Individuals who resolved to eat healthier when the New Year rolled around scan the streets of New Orleans for an option that has them leaving healthy, happy and full. On the corner of Magazine and Sixth Streets, surrounded by the artwork of locals, the custom-made LemonShark Poké street tile, the scent of fresh tuna and the smiles of childhood best friends, Spencer Rossie and Teddy Amar, greet those seeking the healthy and fresh tastes of New Orleans and Hawaii.
After going through kindergarten together and living as college roommates at Louisiana State University, Amar and Rossie decided to combine their skills and express their love of the healthy Hawaiian dish by opening a restaurant on Magazine Street.
“We were out in L.A. and came across the food. We had it, loved it and loved how healthy it is. Everything is fresh,” Rossie said. “We really fell in love with the concept.”
Less than a year after discovering Poké, Rossie and Amar teamed up and opened LemonShark Poké. However, with their roots in New Orleans, the two decided to put a New Orleans spin on their Hawaiian cuisine restaurant and make it as local as possible.
“We locally source a lot of our products,” Amar said. “Poké is kind of a Hawaiian, West Coast concept, but we brought it to New Orleans.”
The restaurant carries Big Easy Bucha, a kombucha brewed in New Orleans, and Eat Fit King Cakes, which are gluten-free, grain-free, low carb and keto-approved, providing an option for a guilt-free dessert.
“I would say that this is kind of the perfect grab-and-go New Year’s Resolution. We don’t really have anything that’s unhealthy here,” Amar said. “You can lean a little toward the heavier side with a wonton base and sauce if you want a treat-yourself day.”
The art within the restaurant is also locally sourced. Ashlee Arceneaux Jones with Smallchalk brought the entire menu to life with a mural painted on the wall, including a quote that reads, “We use fish that are individually line caught and sea mammal and sea turtle safe.”
“We pride ourselves in only sourcing from sustainable fishing practices,” Rossie said.
Several hand painted trays also boast the talent of local artist Ashley Longshore, depicting both Lil’ Wayne and Audrey Hepburn. Even the LemonShark street tiles are authentic.
“I actually tracked down the guy who makes them for the streets and asked him to do it so it’s really authentic,” Rossie said.
Because the majority of LemonShark Poké’s menu is Eat Fit Nola approved, customers can pack their bowls full of forbidden rice, spicy salmon and house-made cucumber salad and not feel guilty, making the New Year’s Resolution to eat healthy easy.
“The greatest thing about LemonShark Poké is that you can come in here and eat Poké without feeling like you were cheating on your New Year’s Resolution. You can leave full, you can leave happy, and not like you just had another diet meal,” Rossie said. “It makes dieting or wanting to eat healthy easy.”