For anyone that has ever spent time abroad, he or she will have likely experienced a Sushi restaurant that serves its rolls via a conveyor belt. The format, which originated in Tokyo, has become immensely popular throughout Europe and Asia, even hitting South America. However, despite the rapid expansion in the European, Asian and even South American markets, for whatever reason the concept was never brought to America, specifically New York City, which is perplexing considering its stature as an international city. Finally, after years of bewilderment, confusion and anticipation, the wait is over: the conveyor belt sushi fad has finally hit Manhattan. In late September, Taka Taka opened its doors to the public on West Broadway and Grand. Although it is still in its soft opening, and thus is awaiting approval for its liquor license, Taka Taka will be offering sushi a la conveyor belt to anyone in SoHo.
Akin to other sushi restaurants that employ the conveyor belt method, Taka Taka uses five separate colors to distinguish the price per plate ; gray is $3.50, green is $4.50, orange is $5.50, blue is $6.00 and red is $6.50. However, unlike other restaurants that distinguish each place strictly on price, Taka Taka also categorizes each plate based on themes. For instance, the gray plate adheres to strictly “Vegetariano” inspired sushi while the green is “Picante” (and for anyone who does not speak Spanish, it translates to hot). In the end, Taka Taka offers 24 distinct rolls that can be pulled off the conveyor belt. It is also worthy to note that unlike the majority of Sushi restaurants that employ the same concept overseas, Taka Taka offers four pieces of sushi while others only offer two. Thus, the plates are in fact fairly affordable when put into perspective.
Among the best rolls offered, the most appealing and creative are the Fresh Tuna w/Avocado, Cucumber and Asparagus (#20 and pictured above), Fresh Salmon with Spicy Tuna Tartar, Salmon Skin and Cucumber (#23), the Fresh Tuna with Fried Tempura Drops w/Kanikama, Masago and Spicy Teriyaki Sauce (#24) and finally, the Shrimp and Chile Piquin w/Mango, Cucumber, Cheese and Avocado (#13).
Finally, based on the Spanish title for the description and the sheer name of the restaurant, one might reckon that perhaps the restaurant might have some eerie fascination with Spanish culture. Well sort of. The restaurant prides itself on being a hybrid between Mexican and Japanese cuisines: something that has actually never been attempted before, in Manhattan, at least. In fact, Taka Taka describes itself as serving: “Mexican Sushi and Japanese Tacos.” Very unique. While this combination might seem daunting to some, the result is very similar to Ceviche, which integrates Spanish flavor (various citrusy flavors/sauces) with fish. In the end, the combination works well and if the conveyor belt theme is not a strong enough sell, perhaps the unique combination between two distinct cuisines should properly motivate your decision making.
Southwest Corner of West Broadway (and Grand Street)
New York, NY, 10012
P: + 1 (212) 966-8252