QuickFish, a poke place focusing on sustainable seafood, opened upstairs in Avanti F&B today. Although it replaced Bamboo Sushi, it comes from the same owners — Sustainable Restaurant Group based in Portland, Oregon. It is the second location for QuickFish, now in Denver and Portland, but coming soon to Seattle and San Francisco.
On the QuickFish website, you can read what was reiterated several times in our interview with Sustainable Restaurant Group CEO Kristofor Lofgren and Creative Director Cory Schisler: “A lot of people do poke. We just do it better.”
“A lot of people have rushed into poke because it’s easy to do, like the cupcake or frozen yogurt trend,” Lofgren explained. “But our mission isn’t to open restaurants just because they’re popular —it’s to change the seafood supply chain. We’re excited about this because we believe people should eat healthy, sustainable food at an affordable price point.”
The seafood industry is one of the most unregulated industries in the world, largely because it spans the globe. However, the Sustainable Restaurant Group is working to put an end to that — one restaurant at a time. They are the largest purchaser of seafood in the state of Oregon, and they only source seafood from purveyors that meet their requirements for sustainable fishing practices and protect species that are overfished. For example, the team applied for the James Beard Foundation’s Smart Catch Program that requires at least 80-percent compliance with the program’s criteria, and the Sustainable Restaurant Group scored 99 percent during the preliminary qualification round.
Using the same high-quality, sustainable fish from Bamboo Sushi, the team created QuickFish to deliver the same quality in a more fast-casual format. Because they use the same culinary team, you’ll find some similarities between Bamboo and QuickFish — many of the sauces are the same, and dishes are created to accentuate fish flavors, not mask them.
As a nod to Bamboo’s signature Bamboo Roll, QuickFish has a Bamboo Bowl ($13) with Oregon Albacore Tuna, avocado, crispy shallots, scallion, nori, sweet onion and the signature creamy Green Machine sauce. QuickFish also plays with different seafood, like in the Scallop Bowl ($14) with bay scallops, avocado, sweet onion, cucumber, green onion, habanero masago, crispy shallots and yuzu vinaigrette.
Our all-time favorite — and the best way to sample how fresh the seafood can really taste — is the Island Bowl ($14). The closest bowl to what you’d consider traditional poke, it has bigeye tuna, sweet onion, avocado, Jacobsen sea salt, sesame brittle, cucumber, mixed seaweed and a classic Hawaiian sauce. You don’t even have to chew the tuna it’s so tender, and it pairs perfectly with the Dogfish Head Sea Quench Ale ($6) on tap at Avanti. The beer has hints of lime and salt, making it the ultimate beachy companion. We’re adding it to our list of everything you should eat and drink at Avanti right now.
Guests can choose from the eight curated options or build their own bowl from the five seafood options (or fried tofu), more than 20 toppings and mix-ins and seven sauces.
Bamboo Sushi lovers will quickly fall in love with QuickFish, but they also don’t have to wait long to get Bamboo Sushi back. It is set to open its own brick-and-mortar location in November at 2715 17th Street, Denver.
QuickFish is located upstairs at Avanti F&B at 3200 N. Pecos Street. It opens daily at 11 a.m. for lunch and dinner, and the team will serve brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
All photography by Rachel Adams Photography.