Sons of Thunder
204 East 38th St (between 2nd and 3rd Ave)
New York, NY 10016
Thank the gods that the Sons of Thunder have arrived in desolate Murray Hill, where prior to this moment, the most exciting thing to have happened of late is still Eons (the Greek Chipotle). After tasting poke (pronounced poh-kay) for the first time in Hawaii, I was surprised poke did not exist EVERYwhere. It’s tuna (or salmon or octopus or whatever you want) marinated in delicious sauces over rice. Basically chirashi with spicy mayo. Who wouldn’t like that? And like all my great business ideas, a five second google search showed me that poke very much does exist in NYC and happens to have just exploded in the last few months. Perfect timing on my part, per usual.
Sons of Thunder is one of two other new poke-specific spots to have opened recently in Manhattan. The other two are Pokeworks and Wisefish. Yelp tells me they’re pretty good but don’t seem quite as good as my little neighborhood gem…. I’ll follow-up with posts about the other two and let you know what I think. For now – my review of Sons of Thunder (I’m going to try to say their name as many times as I can in this post because Sons of Thunder is just too epic of a name. Sons of Thunder.)
The fast-casual restaurant is located randomly on 38th street and 3rd Ave. The space is huge (for NYC standards) and beautifully designed to have a very LA/Hawaiian feel. The place has wooden tables, surfer posters, pretty lights, and a massive, gorgeous skylight towering above the seating area. The space is the definition of chill. Murray Hill – please take note of this spot and learn to evolve to have more places like this.
LAW and I each ordered our own poke bowls ($10.75 each). You have the choice of tuna, salmon, octopus, or golden beets/tofu over white rice or brown rice. You can also do half and half, which is what I did here. I had the spicy half tuna half salmon with an additional topping of “krispies” which is basically fried ginger and garlic (NOM). The bowl itself comes with a small green salad and seaweed salad. Having eaten there a bunch of times now, I know that they change up the salad ingredients all the time (this time I had these awesome turnips in my salad). The combo of the fresh fish, chewy rice, crispy krispies, and crunch from the salad (seaweed and cucumber) … is awesome.
LAW got the same thing but with nori instead of krispies. We tried both the white and brown rice… both of which were awesome. The brown rice did not taste like cardboard (cardboard brown rice is a huge barrier preventing me from embracing a healthy lifestyle of brown rice only) – quite the opposite. It was extra chewy and bulbous. So delish! Sons of Thunder’s poke bowls actually tasted … better than a lot of what I had in Hawaii. I think mostly because I prefer their more “LA” style (they don’t say that – I made it up based on what I’ve read about LA poke bowls). Their fish tastes less marinated, so is less salty than the Hawaiian ones we had. The spicy mayo Sons of Thunder uses is spicier than usual – also a plus (though you don’t need to get your bowl spicy).
The bowls were so good we shamelessly ordered a third bowl to share. I tried the octopus in the third bowl and although it was great, didn’t like it as much as the tuna and salmon. $10 for a bowl of healthy, delicious food is quite a steal in this area. Hence, we’ve been back many, many times.