Exploring Columbus – Grand Opening at Hai Poke!

Exploring Columbus – Grand Opening at Hai Poke!

*I received a sample of this product to review. Please note that all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*


Columbus friends, you are in for such a treat! Hai Poke just opened its doors in the Short North and it is SO dang good.

Poke (pronounced POH-kay), is a traditional Hawaiian dish featuring raw fish. In my house, we call it “sushi-salad” and eat it every chance we get. Which, until recently, wasn’t all that often.

Imagine my delight when I found myself invited to their grand opening!

Hai Poke – The Food:

When you walk in, you grab their super simple menu.

Every bowl is made to order and I love that you can go with a big group of friends – including paleo and vegetarian/vegans and know that there’s something for everyone.

I got the Tuna Poke, with everything listed, including the jalapeños, onions, and spicy bean sprouts. And I added on avocado, because, you ALWAYS add on avocado!

(Just a quick shout-out to chefs at Hai Poke – mad props for taking time to properly prepare the jalapeños. They were perfectly sliced into matchsticks and de-seeded. Such a simple thing that many restaurants skip and it’s a huge pet peeve to get little chili seeds stuck in my teeth. Yes. I know I’m a princess.)




They also had a specials board, featuring delights like Wonton chips, Kimchi salsa and Spam Musubi. I didn’t try a hand roll, but it’s basically everything you would get in a bowl, all rolled up, which sounds pretty fun.



Check out our spread!
Mmmmmm colorful, fresh, healthy and most importantly, SO DELICIOUS! Even the iced ginger green tea was fabulous. Not overly sweetened, which I appreciated.



Check out the cute packaging of these Wonton chips. I used them to scoop up bites of my salad and my husband couldn’t stop dipping them in his Kimchi salsa.



Here’s Mr. Lakes and Lattes – thoroughly enjoying his Spam Musubi.

Hai Poke – The Experience

There’s just something special about entrepreneurs. I’m married to an entrepreneur. Many of my closest friends are entrepreneurs and I’m telling you – there’s just something about them.

Maybe it’s the passion they have for what they do. Perhaps it’s because they see the world a bit differently. Maybe they just have different expectations of themselves. Whatever it is, it’s magnetic.

I was so fortunate to meet the co-owners of Hai Poke, and it was awesome to see their passion and love for what they do. When I read on their website that they “love creating experiences for people that turn an ordinary meal into a memory” – I felt like they were speaking directly to me. There’s nothing I love more than sharing a good meal with good people.

We did not bring our little one along with us, but she’s definitely coming with us next time! Sushi is her favorite meal and I think she’ll have a blast watching all the action!



Hai Poke hits the trifecta for me – fantastic quality of food, amazing service, and at $10 for a Tuna bowl, it’s a steal! I actually told the owners they needed to charge more. I’d happily pay more for the quality of their food.  So maybe you should head out there TODAY, just in case they listen to me….

Maybe I’ll even see you there, because even though I just had it yesterday, I’ve been dreaming about this bite nonstop.





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