On a very cold Monday morning around 11am, I ventured up to the Long Branch beach for an overdue trip to a little piece of Hawaii called Shaka at Pier Village. Guests are first greeted by a set of bright yellow Adirondack chairs and high top tables made out of bottle caps optimistically waiting for warmer weather! Walk through the doors and you are instantly drawn to their beautiful fish tank designed and serviced by Advanced Reef Management of Keyport, which contains tropical fish and Hawaii’s State fish, the Humuhumunukunakuapua’a (hmm, spell check thinks I misspelled that.)
The décor in the restaurant is described as 100% RESHAKABLE (“This item meets Shaka’s guideline as an eco-friendly and sustainable sourced product)! Such as bottle top tables, surfboard bar tops made with 100% reclaimed wood, counter tops made with recycled glass, recycled ash and sea shells, washers and dryers for garbage receptacles; church benches from Monmouth Beach. It all makes for a very Karma cool environment.
Shaka is owned by Philip Sciortino, a local Jersey boy and longtime surfer who travels to Hawaii whenever he can break away. He started SHAKA with a shaved ice cart on North Beach two summers ago. Last summer, he decided to open up SHAKA, the restaurant with partners Kirk Ruoff and Lance Redaelli. I and many others are glad he did.
Within minutes the aroma of fresh food told my tummy it was time to eat. Phil suggested Duke’s Chicken Burrito (all natural grilled chicken, manchego cheese, cilantro brown rice, guacamole, and grilled fajita vegetable medley along with a side of tri-color chips). I could taste every fresh ingredient noted in its description. The chips, were a nice crunchy side with the fabulous chipotle spiced salsa. Yum!
SHAKA’s menu has something for everyone, e.g., burritos, tacos (soft and hard), salads, rice bowls, and mahalo flatbread quesadillas, ‘island’ drinks, and SHAKA real Hawaiian shaved ice. There is also a ‘Little Dudes and Dudettes Menu” for the kiddies. And all of SHAKA’s meats are free of hormones, antibiotics and unnatural preservatives!
Now, you may not be thinking Shaved Ice in February, especially with all of the uninvited ice still lingering on our sidewalks and lawns, but just think hot, humid summer day when you order Shaka’s original shaved ice from Hawaii. Phil made me a ‘SHAKA Rock’ (their secret island recipe) with added flavors of coconut and lemon. I just sat, savored and smiled! I was not rushing this!
But, all good things must come to an end, and so did my little Hawaiian getaway at SHAKA. I will be back for another bite for sure, especially after reading all of the great comments from customers about their fish tacos on their website. Mahalo Phil and SHAKA!
SHAKA” is a common greeting gesture associated with Hawaiian surfing. Locals use it for various meanings like “all right”, “cool”, “smooth”, “hello/goodbye”, etc. It is also used to convey what Hawaiians call the “aloha spirit”…friendly, understanding and thanks…so “Throw a SHAKA today”!
20 Centennial Drive
Long Branch, NJ 07740
Beverly A. Beveridge, Monmouth County Regional Editor, JerseyBites.com
Bev resides in Eatontown with her husband, Bob, daughters, Melissa and Brittany, son, Glenn, dog, Bailey and cats, Kitty and Slodki (polish for honey/sweet). She enjoys dining out, piano, tennis, travelling, designing her JERSEY GIRL swimsuits and Calendar, music (especially Rock Concerts) and meeting people. Enjoy her ‘fun’ reviews! Passport to Peru – Home of the Jersey Girls Swimsuit models and ‘Calendar’ Girls! ‘Passport Swimsuits – A Swimsuit to fit ‘every body’. www.passporttoperu.net