People of the Twin Cities: Prepare for poke.
Once an overflow area for Ramen Kazama, a little-used space adjacent to the Nicollet Ave. noodle shop will soon get a life of its own as Fish Bowl Poke.
How soon, you ask?
The soft open is tomorrow, Friday, at 5.
Matthew Kazama, the chef whose seriously good ramen helped herald a wave of broth shops back in 2015, is behind the eats at Fish Bowl. It makes a lot of sense for the Hawaiian-Japanese chef: Poke (pronounced poh-KAY), for the uninitiated, is a Hawaiian dish that serves up hunks of raw fish on a bed of veggies, and before his noodle days, Kazama worked in a sushi restaurant.
"Poke's a pretty familiar thing," he says.
The music-themed menu is straightforward and simple, with four bowls identified by genre—House, K-Pop, Salsa, and Rock-N-Roll—and a smattering of additional add-ons and sides. (You can also build your own bowl, if you fancy.)
Ramen Kazama and Fish Bowl still share a space—you can walk from one right into the other without going outside—and the RK staff will be trained to work in both places. But their building is just about all the two have in common. Fish Bowl won't have a liquor license, but then, Ramen Kazama doesn't have Mexican Coke. You can't get takeout or delivery from Ramen Kazama, while Fish Bowl is primarily a quick, grab-and-go place with minimal seating and delivery through Bite Squad.
"It's very complimentary," adds Dipesh Patel, an entrepreneur and pal of Kazama's who's his partner at Fish Bowl. "The goal was to compliment, not replicate, what Matthew's doing at Ramen Kazama."
The pair plan to play around with the menu, too. Sweets are on the way, for example, but they don't know just what yet. (They're taking suggestions!) And the bowls might change around, too; that's why the semi-permanent menu's still on poster board.
In fact, Kazama came up with one idea while the two were chatting Thursday. "Oh," he said, "I think we should have kombucha."
Fish Bowl's hours will mirror Ramen Kazama's: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, closed Monday. Take a gander at the full menu below.
Fish Bowl Poke
5 W. 34th St., Minneapolis