though “poké” traditionally goes hand-in-hand with raw tuna, it actually refers to the act of dicing. Bowls ($8.95 to $13.95) at the roughly 900-square-foot FireFin—which Aglibot and crew hope to rapidly grow and scale, both in Chicago and beyond—will slice and dice Chicagoans’ preconceived notions of poké.
Ahi tuna (which, along with albacore tuna, will arrive fresh from Hawaii) will be on the menu, but proteins also include salmon, tofu, and chicken, with a rainbow of flavor profiles thanks to myriad toppings and housemade gluten-free sauces. If that’s not enough decision-making, there’s also a handful of bases (purple rice, gluten-free noodles, lettuce cups, and garden greens).
For those averse to the Chipotle Effect, a menu of signature poké bowls should renew your zen. Compositions include the FireFin with purple rice, ahi tuna, pickled jalapeños, avocado, and spicy yuzu kosho sauce; and a sweet, fruit-based poké with mango, berries, pineapple, açai, and frozen yogurt.