Where to Yoki Express, part of a new cluster of fast-casual restaurants along the Seaport’s Boston Wharf Road, including by Chloe and Juice Press.
What for Sushi burritos, rice bowls topped with an array of proteins and vegetables, and salads.
The scene How burritos might be eaten in space. There is a long assembly line illuminated by fluorescent panels; take your place Chipotle-style and request your desired fillings. Possible combinations are showcased on large flat-screen menus mounted on the walls. (The flat-screens occasionally show a looped video of people assembling food. Meta.) The dining room is a soothing aqua and white, offering the illusion that perhaps you’re dining seaside. A steady stream of office workers traipse in, intrigued by the offerings.
What you’re eating Sushi-grade burritos are the big draw here: large rice missiles wrapped in nori and filled with fresh tuna, salmon, and shrimp tempura, although there’s all-natural beef, chicken, and pork, too. While the atmosphere might be a bit clinical, the menu draws chuckles. Would you like to “feel the primal urge to be a carnivore” and sink your teeth into an El Matador burrito, stuffed with teriyaki beef? What about a Mambo Combo filled with albacore tuna and buttery salmon slathered in spicy mayo, which will “caress your taste buds and make them pulsate to the rhythm of the beat”? You can also opt for a brown or white rice bowl — generously sized — topped with sushi-grade fish, veggies like seaweed salad, pineapple, or avocado, plus sauces including that pulsation-producing mayo, soy sauce, or sesame-ginger salad dressing. Chef Hank Lin used to cook at the Japanese restaurant Oga in Natick; owner Phong Nguyen runs a larger Yoki in Medford that focuses on noodles and sushi.
Care for a drink? All the usual suspects are here — soda, Nantucket Nectars, Aquafina.
Overheard Questions about avocados; fretting over parking; delight over the neighborhood. “I’ll take a scoop of guacamole!” says an enthusiastic patron. “That’s actually avocado,” says a staffer, who has clearly fielded this request before. “I’m double-parked, but I think this will be worth it,” says a man in hiking boots and faded jeans to a similarly attired pal. A man with an ID badge leads a trio of colleagues through the door. “A year ago this was nothing. And now it’s all here!” he cries.
101 Seaport Blvd., Seaport District, Boston, 857-263-7418, www.yoki