A doorway connects Ramen Kazama to its new counterpart, Fish Bowl Poké at 5 W. 34th St. Visitors can order ramen and draft beer on one side, and find mochi ice cream and poké bowls on the other.
Poké means “to slice or cut” in Hawaiian. The poké bowl features a choice of raw tuna, salmon or tofu over rice topped with veggies and house-made sauce.
Ramen Kazama’s co-owner Matthew Kazama created the menu. He was born in Honolulu, raised in Japan and started living in the U.S. at age 18, where he gained expertise preparing sushi and Japanese cuisine at Fuji Ya.
Kazama said the House bowl is a traditional poké — he thought the menu should begin by getting the basics right. The K-Pop adds Korean-style kimchee, adapted from his favorite dish yukhoe.
“Not too many poké restaurants have this idea,” he said.
The Salsa bowl (as the drummer in the Birthday Suits, Kazama’s bowls feature musically-inspired names) incorporates pico de gallo, avocado, lime juice and cilantro. And the Rock-N-Roll bowl, proving popular in the restaurant’s early days, includes spicy mayo and the vibrant flavors of a sushi roll. Patrons can build their own bowls as well, choosing a base, add-ins, protein, sauce and toppings.
Much of the menu is made from scratch and is gluten-free.
Hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.