153 Giralda Ave., Coral Gables, 305-967-4832, PokebaoMiami.com
The name says it all.
An alum of Nobu Lana’i in Hawaii and Makoto in Bal Harbour has debuted his first eatery, specializing in Hawaiian-style poké and bao buns, in the former Pete’s Authentic Cooking.
“At Nobu, I learned finesse and traditional Japanese techniques,” chef Daniel Bouza says. “At Makoto, I learned how to create fine-dining Japanese dishes at an exponential speed without jeopardizing the quality or the beauty of the presentation.”
The fast-casual lineup stars poké bowls ($12.50), such as Db’s spicy ahi tuna and wasabi-furikake salmon. Pickled vegetables dress some of the buns, such as Db’s sweet and spicy short rib with scallion sour cream ($4) and crispy chicken vaca frita with feta-tofu sauce ($3.50).
Snacks include crispy rice tuna ($5), Kona beer-battered tempura veggie fries with pink Hawaiian sea salt ($5), poke-style yellowfin tuna tacos ($3 each) and edamame ($5).
Wine, sake, local beer and beer from Japan and Hawaii-based Kona Brewing Company are available.
Murals of Hawaiian and Japanese women by artist Anthony Hernandez punctuate white walls amid an open kitchen and vintage portholes. Light-wood tables complement banquettes crafted from wood pallets and topped with cushions.
Lunch and dinner are served daily, except Sundays.