I’d been wanting to check out Taka’s new spot on Cookman Ave in Asbury Park since their move there over 2 years ago. We were big fans of their location on Mattison and somehow they just fell off our radar. Well, I FINALLY got my chance this week, as a special treat for my birthday dinner and let me tell you… it will not be long before I am back again!
This spacious new location combines a contemporary Asian feel with traditional Japanese artwork and modern furnishings. The atmosphere is welcoming and the space is well laid out with a central bar area, plenty of seating areas for quiet conversation, a large main dining room and a great outdoor patio for the warmer weather. The lighting provides a calm feeling and the decor offers a bit of a zen quality – in other words, I loved it.
I recommend starting with one of their unique cocktails (I tried the Asbury Green Tea & my husband loved his Blackberry Margarita) or choose your usual favorite from the well-stocked bar. If you’re looking for sake, I think you’ll be impressed with their extensive selection. The menu is described as Asian-Fusion, and offers a wonderful variety of apps, sushi & delicious entrées.
The “Matsuri” was a perfect way to begin, with a sampling of Spicy Tuna, Spicy Salmon and delicious Guacamole served with homemade tortilla chips. The Miso Soup was also a winner, as was “my usual” – the Veggie Tempura.
I have to admit, we always come for the sushi, but one of these days I’m going to have to break down & get an entrée because they all sound so good! On this trip, I stayed on course and discovered yet another wonderful new sushi item… The Beach Roll. This one features tuna (I opted for the brown rice), rolled with hiyashi wakame (a seaweed salad), cucumber & crunch, and then topped with a perfectly spicy wasabi sauce. It sounds fairly simple, but the combination was amazing and that one roll was all I needed after stuffing myself with appetizers!
As I mentioned, it was my birthday, so I was “nudged” by our very pleasant and helpful server, to select a dessert. I’m a big fan of their Green Tea Cheesecake but was so full that I opted for the gelato, knowing that my son would gladly share. He chose his usual Chocolate Overload (a dark chocolate delight) and I went out on a limb with the Black Cherry Pistachio, which turned out to be the perfect complement. After a lovely performace of “Happy Birthday” by the accommodating staff, I blew out my candle & then rolled myself to the car – always the sign of a good meal. 🙂
Taka is located at 660 Cookman Ave in Asbury Park, NJ.
Check out their web site for hours, specials & more at http://www.takaasbury.com/