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A Lady Walks into a Bar…Taka


A Lady Walks into a Bar, Gabrielle Garofalo, Jersey Bites, Asbury Park, Monmouth County

Where I Was

Taka, Asbury Park, NJ

When, Exactly

Wednesday, October 22, 2:22 p.m.

Where I Sat

I sat with my back to a lounge-y area with short, built-in benches, stools, and small cocktail tables. It was the perfect, cozy spot to settle in for cocktails on date night. 

Who Served Me

Jason, who at first seemed a bit too busy to care, then unleashed a recommendation that’s no longer available on the menu and my opinion of him went straight to a 10!

Bartender’s Favorite Bite

“I have to say, I love the Yamaguchi roll, which is awesome, but the Jun-San is the most popular roll on the menu, by far.”

The Vibe and My Vantage Point

I love the decor as it’s simple and combines mediums with great touches of color. The space has great light by day or night. The bulbous glass lighting fixtures against the geometric dominance of the dining tables in the area and the grid-like wall that holds large barrels containing Japanese lettering bring a nice energy. The graphic and vibrant Japanese art on the back wall add to the glory of the space. The bar has an electrifying energy, while the dining room is a bit more serene. I really appreciate the range of seating options within the bar area and just love the place settings popping with bright orange linen napkins. It just sparks joy!

A Lady Walks into a Bar, Gabrielle Garofalo, Jersey Bites, Asbury Park, Monmouth County

What Quenched My Thirst

A Lady Walks into a Bar, Gabrielle Garofalo, Jersey Bites, Asbury Park, Monmouth County

Spicy Rosarita

Spicy Rosarita, $14
Tanteo Jalapeño Tequila, Grand Marnier, fresh blood orange, and muddled jalapeño
A well-blended cocktail that wasn’t totally original was a bit of magic when the muddled jalapeño blended together with the sweet-tart of the blood orange notes. The drink certainly passed for delicious, so I ordered a second.  

What Fed My Soul

A Lady Walks into a Bar, Gabrielle Garofalo, Jersey Bites, Asbury Park, Monmouth County

Tuna Tataki

Tuna Tataki, $12
Thin-sliced, seared, peppered tuna served with a ponzu sauce

Crazy fresh. So simple. The tuna was velvety in texture and the flavor the perfect depth. I liked the peppercorn crust which added a perfect crunch of flavor. The ponzu mystifies me a bit. Perhaps my palate isn’t that sophisticated after all. I found the ponzu a little flat even though generously garnished with scallions. Truth be told, the tuna needed nothing–it was delicious naked! 

A Lady Walks into a Bar, Gabrielle Garofalo, Jersey Bites, Asbury Park, Monmouth County

Sashimi and sushi roll

A Lady Walks into a Bar, Gabrielle Garofalo, Jersey Bites, Asbury Park, Monmouth County

Jun-Sun

Jun-Sun, $14
Tuna, avocado, salmon, yellowtail, scallion and tempura crunch with spicy mayo and caramelized soy sauce

Another delightful choice of roll; it’s no wonder it’s the fan-fave on the menu. The chunks of fish with avocado inside and the layers outside are always a welcome roll approach. The crunch was a nice juxtaposition against the smooth avocado inside. I really appreciated the mix of spicy mayo and caramelized soy. More, please!    

What’s on Tap

Approximately five beers on tap; taps down at the time of my visit.
Limited offerings. Please call as selections change.

What’s Uncorked

Champagne and Sparkling
Zonin Prosecco, Italy $10
Laurent Perrier Champagne, France $17

Rosé
Underwood, Oregon, $11
Whispering Angel, France, $16

Pinot Grigio
Cavaliere D’Oro, Italy, $9
Esperto, Italy, $10
Barone Fini, Italy $11

A Lady Walks into a Bar, Gabrielle Garofalo, Jersey Bites, Asbury Park, Monmouth CountySauvignon Blanc
Makara, New Zealand, $10
Nobilo, New Zealand, $11
Domaine de la Perriére Sancerre, France, $15

Other Whites
50 Degree Riesling, Germany, $11
Day Wines, California, $13

Pinot Noir
Parker Station, California, $11
J. Lohr, California, $11
Josh Cellars, California, $12
Francois Labet, France, $14
Paolo Saracco, Italy, $14

Cabernet Sauvignon
Bieler “Born to Run,” California, $10
BV Coastal Estates, California, $11
Feudi Principi di Butera, Italy, $12
Daou, California, $14

Other Reds
Ferrari Carano Merlot, California, $13
Af by Achavel-Ferrer Malbec, Argentina, $12
Viña Zorzal, Spain, $14

What Else to Know

Taka is in its 19th year. Behind the concept and business: Takahiro Hirai, whose passionate vision was born from his years as a sushi chef working for Kessler’s Catering in Elberon. In fact, the owners helped Hirai make the move to his own spot and helped fund his first Taka location. The restaurant is open for lunch, featuring daily specials from 12 to 3 p.m., and dinner. They’re also available for large groups, private affairs, and parties.

When to Show

Monday through Thursday, and Sundays: 12:00 to 10:00 p.m.
Fridays and Saturdays: 12:00 to 11:00 p.m.

Know Before You Go!

Check the website for the latest intel.

Taka
660 Cookman Avenue
Asbury Park, NJ 07712
732-775-1020

A Lady Walks into a Bar™ is owned and trademarked by Gabrielle Garofalo.

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