Taka Taka: Inventive Japanese Cuisine

Staff Writer

Taka Taka: Where you don’t have to decide between Mexican and Japanese cuisine, because they serve both.
It is a little bit sushi and a little bit caliente.  On the corner of West Broadway and Grand Street, in the SoHo neighborhood stands a Japanese–Mexican fusion restaurant like no other.
Taka Taka is designed like a modern Japanese style diner that comes complete with a conveyor belt delivering all sorts of sushi goodness on small plates. A sign that reads “Japanese Cantina” is brightly lit above the sushi bar and adds to the cultural blend of the restaurant’s atmosphere.  The owners, three brothers originally from Mexico City, already have nine restaurants under their belts and recently decided to bring their Mexican sushi and Japanese tacos to New York City.
Since they have only been open for two weeks they are still currently trying to obtain their alcohol license for the 21 and over crowd. However, they do carry a variety of fresh drinks including rice and lychee drinks as well as different types of sodas such as Ramune, a type of Japanese soda and Barilitos, the “quintessential” Mexican soda.
For starters, each party receives a set of three dipping sauces, mayonnaises that are infused with wasabi and chipotle, and soy sauce with an extra kick of Serrano Chile and onions that are chopped into the mixture.
They have a variety of fushion dishes including a Tuna Sashimi Tostada ($11) which is a fried tortilla with slices of tuna with chipotle dressing, black olives, tomatoes, jalapeno and onions piled on top. For something a little more traditional in Japanese appetizers, they have a shrimp tempura ($8), but with some added spicy jalapeno sauce for dipping.
The sushi conveyor belt is continuously flowing out new sushi rolls. There are twenty-four different types of sushi rolls that one can indulge in, prices ranging from $3.50-$6.50 depending on the color of the plate. Each roll is given a number in which you can find the
description of the roll on the placemat.  If there is a roll that is on the menu but for some reason is not on the conveyor, the waitress can order one for the table.
Lastly, the main entrée are the Japanese tacos. Filled with seafood in tortillas, these tacos range from soft shell crab tempura, to fried tuna carnitas. However, they are more like a burrito or a wrap than a taco. The Miss Carnitas ($18) is a fried tuna carnita in a yuzu-soy marinated with guacamole and pico de gallo all in a corn tortilla. There are no side dishes to these entrées and to some they may not be as filling.
The overall concept of Taka Taka is fun and refreshing.  For those who are sushi-lovers and are not afraid to try a new twist, Taka Taka is the place to visit.
The price range is a little high for the portion size, but for the neighborhood and the experience, this can be an excellent idea for a date or simply for people searching for an adventurous thrill.

Torch Photo/ Jed Soriano