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Large poke bowl with tuna, masago, crunchy onion and much more. Photos by Brit Mott.

Aloha – Konnichiwa – Hello!

The new Hawaiian and Japanese fusion poke (pronounced poh-kay) house, Below 40, recently opened in Plano! Poke is a marinated raw fish (aka sashimi) dish most commonly found in Hawaii, and in the past few years this delectable meal has hit the mainland big time.

The food, the service and the prices are all on point. Below 40 is setup like Chipotle, except you don’t move through a line. After ordering you pay and then sit down until your food and drinks are brought to you.

Large poke bowl with crab meat and tuna, edamame, mango, avocado, seaweed and much more.

To start, choose a size (regular, $9 or large, $12) and a base of white or brown rice or an organic green mix salad. Next, choose up to two proteins from a collection of delicious options like red snapper and scallop, or the vegetarian option of avocado and mango; then choose a sauce, two sides, and finally add as many items as you wish from a list of 12, including ginger, masago and dried seaweed. If you’re adventurous, I suggest the Everything option for a ton of flavor. Each bite is dynamic, and filled with a nice balance of textures and flavors from whatever ends up in your poke bowl. It was shocking how much fish was in each bowl, too. Bonus points were most definitely awarded.

Below 40 also serves seven different sushi rolls from the basic California ($5) to a more involved roll like the Ahi Tower or Volcano ($12 each). Wanting something extra? Start with miso soup, edamame or seaweed salad. Try one of their made-in-house smoothies, ice tea, iced coffee or sparkling fruit drink. I tried the sea salt coffee, which was a perfect combination of bold, sweet and salty. For dessert, get a shaved ice or ice cream. Or, if you’re looking for a lite bite, an acai berry bowl is available.

The sea salt coffee was a perfect mix of bold, salty and sweet.

Choose between a table inside or enjoy beautiful days out by taking a seat on their patio.

Below 40 owners Kenny Park and Kelly Yun want the fast-casual restaurant experience to be a breeze. I asked Kenny what drew him into opening a poke house. He said, “I spent so much time in Hawaii, it’s beautiful there. Now I’ve brought a piece of paradise to everyone here.” Eating the fresh, never frozen fish and looking at the kayak hanging from the ceiling indoors makes the destination spot seem that much closer to home.

Stop by to say aloha or konnichiwa! Below 40 is located off of Preston Road and Park Boulevard in the same plaza as Market Street.

Below 40
1921 Preston Rd, #2000 Plano, Texas 75093
Hours: Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–9 p.m.
below40poke.com

Colbea Smith

Colbea Smith is a young professional who grew up in Plano and loves the community she will always consider “home”. She is a proud alumna of Texas State University – Go Bobcats! – who spent most...