Ah, another poké joint. Except, this place does more than poké bowls; they do smoothies and coffee too.
Calii Love is inspired by Hawaiian food a la poké with Californian vibes. It’s all about eat good and feel good here. The chef, Joe Friday has practically brought a piece of Hawaii to Toronto after working in the island. It’s only appropriate that he knows how poké should be; it is the only place so far where I found the fish to be marinated.
Signature pokes are named after feelings: humble, confident, hopeful… positive feelings. If you’re feeling creative, you get the build your own, which is what I did.
Zucchini and sweet potato noodles, kimchi, cucumber, tobiko, tuna, nori and wasabi aioli. I thought the choices for the base is different, more on the health-conscious side when you have quinoa and black rice. The zucchini and sweet potato noodles gives it a nice fresh crunch. However, they put so much aioli that it was more saucy than I would prefer. Also, it’s pricey; $10.95 for a small, and it’s tiny.
My brother got the signature Hopeful poké bowl: salmon, avocado, wakame, sweet onions, jalapeños, sriracha aioli, pickled ginger, cherry tomatoes with black rice. This was a regular size for $14.95. You do get more food with the regular size compared to the small.
There also seemed to be some kinks that need to be worked out from communication of orders to the assembly line. My brother’s poké was remade from a small to a regular, with the content from the erroneous small dumped in the garbage. I get that there’s presentation, but I felt a little pang in my chest seeing the food go to waste.
Overall, decent poké but for the price, it’s not quite worth it. Spacious with ample seating. Vegan and vegetarian-friendly.
367 King St. West