The Early Word: Taka Taka

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

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.

Lauren Shockey
Conveyor-belt tuna maki

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.

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

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.

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