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Chicago Poke Restaurant Chain Expands to Raw Fish-Saturated LA

Aloha Poke Co. opened two LA locations in early 2018 and plans to open another next month

Aloha Poke Co.
Mona Holmes is a reporter for Eater Los Angeles and a regular contributor to KCRW radio. She has covered restaurants, dining, and food culture since 2016. In 2022, the James Beard Foundation nominated her for a Jonathan Gold Local Voice Award.

The Chicago-based Aloha Poke Co. continues to expand westward, with plans to open a Marina del Rey location on May 10. The company opened a location in Century City last month and Costa Mesa in late-January. As poke saturation-point in LA nears, why did a Chicago-based company choose a city like Los Angeles?

Aloha Poke Co.’s menu is similar to many build-your-own poke restaurants throughout Southern California. Aloha Poke’s Marina del Rey location is less than one mile away from Mainland Poke Shop. Considered one of LA’s most highly regarded poke spots, Mainland Poke opened in 2016. Perhaps Aloha’s MDR location choice is a wise one, as there are more poke restaurants in Venice and Santa Monica.

West coast CEO McKensie Kahnweiler shared that Aloha Poke is taking a similar approach to Blaze Pizza’s expansion. The LA locations have some unique menu items just for LA, including a salad with cilantro and mint and lime juice, rice balls, and shrimp with kelp noodles. Kahnweiler knows LA is saturated, but remains optimistic, “There’s always room for more. No food can be at capacity.”

Kahnweiler is spearheading the west coast expansion. This team includes her mother Gerri Kahnweiler. The company also has an all women team of directors. Aloha Poke Co. has nine Chicago locations, and single stores in Evanston, Minneapolis, and Denver. They’ve continued expansion plans for Washington, D.C., Boca Raton as well as Arizona.

Aloha Poke Co.
4020 Lincoln Boulevard
Marina del Rey, CA

Mainland Poke Shop

8318 1/2 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048 (310) 234-8800 Visit Website