When Shaka Bowl opened a little over a year ago, I did not know what to think: Poké seems a bit of a trend that may not last as long as ramen. For me, I may crave ramen that I find comforting in the winter time (no hot soup in the summer please), but never craved Poké, even if I love raw fish. Go figure. So it took us time before going to Shaka Bowl, and I admit that it is the tacos they offer that persuaded us to go on a Sunday. And we did not go just once.
I like the place: with wood all over and photos of various areas of Hawaii (Shaka is the famous “hang loose” sign often associated with its Hawaii and the surfer culture), it has some warmth.
The menu is interesting: it is not just poké. They also offer açaí bowls, oatmeal (the maple banana one is very good, with lots of toppings), avocado toast and guacamole (I would pass on these as the guacamole is simply not good) and their tacos that are succulent. My favorite is the lava rock shrimp tacos that is composed of battered shrimp drenched in sweet chili and spicy Shaka sauce, topped with cabbage, mango and pickled onions. When the three tacos came, I was surprised by the amount of filling in each corn tortilla and feared that it would be more cabbage than anything else: I was wrong! There were lots of shrimp that were amazing: well cooked, crispy and slightly spicy, the mango adding a bit of sweetness and cooling effect for those who think it is spicy (no, slightly).
This is a must have, even better than the buffalo shrimp tacos where battered shrimp are smothered with buffalo sauce, topped with cabbage, strawberries (for some sweetness), jalapeño and blue cheese sauce. Quite good, a bit spicier than the previous one I talked about.
There are only two issues with the two kinds of tacos above: they are messy to eat because they put lots of ingredients (nice problem to have in fact), and they come with three: I wish I could order one of each like the other tacos that they offer, that can be made with kalhua pulled pork (one of the best pulled pork taco I had), shrimp, steak, tuna or chicken (my least favorite, the chicken being a bit bland). These tacos are served with pineapple, cabbage, pickled onions and their spicy Shaka sauce.
Jodi also tried one of their poké bowl but, instead of raw fish, she chose tofu. It was good, with lots of fresh produce, but definitely over dressed.
So, overall, Shaka Bowl is pretty good and I would just go for the tacos, especially the pork or lava shrimp tacos. It might not one of be the healthier options on their menu, but it is fine by me!
Enjoy (I did)!
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Shaka Bowl - 110 Washington Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030