Poke is everywhere. But “bowl of raw fish” pretty much ensures kids will have nothing to do with it. Before you relegate your poke obsession to quick lunches when the kids aren’t around, check out Playa Vista’s brand new Da Kikokiko. Brooke Williamson and Nick Roberts went Hawaiian with their 4th spot, and keikis get a prime place at the table. Aloha, family poke night!
What They’re Wearing is Perfect
The dress code is come as you are. Flip flops? Fine. Translating as “the spot” in Hawaiian, Da Kikokiko is the latest iteration from the Williamson/Roberts team and it’s very family welcoming. Celebrating the by the sea lifestyle ignited in Hawaii, embodied in Playa Vista, their vision pays homage to the joys of fresh fish, Asian inspirations, eating it out of a bowl and losing the sitters number. At least for the night.
Making the Unapproachable, Approachable
It’s Hawaiian street food made super accommodating for kids who might ordinarily be turned off by things involving raw fish. Putting grown up wants aside (just for a sec, we’ll be right back), the Keiki Bowl for the Little Ones is gentle introduction to the Poke way. With chicken teriyaki, white rice, and cucumber, they’ll get good and comfy with the bowl situation, and maybe venture into the Create Your Own for the next trip. Of which there will likely be many.
Back to Grown Ups
Happy parents, happy kids. While the selection of signature Poke bowls is ample (and lusciously so – hello, Spicy Yellowfin Tuna), the Create Your Own Poke Bowl option is pure DIY bliss. Constructed of all you would never dream of finding in the fridge, here you can architect the whole arrangement. With the option of two sizes, first things first, make the bed. Options abound; grain blends (quinoa, brown, and forbidden rice), white rice, kale and cucumber salad, assorted seaweed salads. Those are bases. Next stop, a protein (Hamachi, Lomi-Lomi Salmon, Krab with a K), sauce it up and pack it in with toppings. Four are included, $0.50 for each additional. Watch those wide eyed kids as you opt in on the shaved serrano, pickled ginger, Maui onions. Specialty toppings and premium toppings too. Everything but the Kona coast.
Low Maintenance, High Quality
It’s the family dining out jackpot. Everything here is exceptional in flavor, freshness even presentation. It’s on another level from the poke place at the corner of your block (because there is one, or three, you can walk to right now). And eating it all on the barstools at the communal table keeps the comfort level at its peak.
Spam: Not Just the Scourge of Emails
Spam is a real deal in Hawaii, and in keeping with the authenticity of the joint, it’s got a place here. The Musubi menu is ever so amusing to the kid crowd. That thing that looks like an eraser? You can eat it. While raw fish can be intimidating to tots, food from a can is manna from Heaven.
Tantrums Happen, Hence the Invention of To-Go
It’s a parental fact of life, and a reliable one, when dining out. That’s why the Hawaiian Style Poke To-Go is a nice insurance policy. Available in 1/4lb or 1/2lb containers, when you gotta go, at least you can go with poke. Or you can take it outside. There’s plenty of room to roam outside if, say a toddler is too tired to sit still (an oxymoron only a parent can comprehend), or if a pre-dinner sprint seems like a good idea. Like the island culture they emulate, nothing is much of an issue here. And they’ll validate your parking, so you can mentally switch to island time.
Make no mistake. The poke is phenomenal. The music is something everyone can agree is fantastic and fun (not an easy feat). And the service couldn’t be kid friendlier. But for the kid set, the shaved ice is the unquestionably the headliner. Available in 3 sizes and a bazillion flavors, this dessert experience might rival their first actual trip to Hawaii. Note: the small is big enough to share. And the spoons are high end entertainment. They change colors when put in ice. It would be a lie to say we found this any less riveting than the kids.
Fun on the Run(way)
This tiny little nook follows in the fast casual trend that’s perfect for dining with kids. Between the island grooves piping through the airwaves, the spot-on Hawaiian beverages (Passion Orange Guava, you will not be forgotten) and that watching the shaved ice being made is a show you’d pay extra to watch, it’s an exceptionally easy place to bring the kids and eat a food they won’t usually touch.
12746 West Jefferson Blvd.
Do you have a great recommendation for a place that eases kids into a new type of cuisine? Give that spot a shout out in the comments!
—written and photographed by Jolie Loeb