I can’t remember the first time I tasted poke, but I surely won’t forget the last at Nom Nom Poke Shop. Nom Nom Poke Shop at 1821 Bull street is the first location for Harold and Ashley, a husband and wife team, with a shared past in the restaurant industry. The minimalistic petite restaurant offers a few tables inside and a couple of options outside. When you walk in you are greeted with a friendly, knowledgeable face behind the counter who is happy to answer all of your poke questions and make suggestions. Harold and Ashley have put a huge amount of thought, training and preparation into their concept and it shows.
A key thing to know is, Nom Nom Poke identifies themselves as more Japanese/California inspired and their fish is super fresh! As a matter of fact, they posted on Instagram about a week ago that they would be closed for the day because the daily fish didn’t arrive as expected. This is a commendable stance in today’s climate, when the establishment owners are willing to take a hit to their pocketbook rather than feed their clientele anything that compromises quality and consistency. When I asked Harold further about this his reply was, “Since day one of our opening our intention was to serve nothing but fresh seafood. Never a single frozen shrimp or frozen cube of tuna or salmon has been served to a customer at Nom Nom.” They take pride in knowing where their fish is from, when and where it is caught and being able to stand behind their product with confidence.
The menu ($12.00-$15.00) is divided between house-composed “signature” bowls and build-your-own options. As a matter of fact the employee creations and suggestions often make it to the illustrious “bowl” list because they are that good. Shout out to the Sesame Sriracha Bowl for example, one of Scouts personal favs. They also have starters, salads and sides to complete your meal. It is important to know that they make every sauce in house, slice every piece of fruit and vegetable and even make their own blend of sushi vinegar. It may be very prep heavy but in the end it is what sets them apart from others and why this should be a weekly stop on your agenda.
When being tempted with this many delicious options, I want to know, what is the crowd favorite? “The Nom Nom most requested is the Spicy Tuna Crunch which is a slightly spicy togarashi sauce mixed with Big Eye Tuna, masago, avocado and hijiki served with delicious seaweed salad and our house fried shallots.” They finish all their bowls with scallions, sesame seeds and a flake salt from Oregon. I asked Harold what he suggested as the perfect order for someone new to Poke? “Start with the Ahi tuna nachos and finish with a spicy tuna crunch or sesame salmon.” These two bowls are very simple yet delicious options to introduce yourself to the menu. If beef is more your speed then try the Seared Beef Bowl which consists of marinated beef tenderloin, which is seared to about medium, served with pineapple salsa, smashed avocado, spicy mixed green and crispy wonton strips.
Finally, all good Scout interviews end with where restaurant owners spend their hard earned free time in Savannah. Harold and Ashley had a difficult time with this one as Savannah has so many wonderful spots. Just naming a few on their list would be Local 11ten or The Grey for date nights or celebrations. They love the burger from The Grey Market or the Classic Burger from Green Truck Pub. Also, never miss a chance to grab Bull Street Taco’s Carnitas or La Diavola from Vittoria.
There is no magic here (okay maybe a little bit in that house made sushi vinegar), just good quality coupled with high standards and man, it’s good!