Oahu native Akina Harada will open a brick-and-mortar spinoff of her Hawaiian food truck, Abunai, at 1920 L Street, Northwest by the end of the year. While the truck features a range of Aloha State staples from kalua pig to spam musubi, the fast-casual shop, dubbed Abunai Poke, will be devoted exclusively to poke bowls.
Guests will be able to customize the marinated raw fish dish over rice or a mixed green salad. Every bowl will be made to order with a choice of tuna, salmon, crab, or tofu plus a range of sauces, mix-ins, and toppings. There will also be a few signature bowls for those who don’t want to choose their own ingredient combinations.
The name Abunai means “risky” or “dangerous” in Japanese. “We like to take risk and we have a lot of bold flavors,” Harada explains.
Harada launched her food truck in January to test out the DC market. Poke has only been an occasional special for the mobile eatery, but it’s a popular one and a lot of people request it. Abunai Poke will be right on trend, too: The Hawaiian dish has not only been gaining popularity locally, but all over the country this year.
This won’t be the only Abunai Poke either. Harada is already scouting other locations. Plus, she hopes to eventually open a restaurant that specializes in other cooked Hawaiian specialties.
“I’m really picky about the location, so I’m still actively looking,” she says.