Oahu native Akina Harada serves kalua pig and Spam musubi at her modern Hawaiian food truck Abunai. But when her first restaurant opens on April 12 at 1920 L St., Northwest, she’ll be focusing exclusively on another staple of the Aloha state: poke bowls.
Abunai Poke will be the second poke shop to open in DC within the past week, following Poké Papa in Penn Quarter. At both fast-casual spots, customers can build their own bowl or choose from several signature combinations. While Poké Papa can veer towards fusion with ingredients like spicy Thai fish sauce and minced (cooked) chicken, Abunai sticks to a simpler menu with more traditional ingredients. Harada says she wanted to emulate the kind of places she’d frequent at home in Hawaii—but with a slightly more modern twist.
Abunai features bowls with steamed rice or salad, and a choice of four proteins (ahi tuna, salmon, shrimp, or tofu). From there, add mix-ins (macadamia nuts, green onion), a sauce (yuzu ponzu, miso dressing), and toppings (lemon zest, seaweed salad). Prices range from $12.95 to $13.95.
The restaurant will also serve a variety of Hawaiian juices and coffee. If you’re there on opening day, pick up a free cup of 100-percent Kona coffee.
This won’t be the last restaurant from Harada either. She’s already actively looking for new locations.
Abunai Poke. 1920 L St., NW. Open Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.