It was one of those days. My kid refused to take a nap, and I was losing my mind. (Where was my nap when I needed one?)
My husband Alan walked through the door after work and must have seen that everyone was pretty frazzled. Brave man that he is, he didn’t turn tail and run.
“Let’s go out!”
The Poke Trend Hits Fresno
A bunch of new places have opened right down the street from us on Friant Road. One of those places is Butterfish California Poke, which features “customizable poke bowls with a California twist.”
In case you aren’t familiar with the word, “poke”—pronounced po-kay like “okay”—is raw seafood salad. It’s a staple in Hawaii that has finally made its way to the mainland. Poke places are popping up all over, including here in Fresno.
Butterfish California Poke, located at 8482 N. Friant Road, has been open since January. I’ve been wanting to check it out, but figured I’d need to save it for lunch or dinner with one of my friends because my husband is more of a “steak and potatoes” guy and less of a “raw fish over rice” guy.
To my surprise, he agreed to give it a shot. (I may have sweetened the deal by suggesting we go to nearby Sportsman’s Warehouse after our meal.)
Walking into Butterfish is really refreshing. Lots of bright white décor, a wall of succulents, and a gleaming counter are the first things you see when you come in. There are also walls of windows, which make you feel like you could be outside.
How It Works
You order and pay for your food at the front counter. Butterfish has several pre-set bowls to choose from, which you can customize, or you can simply build your own creation. It would be easy to tailor a bowl to suit just about any diet restrictions.
I went with the White Wave Bowl. It’s topped with coconut cream, toasted coconut, edamame, salmon, sesame seeds, avocado, and Himalayan sea salt, so it’s very colorful and there’s a lot going on. It’s typically served over rice, but they were happy to swap out the rice for kelp noodles. I also decided to try one of their speciality drinks, a raspberry mint iced tea.
My husband got the C.C.S., which is basically Butterfish’s version of a chicken salad, featuring a pomegranate vinaigrette dressing, cashews, and tempura crunchies.
Speed is of the essence when you have to negotiate with a napless toddler, and I’m pleased to say that ordering our food, watching it be made, paying, and carrying it to our table took only a few minutes.
We grabbed a table and settled in next to a wall of windows. It was one of those crazy, rainy days we’ve been having here in Fresno, with lots of thunder and lightning and intriguing dark clouds which made for a great show.
About The Food
I really enjoyed my White Wave bowl. The salmon was delicious, and it had a nice balance of creaminess from the coconut and avocado, and crunch from the sesame seeds and toasted coconut. I was also really impressed with the iced tea, which had great flavor and had a subtle sweetness without adding any sugar to it.
Alan was very happy with his salad. He was thrilled there were protein options that weren’t fish. The salad rapidly disappeared, with some help from our son.
That was the biggest surprise. My toddler happily tried a little of everything, and was entertained by the view through the windows and dancing to their ambient music. I foresee us going back to Butterfish often, particularly as the weather warms up.
If you’re trying to grab a healthy meal on your lunch break, or you need quick take-out without a lot of hassle, Butterfish would be just the ticket. Fast, fun, delicious, and healthy. What’s not to love?
They even have an app if you want to order ahead, and there’s actually an option for them to bring your meal out to your car. Take that, drive-thru window!