Most midwesterners have encountered a poke bowl – Columbia has two other outlets serving the build-your-own favorite – but Japanese-style crêpes are harder to come by.
Ninth Street’s newest eatery, J-Petal and Poke, offers both. The Florida-based franchise opened its downtown Columbia location next to Harold’s Doughnuts in the fall.
While traditional French crêpes are a plated, fork-and-knife affair, Japanese crêpes are rolled and eaten on the go. They look similar to an ice cream cone with a crêpe shell for a cone and fillings standing in for the ice cream.
J-Petal offers 10 sweet crêpes and eight savory crêpes . To satisfy a sweet tooth, try the Matcha Chocolate Truffle, strawberry and banana paired with chocolate truffle, almond, vanilla ice cream, whipped yogurt and matcha custard cream and topped with chocolate Pocky Sticks and Nutella. For a savory option, order the J-Petal Special, which is stuffed with beef, chicken, crab stick, shrimp and a variety of vegetables topped with sesame and Japanese mayonnaise.
Poke bowls, which can also be made into burritos, begin with a base of rice or spring mix. Next, diners choose a protein from options like tuna, salmon, yellowtail, eel, spicy crab, tofu, steak and more (fish options either raw or uncooked). Then, choose six other ingredients from an expansive list, including items like seaweed, mango, edamame beans, bell pepper and more. Drizzle on some sauce, like the honey-wasabi or sesame-ginger, and top it off with options like shredded nori, tempura flakes, crispy garlic or sweet corn.
For those finding it tough to decide, the menu features a handful of signature bowls, like the Salmon Lover, a rice or spring mix bed topped with fresh salmon and vegetables, masago, sesame seeds, onion crisps, tempura flakes, and topped with Hawaiian classic and sesame-ginger sauces.
To lighten up your palate, try one of J-Petal’s eccentric drinks. Served in a light bulb-shaped glass, these brightly colored drinks are available in a variety of flavors, such as virgin Mojito with strawberry and mango or the Thai iced tea with lychee.
J-Petal and Poke, 114 S. Ninth St., #101, Columbia, Missouri, 573.499.0089, jpetalpokebowl.com