With Hub Hall’s opening on the horizon and a recent explosion of new restaurants, bars, and music venues, the West End is shaping up to be a bonafide neighborhood destination — and not just for commuters waiting to catch a train at North Station. Now there’s yet another reason to make your way over to the area: POKE by Love Art, a gluten-free eatery specializing in traditional Hawaiian fare, will open its doors Friday.
If the Love Art name sounds familiar, it’s because you may already know two of the brand’s other concepts: Co-founders Jessica Chiep and Ronald Liu opened Love Art Sushi in the Back Bay in 2017 and Love Art Udon in Brookline in 2018. (Last summer, they also launched Nani!? Chick’n Bunz, a fried chicken sandwich pop-up that’s currently only available through Uber Eats.) This isn’t their first foray into poke — Love Art Sushi features poke options on its menu — but POKE by Love Art will focus almost exclusively on more traditional Hawaiian poke platters.
Inside the compact, fast-casual eatery, customers will be able to order curated combo plates or build their own poke platters. As part of the soft open menu, bases include white or brown rice, while sesame tamari tuna, spicy salmon, North Shore shrimp, and marinated tofu are a few of the protein options. Soy sauce features heavily in Hawaiian cuisine, but in an effort to provide a 100-percent gluten-free menu, tamari is used instead, along with other sauces like garlic ponzu, pineapple aioli, wasabi ranch, and passion miso vinaigrette. To round out the platters, there are side dishes of Hawaiian mac salad, kimchi cucumber, lychee salsa, and more, while drinks include lilikoi fresca, red guava fresca, and matcha lemonade
POKE by Love Art is small — there is a standing bar, but the space will primarily serve as a takeout spot. A mural by local artist Hayato J. Kawai, who was also commissioned for the mural at Love Art Udon, graces one of the walls.
Located at 103 Beverly St., the eatery joins a Related Beal development that includes A&B Burgers, Central Rock Gym, and the Courtyard by Marriot Boston Downtown/North Station at The Beverly.
“We always seek to introduce innovative dining concepts that our residents, tenants, and neighbors will enjoy,” said Kimberly Sherman Stamler, president of Related Beal, in a press release. “We are thrilled to welcome the Love Art team to The Beverly and Congress Square. This provides a new quick, healthy food option for the many employees, residents, and visitors passing through these highly accessible, transit-oriented locations every day.”
POKE by Love Art will soft open on Friday, Jan. 17, with limited hours: Tuesdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. After the grand opening in February, the restaurant will be open seven days a week with extended hours.
POKE by Love Art; 103 Beverly St., Boston; Tuesdays–Sundays from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. and 5 p.m.–9 p.m.; loveartpoke.com