Walter's solution is a good one, when the number of table rows are known in advance. In my case, I have Excel files with a fixed number of header rows, and variable number of data rows.
I reached out to tech support, and got the following solution. This works well for me, I hope it can help others also--
>>path_ = 'C:\data\my_file.xlsx';
>>ImportOptions_ = detectImportOptions(path_, 'NumHeaderLines', 6);
>>tb = readtable(path_,ImportOptions_);
(Edit: corrected minor bugs per Doug Bergman)