808 Wilshire Blvd. #100
Santa Monica, CA 90401
By SARAH SHMERLING | Managing Editor
On the Westside, there may not be a shortage of options for where to get fresh fish, but what about fresh fish plus casual dining, quick service—and validated parking?
All of this is what Spinfish Poke House’s Santa Monica location serves up daily.
Entering the restaurant, everything looks and feels clean—definitely an attribute to look for when you’re about to eat raw fish.
Located in the bottom floor of an office building, a large, floor-to-ceiling window allows ample natural lighting—the perfect place to grab a bite on a lunch break or on the way home from work.
There are currently four Spinfish shops open—Pasadena, Little Toyko, La Cañada and Santa Monica, which opened in June 2016.
If you’ve dined at a poke place, you know that many of them are laid out similar to a Chipotle or Subway. You start at one end, adding ingredients as you make your way toward the end.
One of the most notable things about Spinfish’s menu is the number of choices. There are nine Signature Bowls to choose from—or you can craft your own. Either option is fully customizable, with choices for protein (ahi tuna, salmon, albacore, Hamachi, spicy tuna, shrimp, scallop or tofu) and base (white rice, brown rice, noodles, mixed greens or chips).
Russell Mansjur, who works in marketing for Spinfish, explained that the Aloha 808, Shaka and Banzai bowls are some of the location’s most popular choices.
The first thing we sampled was a mix of the Aloha 808—which features sesame shoyu, ogo, Hawaiian sea salt, chili flake, and green and sweet onion—and the Shaka, sriracha aioli, masago, panko and green onion. We opted for the white rice base, with salmon as the fish.
The freshness of the fish shined through, and the mix of toppings added crunch and flavor. The combination of the sauces, fish and toppings blended well—nothing was overpowering and it all balanced together. The rice was fresh and soft, with a good, sushi-rice flavor.
The second bowl we opted for was a combination of the Sweet Heat and Shaka bowls. Sweet Heat packed a small punch—with sweet chili sauce, masago, crispy onion and green and sweet onion—but managed to not overpower the salmon and tuna we selected for this bowl.
Other options on the Signature Bowl menu include the Choco Loco (chili-lime, citrus zest, coconut flakes, cilantro, cucumber and sweet onion) and the So Fraiche (wasabi crème, cilantro, citrus zest, panko and sweet onion).
If you’re interested in concocting your own creation, Spinfish offers a choice of 10 sauces, including ponzu, wasabi shoyu and pineapple-mango salsa, and 19 toppings—ranging from lemon zest to minced garlic and edamame.
Top the bowl off with krab salad or seaweed salad, or try the Spinfish guacamole for an additional $2.25.
Not feeling a poke bowl? Spinfish also serves Spinfish Nachos, with spicy tuna, guacamole, crab meat, seaweed salad, sweet shoyu, sriracha aioli, furikake dry topping and crispy onions.
We finished off our meal with Milk Tea, which was light and refreshing—a nice complement to our bowls.
Spinfish has gluten-free and soy-free options as well, so every diner can satisfy their sushi craving.