$10 and Under – Low Key Poke Joint

By Jaqueline Gutierrez

Their decor is reminiscent of a speak easy and very art deco.

Do you ever look at your salmon roll and sigh to yourself because it’s not a bowl of sushi? If you’re anything like me, the answer is, “Yes, all the time, why not a trough?”

Poke bowls are like sushi’s flashier cousin and the Low Key Poke Joint in Riverside is taking it to another level. The best part is they’re under $10. A regular-sized poke bowl will run you around $8.99 with all the trimmings. Although, like Chipotle, “guac” or, in this case, avocado, will run you extra. Still, only a dollar more for avocado is well worth it and it remains under $10.


The staff there is the best and their humor is as fresh as the fish they serve.


An actual rainbow of flavour.

This bowl has all the fixings, but you have to follow the steps to get optimum bowl deliciousness.

  1. Base: I opted to get the Bootea rice. It is bamboo rice infused with green tea and cooked with cilantro. This is served as a nice compliment to the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Protein: There’s no going wrong with buttery salmon, ruby red tuna and plump meaty scallops.
  3. Sauces: Low Key’s most popular sauce, “shoyu the way,” is a thick, sweet soy sauce with chili pepper flakes and Srirachacha; it will put some pep in your step.
  4. Sides: Here’s where it gets fun. The sides are where you can elevate these bowls with your own creative flair. I recommend crabmeat for that almost creamy addition, cucumbers for texture and freshness, lime corn for sweet tanginess that makes the flavors almost reminiscent of ceviche, seaweed salad to bring even more umami to the table, and avocado.
  5. Toppers: Dried seaweed, black sesame, fried onions, fried garlic and hot cheeto crumbles are the way to go.

    Flaming hot cheetos crust. Oh MY GLOB. 

Low Key Joint’s claim to fame lies in its poke wraps, because poke is even better handheld. They are essentially a poke bowl wrapped in the manner of a giant sushi roll. Instead of nori, the restaurant uses a pink soy paper and offers three crumble coating options: Cheetos, Flaming Hot Cheetos and wasabi peas. They look amazing and taste even better.

The three amigos

The nature of poke is to build flavor, layer by layer. The Low-Key poke joint plays with these flavors in seemingly uncommon combinations, but when working together, it’s perfect harmony.