If we haven't made it clear enough, Riverside isn't necessarily known for its amazing food choices. The good news is that times are changing.
This past summer, several new poké shops popped up in the Riverside, but The Low-Key Poké Joint caught our eye. Their first location is in Garden Grove, CA and it is poppin'. As if 1.2K reviews on Yelp isn't enough, they always have lines out the door, so we were ecstatic when we learned they had opened their second location here in Riverside.
We're going to give you an honest review about the menu items we tried so you can decide whether the hype is worth it or not.
1. Poké Bowl: 3.5/5
The first item we tasted was a custom poké bowl. The unique toppings that they had to offer, such as raw quail eggs and Hot Cheeto toppings, definitely enhanced our bowl building experience. We were the most excited to try their popular "bootea" rice, which was known to have a rich aroma of tea infused in their rice.
However, despite the interesting items, the poké bowl honestly did not live up to the high expectations that the media had implied. The "bootea" rice had a dry texture and did not mix well with the flavors of the sauces. Although the salmon was fresh and delicious, the overall bowl was just mediocre at best.
2. The Infamous Hot Cheeto-rito: 2/5
The Insta-star of the show was this Hot Cheeto-rito. This beautiful thing is essentially a sushi roll. You're given just as many options to throw into the Cheeto-rito as you are the poké bowl. Since we went with salmon for our bowls, we got spicy tuna and ahi tuna for this one.
Unfortunately, we were less than impressed with the flavors and textures of this one. The Hot Cheetos flavor that we were so excited to try was almost non-existent and the fish was very vein-y. However, we were impressed with the way the Cheeto-rito held up even after 10+ minutes of us holding it, taking photos, moving it around, etc.
3. Uni Fries: 4/5
The uni fries were the only redeeming item that we tried. The truffle oil, uni, and garlic flavors complemented each other nicely. Our only complaint is that the fries were a bit soggy. Still, this item was good enough for us to want to come back for more.
With all of this being said, this shop did just recently open, so they could just be working out the kinks of starting a new business. Our main takeaway from this food adventure is that a majority of the food you see hyped up on social media is most likely over-edited, rearranged, or altered to look better than it actually tastes in real life. It's important to remember that the hottest food trends on Instagram are oftentimes more for show than they are for taste.