Ono Poke Shop Opens in Wynwood

If you're craving poke in Miami, you're in luck. Wynwood recently welcomed a second independently owned eatery specializing in the trendy Hawaiian seafood dish. Ono Poke Shop is located at 2320 N. Miami Ave.

This marks the second poke joint to set up shop in the graffitied neighborhood but the first to open officially. Crazy Poke, which announced its concept in November, is slated to debut in early 2017.

Owned by entrepreneur Nuriel Mawardi, Ono adds a Japanese touch to its poke, which blends diced raw fish, vegetables, sauces, and seasonings in a medium-size bowl.

Ono's kitchen is helmed by Amir Anvari, who runs Makoto's sushi and raw bars.

"Amir is one of my best friends," Mawardi says. "I knew we would make a great team if we partnered. When I first saw the poke concept in Los Angeles a few years ago, I asked him what he thought and if he would help me open one in Miami."

Mawardi developed the idea for Ono about eight months ago and built the brand from the ground up by himself. Anvari helped Mawardi craft the menu, which concentrates on small, high-quality batches of fish, similar to those at sushi bars.

"All of our fish is fresh daily," Mawardi says. "Nothing is frozen, which is why we've been selling out most days."
Compared to other poke shops, Ono's offerings are simple and straightforward. There aren't many toppings, and you'll never see quinoa or sushi burritos on the menu. "We want to maintain our identity," Mawardi says. "We want to focus on the fish."

The store offers six signature bowls ($9 to $10), including the Ono tuna, topped with sliced white onion, chopped scallion, and wasabi aioli, and the Ono salmon bagel bowl, sprinkled with capers and sliced red onion. There's a build-your-own poke bowl too, which gives choices such as as rice or greens; ahi tuna, spicy tuna, or king salmon; and a handful of toppings and sauces like spicy mayo, house soy, jalapeƱo, and cucumber.

Since opening at the beginning of December, Ono has consistently sold out of fish between 4 and 5 p.m.

"Realistically, we don't want to be selling out early," Mawardi says, "but we only feel comfortable selling what we know will be good. So when we're out of fish, we close up for the day."

Mawardi and Anvari are still working out a few kinks, such as selling out before closing time. Through increasing production and preparation, Mawardi is confident Ono will be able to stay open until 8:30 every night, which is its scheduled closing time.

Besides offering poke, the shop also serves beer, wine, sake, and mochi ice cream.

Mawardi hopes to open a second location in Aventura, but details are not available yet.

For now, Ono is open Monday through Sunday from noon to 8:30 p.m. (or sell-out). Delivery is available through UberEats.

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Clarissa Buch Zilberman is a writer and editor, with her work appearing in print and digital titles worldwide.
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