LAReview

The Yogurtland of sushi bowls has arrived in Beverly Grove. Prepare for chaos.

Mainland Poke is located on 3rd Street, that cute little thoroughfare connecting The Grove and The Beverly Center where brunch never ends and white people can just be themselves. And in this crowded, sidewalk friendly stretch of mid-city, it appears Mainland Poke has already struck a big chord with the neighborhood.

Walking into Mainland Poke for the first time is like being high at the Apple Store. You’re overstimulated and super into it. You see a chalkboard menu listing off delicious sounding toppings that you’ve never heard of before AND YOU WANT IT ALL. Keep breathing. Basically, you’re building your own sushi bowl. Start with your rice, add your protein and go HAM on those toppings. And for only about $10, it’s a thrilling experience.

If the idea of build-your-own anything is too stressful, Mainland Poke does have an official “favorites” menu that gets you off the hook. But what fun is that? The glory of Mainland Poke is finally having control over something where control has never been given before! Same reason why keg stands were created. The space is teeny-tiny and most people end up eating their meal on the sidewalk, so don’t plan any group get togethers here. This is an in-and-out-and-on-your way type place, so definitely treat it as such.

It might be an overstatement to call Mainland Poke a pioneer, but you get the sense that something big is about to transpire here. Despite the slightly chaotic energy inside, the concept works. And it works because the food is fresh, healthy, quick, inexpensive and d*mn delicious. Thats a recipe for success in our books.

Food Rundown

Build-Your-Own Sushi Bowl

Start with either brown or white rice and begin your journey. You mix and match your proteins(tuna, salmon, octopus, etc) and then HAVE AT IT with the truly fantastic array of toppings. Nothing is off limits here students, you are the painter and Mainland Poke is your muse. Here are some tips:

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Proteins

The octopus has the curb appeal, but our move here is the tuna. Mix and match with the salmon and your life’s masterpiece is well on its way to the stomach museum.

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Toppings and Sauces

The seaweed salad is fantastic and offers a much needed crunch to your concoction so just tell your helper with the tongs to keep piling that good stuff on. Most of the sauces do not disappoint but the focus should be on the spicy shoyu. It’s not actually that spicy and unlike some of the cream-based sauces, it will not overpower the fish. It’s light and kicks everything up a solid notch.

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