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The Early Word: Taka Taka

Chipotle sauce adds a Mexican kick to a soft-shell-crab roll.
Chipotle sauce adds a Mexican kick to a soft-shell-crab roll.
Lauren Shockey

Mexican sushi and Japanese tacos: the ultimate in fusion food, right? That's the thinking at Taka Taka (330 West Broadway, 212-966-8252), a new Japanese-Mexican fusion spot located in Soho. We were a bit skeptical about the combination of the two nationalities, but maybe this would be a situation where two awesome cuisines made an even awesomer one. Over the weekend we stopped by to check out the scene. Unfortunately, our skepticism only grew with each course.

We started off with the Mexican sushi, which was essentially a fried soft-shell-crab roll drizzled with chipotle sauce ($9). While the sauce had nice heat, the crab had obviously been fried ahead of time and then refrigerated, giving it a gummy, unappetizing texture. The rolls were also huge, difficult to eat in one bite.

Conveyor-belt tuna maki
Conveyor-belt tuna maki
Lauren Shockey

A large conveyor belt peddles around pre-made fusion-y maki rolls, and you can pick and choose freely, each featuring a plastic number that you can cross-reference on your paper menu. That sushi is cheaper, ranging from $3.50 to $6.50 for three to four pieces. We tried a tuna roll with avocado and asparagus ($6.50) but were sorely disappointed, since the tuna tasted old and the rice was on the dry side.

Mango adds a pretty yellow color to unagi maki.
Mango adds a pretty yellow color to unagi maki.
Lauren Shockey

Slightly better was the mango and unagi roll with chamoy, cream cheese, and cucumber ($6). We surprisingly enjoyed the tropical vibe, mellowed slightly by the unctuous cheese. But yeah, nothing good enough for us to want to order again, and reminiscent of sushi that you get at the airport before boarding your JetBlue flight.  

Tacos, Japan-style. Sorta.
Tacos, Japan-style. Sorta.
Lauren Shockey

Better were the Japanese tacos. We opted for the Miss Carnitas ($18), which combined a yuzu-marinated tuna with pico de gallo and black bean sauce inside, all rolled up and sliced to resemble sushi, sorta. The fish was well cooked, but its flavors got muddied amid the black bean puree. It would be fine if it were at least $5 cheaper.

Cheery and bright inside Taka Taka
Cheery and bright inside Taka Taka
Lauren Shockey

Taka Taka itself offers a pleasant setting for dining with friendly service; the corner space is bright and cheery, and the décor has a mod look and young feel. We could see it being a fun spot for tweens to hang out when hitting the Soho shopping route, but beyond that, given the overall quality for price, it's time to say sayonara, amigos.

For more dining news, head to Fork in the Road, or follow us @ForkintheRoadVV, or me @ldshockey.


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