Restaurateur Jon Alexis is opening his second Dallas location of the award-winning elevated, quick-serve poke restaurant, Malibu Poke this week at 2355 Olive Street, Suite 145 in the popular new mixed-use development McKinney & Olive.
Officially open as of yesterday, Malibu is a natural fit for Uptown and Downtown Dallas’ heavy business lunch scene. The restaurant has built a loyal following since opening in 2017 by offering the fresh seafood diners have to come expect from Jon Alexis (TJ’s Seafood Market & Grill) in a Matt McCallister (of nationally-acclaimed FT33 fame, with the highly anticipated Homewood opening next week)-created poke menu.
This is not your typical quick serve poke – fresh fish is butchered daily, sauces are made from scratch, kale is hand-massaged, and orders are placed on a high resolution self serve kiosk.
Alexis wants to find the perfect balance between Malibu’s commitment to sourcing highest quality ingredients with the price point people expect for a business lunch.
For the new Uptown location (and soon to be introduced in all Malibu Poke locations), Malibu now offers a “medium” sized bowl starting at $14.
Alexis explains, “Business diners want a healthy meal made from high quality, fresh ingredients. They want to get in and out in 15-30 minutes. We offer delicious fine-dining quality food within those expectations. And now, with three sizes, we offer an even better value perfect for business lunches.”
Alexis is also admittedly surprised by the growth of non-seafood diners at Malibu Poke. “When we opened our only non seafood option was tofu. We now offer chicken, literally thousands of vegan combinations, soups, salads and sides. It’s shocking to me how many of our diners don’t eat seafood. One table might be eating a giant bowl of raw tuna. The next table a cucumber seaweed salad and Whole30 compliant vegan bowl.”
Alexis worked with the James Beard-nominated McCallister to create a menu that meshes über-fresh, sashimi-grade seafood with local farm-sourced produce and scratch-made sauces.
As poke established itself as more than just a passing fad, Alexis and McCallister wanted to create a menu that takes the typical “quick serve” poke to a higher level. “Poke is a bowl of raw ingredients. We focus on the absolute best of everything: from the same grain rice used in Michelin-starred sushi restaurants to gluten-free tamari in lieu of cheap soy sauce,” states Alexis. “Even though Malibu is a quick-serve concept, we offer fine dining-quality ingredients and fine-dining attention to detail—but in a casual and high-volume environment.”
Not just another poke restaurant, guests can enjoy “classic” poke bowls or explore even bolder flavors such as smoked bonito aioli, coconut curry, Japanese sancho pepper, red miso, daikon, umami powder, marinated shitake mushrooms and more. Guests can also build their own bowls mixing and matching all of the unique ingredients from the signature bowls.
In addition to traditional raw seafood, Malibu offers cooked seafood, chicken and gluten-free and vegan options, including a completely Whole30 compliant bowl.
Malibu also offers a selection of local beers; sake; kombucha; artisan teas; wine. Low sugar cocktails and mocktails will debut in Uptown soon.
But the menu isn’t everything that sets Malibu apart. Malibu Poke features an intuitive self-serve kiosk-based ordering system that allows guests to easily choose from the over 63,000 combinations one can order at Malibu Poke. This system minimizes lines, educates guests on exotic ingredients, and makes customizing easy. The kiosks even have facial recognition technology that recalls a guest’s order history.
Renowned architect Michael Hsu designed the interior space. Diners can expect clean lines, functionality, lots of light and a cheerful vibe.