Since opening in 2016, The Grass Skirt, a faux-Polynesian temple to all things tropical, has become an instant Tiki destination in San Diego’s Pacific Beach neighborhood. The menu offers a long list of proprietary Tiki drinks in custom mugs along with gussied-up versions of old favorites: They’ll whip you up a piña colada — with much better rum than you’re used to — in no time flat. The joint is decked out with live fire, a volcano entrance, and towering Tiki statues, but its greatest advance has been to push Tiki kitsch past the mere pu-pu platter. Enter: the Tuna Ribbon Poke Fishbowl.
A take on sashimi, SoCal-style, the Tuna Ribbon Poke Fishbowl consists of thin, long slices of fresh and local bigeye tuna heaped upon smashed avocado. The pile is adorned with chili oil, radishes, chives, and kaffir soy and meant to be scarfed down with chopsticks. Adding to the fun? It’s served on top of a fishbowl, complete with a live goldfish who keeps you company throughout your meal. To find out more about this meta raw-and-live fish poke bowl, check out the video above. — Jackie Bryant
This two-in-one Pacific Beach spot consists of a grab-and-go poke joint (Good Time Poke) and a tiki-themed speakeasy (The Grass Skirt). Good Time Poke is the daytime spot of the two, serving traditional and not-so-traditional riffs on the classic Hawaiian raw fish salad. Enjoy a signature bowl and pork belly steamed buns, or create your own poke… and still get the pork belly steamed buns. A pair of double doors at the back of Good Time Poke leads to The Grass Skirt, where quintessential Tiki drinks are made with high-quality rum, and an Asian-and-Hawaiian-inflected food menu features small plates like kimchee fried rice, shrimp yakisoba, and drunken noodles. There’s poke here too, but it’s a bit more meta than what’s served at the fronting cafe. Exhibit A: the Tuna Ribbon Poke Fishbowl served atop a fishbowl, complete with live goldfish. Raw fish, live fish, we’ll take it.