Photos by Willow Mollenkopf
I’ll let you guys in on a secret. I use most of my articles in this magazine as an excuse to eat delicious food. And so, I came up with the brilliant idea to review the opening of our newest poké restaurant’s opening, albeit with a twist. Ninja Grill is a hibachi and poké restaurant that recently opened on the first floor of E Lane Ave.’s Wilson Place apartments. Now, I’m not a poké expert. I’m a nom enthusiast. As such, I thought it could be cool to compare the poké bowls at Ninja Grill with the food at the campus area Poké Bros.
If you’re looking for somewhere private for a quick meal that also allows you to study in peace while reading, or if you’re wanting to get lunch with bae––Poké Bros is your go to. If you’re more interested in somewhere you can hang out with your friends –Ninja Grill wins. Their tables are really long and fit about six to 10 people.
My pick: Poké Bros wins. But I’m also an antisocial motherfucker, so there’s that.
Tie. Both restaurants offer signature bowls as well as the option to build your own bowl.
Poke Bros wins.
Both bowls are served… Well… In bowls. However, Poké Bros serves the poké in a bowl that has empty space for you to mix the contents well, and with minimum mess. Figuring out how to eat the poké without making a mess at Ninja Grill was an experience best left forgotten.
Poke Bros wins.
So, as a certified fatass, I eat with my eyes. Although the color and overall presentation of both restaurants was on point, I think that Poké Bros allows for the fish to be the main element in the bowl, as it should be. the pieces of fish were bigger and were the glue to the rest of the bowl. At Ninja Grill, it felt like every element in the bowl was as important as the next. the food was good, but when it comes to poké, you’re there for the fish.
Ninja Grill wins.
The signature bowls at Poké Bros––especially the Duke which is my go-to—go up to $13 without taking into account your drink. All the signature bowls at Ninja Grill are $10.75. As far as building your own bowl goes, Ninja Grill has more options and they base their prices on how many proteins you want your bowl so you get more bang for your buck
I would give this W to Poké Bros. Although both restaurants have similar concepts, I think that Poké Bros is more established. They have managed to develop a presence in Columbus with a defined atmosphere and have mastered the presentation game. What it boiled down to for me was the food quality. Although Poké Bros is slightly more expensive that Ninja Grill, I think that Poké Bros made the fish the star of the dish–as poké is meant to be. I’m not saying that Poké Bros offers authentic poké, but their food is delicious. They are the definitive winner of our first annual poké wars.