Bring a Big Appetite to Little Bear

You’ve probably been hearing the term “poke bowl” a lot lately.  And if you are not quite sure what it means, then Little Bear has your answer!

Little Bear Poke Comes to Bellevue Avenue // Photo By Lila Taylor
Little Bear Poke Comes to Bellevue Avenue // Photo By Lila Taylor

Little Bear has brought the popular West Coast food trend of the poke bowl to 254 Bellevue Ave in Montclair. Poke is a raw fish salad, usually on a base of rice or lettuce, and topped with pretty much anything you can think of, from avocado to mango, to spicy mayo. The dish is rooted in Hawaiin cuisine, as poke means “to cut” in Hawaiin. You can choose from any of their signature bowls, or get creative and make your own, using the guidelines provided on the menu. If you are with a larger group that can’t quite come to a unified decision, try the “bear family platter” with options of 3 or 5 scoops to feed a crowd. It’s also perfect for tiny diners, as Little Bear offers a “baby bear” special.  And if you are just in the mood for a snack, Little Bear offers Onigiri, Japanese Rice Balls. At the end of the meal, if you are looking for a sweet and refreshing treat on a hot summer day, Little Bear offers Hawaiin Shave Ice, and customers can choose from a variety of unique and homemade flavors and toppings. Plus, Little Bear provides Kombucha and Green Tea on tap, maintaining a healthy menu.

Little Bear caters to families because it’s a family business. The restaurant is run by sisters Noelle Hozumi and Bridget Placek, and Bridget’s husband David Placek.  They make sure to only use the best and healthiest ingredients to serve their fellow Montclair community. The Montclair Dispatch spoke with Bridget Placek about the latest poke craze and what brought Little Bear to Montclair.

When we decided to raise our family in New Jersey, we knew it had to be Montclair. We love the art and music and film here, but mostly we love all of the amazing restaurants and food. Noelle, my sister, and co-owner of Little Bear lives in Manhattan but spends a lot of time here and the one thing we all felt like we were missing in Montclair was poke! It is one of our favorite meals and when we added the onigiri and shave ice, foods of our childhood and Japanese heritage, we knew Montclair was the perfect place to introduce

Little Bear Poke // Graphics Courtesy of Studio042
Little Bear Poke // Graphics Courtesy of Studio042

Little Bear.”

Bridget also spoke to trendiness and popularity of poke, especially in recent years. “People want food that fills them and satisfies their cravings without the guilt of so many other fast-casual options! Poke has been a staple of Hawaiian cuisine for ages and it was only a matter of time before mainland folks caught on. It is delicious, healthy and so customizable to your dietary needs and flavor preferences.”

If you and your family are looking for a convenient meal that uses the highest quality of ingredients, then Little Bear might just be your next stop. Little Bear is open from 11 AM to 9 PM every day, and is excited to become immersed in the Montclair community!


The author of the article is a Montclair native class of 2017, currently a student at McGill University, studying history and communications within the Faculty of Arts.

The Montclair Dispatch is thankfully supported by subscribers and advertisers. Please join us.

If you would like a presentation print of an article featuring you or your company, please contact Studio042 via email at

You must be logged in to post a comment Login