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Pokiland customers enjoying the outdoor seating on Friday, October 7, 2016 in Fresno.

Fresno Foodie: Pokiland provokes taste buds, prevents big spending

What’s the hype?

A sushi craze has erupted lately, particularly in California and among 20- to 30-year-olds, and for good reason. The flavors are incredible and the ingredients are so fresh (no pun intended). There’s no denying how easily sushi can take a toll on our wallets, especially we college students. Pokiland is essentially the Chipotle of sushi where you can create a mixture between Hawaiian Poke (a raw fish salad) and sushi. Put the two together and you have your very own Poki bowl. They also offer wraps, salads and nachos.

Where is it?

Pokiland is located northwest of campus on Champlain Drive and Perrin Avenue in Fresno in the same shopping center as Champlaigna and The Yellow Mug. Based on the location alone, it is no wonder why Pokiland has created a huge buzz since its opening in January.

What’s the cost?

At Pokiland you get more than what you pay for. The restaurant’s most popular item is it’s Poki bowl offered as small (two scoops of rice for $8), medium (three scoops for $9.50) or large (four scoops for $11.50). Coming from a girl with a hearty appetite in a passionate relationship with food, the small is more than enough for one person’s lunch or dinner. I paid just $10.82 for a small Poki bowl and a regular drink to leave uncomfortably full with a quarter of my dinner left, but amazingly satisfied.

Worth it?

Absolutely. The flavors could surely be matched at an overpriced sushi restaurant, but the affordability of Pokiland cannot be beat. Not to mention the capability to see the ingredients before even building your own bowl. There is always the brief moment of hesitation when it comes to ordering raw fish served buffet-style, but the restaurant is clean and extremely cautious handling the food. It is also deeply satisfying to create your own masterful combination of flavors and try something different each time. Typically I do not roll over for sushi or wrap myself up in the trend, but I could never turn down an entree from Pokiland.