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Latest location of The Poke Co. & Wings opens its doors to Westwood community

Community members walk past the storefront of The Poke Co. & Wings. The Westwood location is the first one in West Los Angeles. (Myka Fromm/Photo editor)

By Francesca Vaneri

May 9, 2024 9:41 p.m.

The Poke Co. & Wings launched its Westwood Village location, located on Glendon Avenue, in April.

This restaurant, which is family owned and operated, is the 10th location of the Poke Co. and Wings chain. While the chain is based in Southern California, the Westwood location is the brand’s first expansion into West Los Angeles.

Anthony Sou, founder and general manager of Poke Co., said the new location has been off to a good start, as Westwood has been a supportive community for his business. He added that since its opening, the restaurant has relied on foot traffic along Glendon Avenue – where it is situated across from Trader Joe’s – and the curiosity of those walking past the restaurant.

In 2017, Sou and his wife, Leanne Le, founded the first Poke Co. location in Fullerton. When poke first became popular in Southern California, Sou said he saw an opportunity to combine the new fad with his own interests in healthy eating and fishing.

“I love fishing, … and I understand the fish market, the sushi factor and raw fish handling,” he said. “We just went ahead and dove right in.”

Poke Co.’s menu is part of its unique draw to customers, he said, adding that besides serving poke, the restaurant also serves chicken wings. Sou said this unique blend is designed to attract families.

“When we started off, … we had the dads who want to eat wings, the moms who want to eat the poke, and then we have the kids who want the chicken tenders,” he said. “We’re like, ‘Why don’t we get the family together and have a good meal?'”

Besides wings and poke, the Westwood location also offers tater tots, fries, milk tea and slushies, among other items. A medium poke bowl costs $16.50, 10 wings are $11.45 and its flavored fries cost $8.50.

Thien Nguyen, a Poke Co. employee, said the diversity of Poke Co.’s menu, particularly at the Westwood location, initially intrigued him.

“​​What drew me in was more that at this location they have musubi … that’s very, very good,” Nguyen said. “The wings (were) really good. The garlic parm fries and the Hot Cheeto fries are my go-to.”

Lucy Hunt, territory sales manager for Brakebush – one of Poke Co.’s food distributors – said she also credits the success of the Poke Co. franchise to the importance of fresh ingredients, a sentiment echoed by Sou.

Students said the restaurant is a good addition to eateries in the area. Liana Resnik, a fourth-year psychology student, said she was initially drawn to Poke Co. after seeing the sign as she walked down Glendon Avenue.

“I’m from LA, so I’ve been to a lot (of poke places),” she said. “So far, it looks really great – it looks clean, the surface looks nice, but I’m excited to try it.”

Conrad Ku, a mechanical engineering graduate student, said he was similarly drawn to its convenient location.

“I was just walking around, and I saw it here – I thought I’d try it,” Ku said. “I live pretty close by. I eat around here, looking for new things.”

Nguyen credits the support of locals such as Ku and Resnik for the early success of the store.

“We had a lot of neighbors that came by,” Nguyen said. “The neighborhood’s been very welcoming.”

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Francesca Vaneri
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