Restaurateur Jon Alexis (owner, TJ’s Seafood) has teamed up with entrepreneur brothers Ben & Eric Kusin (Shark Tank-featured venture capitalists with roots in both Dallas and Los Angeles) to open Malibu Poke this Fall 2017. With a quality-driven and tech-savy take on the nation’s fastest growing quick service category, the team has signed a lease at 3888 Oak Lawn Avenue at Turtle Creek Village.
The partners began discussing the project in December of 2015. “We figured we wouldn’t be the first poke restaurant in Dallas,” states Alexis, “but we took time to fine tune every detail and create something unique.”
It is important to Alexis and the Kusin brothers that Malibu Poke offers several key differences in guest experience among a sea of poke concepts.
Alexis says, “Malibu Poke is a quick serve restaurant, but we will serve expertly sourced and handled fresh seafood. This is not a fast food model. Quite simply it’s a better bowl of poke – the ‘fishmonger’s poke’. Our emphasis is on freshness, nutrition and sustainability. And we will utilize cutting edge self-ordering tech to minimize lines and deliver the freshest bowls.”
TJ’s has been Dallas’ trusted source for seafood for 27 years and Malibu Poke will carry the same quality with thoughtfully curated seafood. In addition to providing poke staples such as Ahi Tuna and Atlantic Salmon, Malibu Poke will utilize TJ’s network of premier fish vendors to feature unique sashimi-quality seafood selections such as King Salmon, Toro and Hamachi.
Improving The Poke Model
Malibu Poke will feature a unique tech-based ordering system minimizing waits, educating guests on unique ingredients and making customized bowls easy. For guests that prefer a human touch, a Malibu “Poke-Pro” will always be on-hand to guide guests through the ordering process.
The new concept will also emphasize healthy eating with 100% gluten free, vegan options alongside a beverage program including both Texas and California beers, wine on tap, sake, kombucha, teas and fresh juices.
Ben Kusin adds “Living in Los Angeles I fell in love with the best poke in the city. We are excited to bring SoCal vibe, alongside the highest quality ingredients, back to our hometown.”
California Chic Design
Malibu Poke was inspired by the casual beach chic of its namesake city. The restaurant, designed by award-winning designer Hatsumi Kuzuu (FT33, Tei An, Sprezza, TJ’s), will combine effortless elegance with California-casual. “Malibu Poke’s interior will echo the quality of the ingredients in the bowl,” said Eric Kusin. “And our fun patio will be a great social gathering point for the neighborhood.”
About The Creators
Jon Alexis is the owner of TJ’s Seafood Market & Grill with locations at Preston Royal Shopping Center and the Shops at Highland Park. TJ’s has been Dallas’ trusted seafood source since 1989, recognized as “Best Fish Market” and “Best Seafood Restaurant” in numerous publications and polls.
Ben and Eric Kusin are accomplished entrepreneurs and investors. Their portfolio includes @treehouse, @snapchat, @classpass and @thefrow. Both hold degrees from University of Texas and they co-founded Reviver, the world’s first odor neutralizer for clothes. Their work has been featured on ABC, The Today Show, Bloomberg, Fox News and more.