Of a thousand reasons to visit Hawaii, poke has to be in my top ten. This is the food I crave as soon as the plane's landing gear hits the tarmac--cubes of fish or other seafood, usually raw and mostly ahi tuna, seasoned lightly with salt, soy, wasabi or any number of flavorings. Every supermarket on every island has some in the back, next to the fish. And one of the best I've had there, I kid you not, is Costco's. Yes Hawaii's Costcos--on the islands that have Costcos--make excellent poke. They're consistently fresh, vibrant, raw fish made into sweet, sweet sea candy. Ideally, you want to eat this stuff with steamed rice, but over there, we eat ours in the food court plain, washed down with their 55-cent soda.
Now the Costco in Tustin at The District will serve poke this weekend, starting tomorrow and until Sunday. The woman behind the booth told me that they were testing it out on Monday, and if it's successful, they'll continue to do it every weekend.
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How does it taste? I took some home and discovered that it's identical to the ones I've had in Hawaii's Costcos (Hurray for Costco consistency!). There will be only four flavors on offer: shoyu, limu, wasabi, and a spicy mayo. And it must be said that Costco's poke ain't cheap. It starts at $15.99 per pound and tops out at $17.99 per pound, which is even more expensive than what Whole Foods sells their poke for ($14.99 per pound). But these are the same prices that the Costcos in Hawaii charge for poke (Hurray again for Costco consistency!) Besides, you don't want what Whole Foods calls poke. Just for comparison, I bought some of theirs on the same car trip and it didn't taste like candy; it tasted like bait.