Eric Park – FROM HERO to POKEMAN

One Year Ago, Eric Park totally revamped his specialty Banh mi HERO SHOP located at the Historic PE Lofts on 7th and Los Angeles. Today, instead of his delicious Bánh mì sandwich concept, when visiting his location, you choose from the highest quality Poké bowl combinations instead. The question is…Has Park finally come up with the perfect recipe and restaurant concept for DTLA?

Celebrating his 1 Year Anniversary as Chef, Operator, and concept designer of Ohana Poké Co, Eric Park doesn’t regret the decision he made to revamp the Hero Shop to Downtown’s number one Poké Bowl outlet, one bit.

FROM HERO TO POKEMAN

In the past 5 years the DTLA food scene had become very vibrant and active. Park knew he wanted to be a part of that, so Hero SHOP was born. As innovative as it was tasty, Hero Shop became the first chef driven Bánh mì concept in Los Angeles.

The exotic flavors, bold ingredients and delicious meats were all served in a flaky baguette with enough meat, and exciting flavors, so perfectly portioned, Hero Shop grew a steady fan base among the people of Downtown in a very short time.

AND THAT WENT ON FOR A WHILE….Park had some amazing offers to choose from like the Spice and Sour Chicken made with Jidori Farms chicken breast. It was roasted, then shredded and tossed with lime, fish sauce, thai chili, garlic, ginger… It was so delicious.

Then he morphed!!!

Even though Park’s specialty was Bánh mì, in July of 2015, he decided to re-concept his Hero Shop location. Not only did he change the Hero Shop to Ohana Poké Co, he opened another Ohana Poké Co in Silver Lake, just two months later, bringing his flavorable experiences from Hawaii within Hawaiian Style poké bowls to the people.

ono-kine-grindz (REALLY GOOD FOOD!!!)

Totally different and totally Ono-kine-grindz, Park’s new Ohana Poké Co. menu is full of interesting nuances that add a bit more depth to his new restaurant’s flavor.

Ohana Poké Co. serves the need for healthier options in the downtown food scene that he didn’t want to miss out on and poké filled that niche just perfectly. When Ohana Poké Co. opened it was the first poké shop in downtown LA.

But is running a Poke restaurant easier than running a hero shop?

Yes and No. Harder to cook but easier to sell, Park says it takes more time to prepare, as he and his staff dice hundreds of pounds of fresh fish each week, and to top it off (no pun intended) the sauces may be a lot more complicated then found in traditional dishes, with hints of ingredients like, ginger and sugar that may remind you of tradition but still take you to the edge of his culinary imagination.

“As a chef I have been able to source the highest quality Bigeye Tuna, Canadian Salmon, Braised Octopus, and Organic Tofu. Wild-caught and sustainably sourced whenever possible mixed with the highest quality rice, produce and ingredients, I have developed some seriously delicious poké recipes. And it has been highly successful”, said Park.

IT’S ALL ABOUT FAMILY!

Remember Ohana means family. The time it took to market such a unique concept was taking too much time away from family, and with the new concept and supportive staff, Park can enjoy more time spent with his two young children…

”It’s all about the people who work with you. They have to work well together and be genuinely good people…no bad apples. This is a family business. My wife, my kids Ericsson and Emma, and I thank you, our extended family, for loving and supporting what we are doing in DTLA!”

Park wants to open another Ohana, but isn’t looking into making Ohana a major franchise just yet. He’s more interested in opening locations in untapped markets of Los Angeles, one shop at a time, allowing him to enjoy his family’s favorite yearly vacation spot on the North Shore of his favorite island – Oahu, Hawaii. Aloha!

KerFree100

Yup, you guessed it. It’s me Keri Freeman, publisher and concept designer for Downtown Weekly. Living, working and playing in Downtown coming from an entertainment background…I discovered something about myself. I discovered I really liked sharing my knowledge of DTLA and its awesome hospitality movement. Also in doing so I have the great pleasure of working with incredible sponsors (who believe in the vision), extraordinary literary artists, photographers, event coordinators and many talented artists and musicians who inspire me every day to keep the DTLA Weekly going. Also, it would seem I’m the only woman of color to publish a newspaper here in over 100 years, so hopefully that inspires some future generations as well….Just remember if its fun…it can’t be work….Thank you, people of Gaia, for your continued support and thank you for reading!