Shu Du has opened Pokewaves.
Shu Du has opened Pokewaves at 4791 Calle Real, near the Starbucks at Turnpike in Santa Barbara. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

You might have driven by it and not noticed.

Tucked snugly next to Starbucks and the drive-thru is the South Coast’s newest poke restaurant, Pokewaves.

Originally from China, Shu Du came to the United States in 2016 to work with his mother in Simi Valley at her sushi restaurant.

The next year, inspired by his mother’s success, he decided he wanted to start his own restaurant. He looked around the area and settled on the South Coast because of “all the rich people here,” he said with a laugh.

He said his new business at 4791 Calle Real, at the corner of Turnpike Road, is the perfect spot — smack dab in the middle between Goleta and Santa Barbara.

Du said he takes pride in his work, the taste of his fish, and the presentation of his food. He learned the craft from his mother’s restaurant, which featured a Japanese chef. A friend also owns a poke restaurant, and he learned about the art from him.

“You just need to keep your food very fresh and quality,” he said, “and you need secret sauce.”

The most striking part of his restaurant is the color of the salmon — bright orange — and from Scotland. Most other places, he said, use Atlantic salmon because it is less expensive.

His ahi tuna is also bright red, he said, because it is bluefin. Others use yellow fin, which is less expensive.

Du has bowl options on the menu such as the Ponzu Salmon and the Hawaii Classic, but also build-your-own bowls, with a base that includes rice or mixed greens, or half-and-half, with proteins including salmon, shrimp, octopus and tuna, with various sauces, such as a ginger garlic sauce.

Pokewaves' Hawaiian Bowl is full of fresh fish.
Pokewaves’ Hawaii Classic bowl is full of fresh fish. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

Du opened the restaurant on June 15 with a soft opening. There was no advertising or social media, just a sign in front of the door — and already people are finding him.

His customers, he said, are doing the advertising for him, posting positive reviews on his poke on Nextdoor, Instagram, Yelp and other social media apps. In September, he plans more social media promotion.

The restaurant also sells beer and wine, and while parking in the lot can get jammed, Du wants his customers to know that they have five assigned spots.

Sirena Moves

Women’s fashion boutique Sirena has moved from the Funk Zone to the heart of Santa Barbara.

“Yes, it’s true we’ve moved!” the company said in an Instagram post. “1331 State Street, next to the Arlington and Opal, across from Carlitos. Yes, there’s parking, our dressing rooms are huge, the lighting is glorious and we have Spanish tile floors (I know, life goals) … come say hi!”

Sirena sells shoes, clothes, beauty products and accessories.

Giorgio’s Expands in Los Olivos

Italian restaurant Giorgio’s is expanding into a new location.

The Buellton-based restaurant is adding a new spot in downtown Los Olivos, 2956 Grand Ave. It’s original location is 265 Avenue of The Flags in Buellton.

“We are thrilled to bring Giorgio’s to Los Olivos,” Giorgio Curti, owner of Giorgio’s, said in a news release. “We have been looking for the perfect location for some time, and we are so happy to have found it here. We can’t wait to share our passion for Italian food with the Los Olivos community.”

Mission Refill Coming to Goleta

Mission Refill has announced that it will open in the fall at 5733 Calle Real, in the Calle Real Center.

“We’re Goleta’s first and only community refillery — a place where you can bring in your own containers (BYOC) or purchase reusable containers and fill up with personal and home bulk essential goods,” according to an email. “We also sell dozens of goods in sustainable packaging.”

The company encourages people to visit its Instagram page and register at its #LinkInBio for details about a fall grand opening.

“We’re built from the love of our local environment and a passion to reduce waste,” the company posted on Instagram.