Shark Tank Alumni, TJ's Seafood Owner to Open a 'Tech-Savy' Poke Restaurant on Oak Lawn

L-R, Ben Kusin, Jon Alexis and Eric Kusin will open Malibu Poke on Oak Lawn this fall.EXPAND
L-R, Ben Kusin, Jon Alexis and Eric Kusin will open Malibu Poke on Oak Lawn this fall.
Kevin Marple
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In the past year, we've seen a rapid proliferation of poke around DFW, particularly in the fast-casual realm. Now, TJ's Seafood owner Jon Alexis is jumping on the bandwagon with "Shark Tank-featured venture capitalists" Ben and Eric Kusin.

Opening in fall 2017 at 3888 Oak Lawn Ave. in Turtle Creek Village, Malibu Poke will serve what Alexis calls "fishmonger's poke," according to a press release. "Our emphasis is on freshness, nutrition and sustainability," Alexis said in the release. "And we will utilize cutting-edge self-ordering tech to minimize lines and deliver the freshest bowls."

Malibu Poke will have the poke standards – ahi tuna, Atlantic salmon – but will "utilize TJ’s network of premier fish vendors to feature unique sashimi-quality seafood selections such as king salmon, toro and hamachi," according to the release.

So where does tech fit in? "Malibu Poke will feature a unique tech-based ordering system minimizing waits, educating guests on unique ingredients and making customized bowls easy," the release says. Computer-based ordering is neither new nor unique in the restaurant industry, but there is room for exploration, especially among fast-casual eateries looking to significantly decrease labor costs.

Keeping on-trend with what Dallas diners are into now, the fast-casual spot will have vegan and gluten-free options and will serve "Texas and California beers, wine on tap, sake, kombucha, teas and fresh juices," according to the release.

The space itself is described as "California chic," also something found in just about every new Dallas restaurant right now, and will be designed Hatsumi Kuzuu (FT33, Tei An, Sprezza).

It's hard to say whether Malibu Poke really will stand out in the crowded poke/"California chic" Dallas dining landscape, but Alexis' connections in seafood could give this forthcoming spot an edge.

Malibu Poke, 3888 Oak Lawn Ave., projected to open fall 2017

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