Owners of Cubed Poke

Cubed Poke is the realization of a dream of 4 friends who love to cook and eat together, creating a Hawaiian-centric eatery featuring healthy, fast cuisine. Longtime friends since junior high, Chrystal, Anh, Stephen and Matthew are taking the time-honored Hawaiian recipes of Anh’s husband’s grandmother and adding a new and modern spin at their Union Market restaurant in Tustin, California.

Chrystal Nguyen had long been seeking a restaurant project, but a poke restaurant was her first choice. A food and beverage industry veteran, Chrystal graduated from UNLV with a degree in hospitality. She started her career in hotels, working at the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas and Washington, D.C. Originally from Orange County, Chrystal is also part owner of Ritter’s Steam Kettle Cooking in Huntington Beach.

Anh Phamtran manages the business/accounting side of the house. Also an OC native, Anh went to college at Adelphi in New York, receiving her degree in communications. New to the restaurant industry, she previously managed operations of home goods import businesses. Anh’s Hawaiian-born husband and his family would cook, but keep traditional recipes secret. His “Gran” finally passed on some of these cherished traditional Hawaiian recipes to Anh prior to her passing.

Stephen Le is a 5-year veteran of the Orange County food scene, beginning with SWSH Shabu, a Japanese “cook-your-own-meal” restaurant in Irvine. Though Stephen began his career in the biotech industry, he left it to pursue his passion of restaurant development. Shortly after opening SWSH, Stephen became the co-founder of The Kroft in Anaheim, specializing in unique sandwiches and comfort foods such as poutine. The Kroft now has a 2nd location in Tustin’s Union Market, and a 3rd location opening summer 2016 in downtown Los Angeles.

Matthew Tong is a graduate of University of California, Irvine, with a degree in psychology. As a longtime friend of fellow Cubed founders Anh, Chrystal and Stephen, Matthew shares their passion to create fresh, distinctive cuisine.  The 34-year-old is a co-founder with Stephen of SWSH Shabu and The Kroft restaurants.

While the original concept is poke bowls and traditional Hawaiian dishes like musubi, including organic Hawaiian sodas and beers, this group of friends wants to grow with their customers and continue to add additional Hawaiian-style items to their menu to provide healthy, delicious and easy options to all customers, and not just raw fish fans. Cubed Poke will open April 3, 2016.

More information can be found at www.cubedpoke.com. For photos of upcoming dishes, follow @cubedpoke on Instagram.

For more information or interview requests please contact

Bobby Navarro at 100eats - Events and Promotions.