Sunday, August 7, 2011

Taka Asbury Park, New Jersey

     Asbury Park is up and coming with great and delicious restaurants and if your a fan of Japanese cuisine have I got the spot for you. Taka, located on Mattison Ave, is a fun hip atmosphere serving Japanese fusion fare and is a BYOB establishment. On a warm Summer day you have the option to dine alfresco on their outdoor patio or you can opt for indoor seating. Taka is great for larger parties as well since they offer long wooden communal tables for more casual style dining.  My friends and I decided to have a Sunday fun day and check it out for ourselves and luckily even though we didn't have a reservation we were able to be seated right away.
     The friendly server came right over to greet us and uncork the bottles of pinot grigio and pinot noir that we brought. I decided to enjoy a comforting glass of pinot noir filled with hints of berries and woody undertones, it went perfectly with the dim lit atmosphere. While we were browsing the menu the server brought individual ramekins filled with crunchy Japanese snacks for us to nosh on, cute added touch. Of course my friends and I could not decide on specific appetizers so we each ordered our likes and decided to share. I decided to sample the edamame and miso soup and sample I did! The miso soup was served in a large bowl, filled with generous chunks of tofu, leafy seaweed and earthy cremini mushrooms. It was a bowl of savory comfort! We shared the shrimp and vegetable tempura which came out a tower of veggies and skewered shrimp and accompanied with a soy sauce glaze for dipping. There was a variety of veggies such as zucchini, carrots, peppers, and broccoli and were tender to the bite, yet crispy on the outside. Also as crispy and delicious was the calamari. Served lightly battered and cooked perfect, it went seamlessly with wasabi pepper sauce.  The sauce was smooth and creamy with a kick of spice, similar to that of a Remoulade
     Besides the unique and traditional sushi rolls on the menu, Taka also offers delectable dinner entrees such as chicken teriyaki, BBQ salmon, braised short ribs and shrimp curry. I decided to try the sushi and see how it compared to other places. With so many different rolls to pick from the decision was a tough one but I settled on the crab apple roll. The roll was your basic California roll topped with an apple and crab slaw. It was very delicious and the slaw added an extra element to the dish. My friend chose the braised short ribs as she heard they were amazing. Boy was she right! The boneless short ribs glazed in a Asian style sauce came nestled atop a mound of wasabi mashed potato and vegetable. The ribs were so succulent and tender they fell apart by the fork full.  A close second was the sliced sirloin served with a miso butter and the wasabi mashed potato and vegetable The dish was cooked perfectly and the presentation was superb..
     While we were all recapping our delicious dishes and planning our next visit the server came by to tell us about the dessert menu. Taka offers an abundance of desserts and a wide range of gelato and sorbet. Being rather full I decided to stick with the not as heavy gelato. The flavor choices were so fun like ginger, green tea, cookies and cream. I decided to go with a variety including green tea, chocolate, white pistachio and vanilla bean. Each individual scoop had a flavor so robust that I had trouble picking my favorite..okay I'd say the white pistachio! The pieces of fresh pistachio and the flavor of the nutty gelato worked together harmoniously. My friend had the ever so decadent chocolate pretzel tart which was sweet and savory. The crunch of the salty pretzel bits and moist pretzel crust cut the richness of the deep dark chocolate. One spoonful was plenty for me!
     Taka is a great restaurant with a relaxing yet elegant atmosphere serving an abundance of delectable possibilities. Bring your friends, bring your family, or go by yourself for an inviting bowl of satiating miso soup. I can guarantee you won't be disappointed!

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