7 W. Hargett St., Raleigh
Originally reviewed by Greg Cox on 8/18/2016
When Raleigh Raw opened in March, the restaurant earned the dual distinctions of becoming the first in the Triangle dedicated to serving exclusively raw foods, and the first to give more than a token nod to poke, the Hawaiian raw fish salad. Technically, I suppose Raleigh Raw’s mix-and-match creations should be called deconstructed poke. You start by selecting a base, either sticky rice or greens. Then choose one of the pre-selected combinations of toppings from the “Set Up” category, and a dressing.
Opt for a Set Up called The Hustle, and you’ll score a savory kaleidoscope centered around dragonfruit that has been artfully cut into cubes with the crimson outer layer on one side and the interior of the fruit – an equally eye-catching white freckled with black seeds – on the other five. Surrounding the exotic tropical fruit, whose tangy-sweet flesh and texture are reminiscent of kiwi, are nubbins of sesame asparagus, fresh jalapeño, translucent-thin rings of red onion, and a shimmery skein of seaweed salad.
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