Shaka Sushi and Noodle Bar Rolls with Good Vibes
July 25, 2019 by Audrey Johnson
Shaka Sushi and Noodle Bar is the place to hang loose and catch some positive vibes in Inlet Beach.
In addition to sushi, the menu features sashimi and nigiri, small plates, poke bowls, bento boxes, and ramen. The flavors of the menu might be complex, but the space itself is cool and clean, much like your palate after a bite of pickled ginger.
The restaurant has a surfer dude vibe, and you might catch yourself singing along to tunes from Bob Marley to James Brown. But the playlist isn’t the only thing that brings the funk.
SoWal’s hardest working man in Sushi, Chef James Sargent, rose to local fame at his family’s restaurant Yamato in Fort Walton Beach, then later at Old Florida Fish House. After 35 years in the biz, Chef James is now rolling up the good stuff at Shaka. He worked in collaboration with Partner-Chef Ken Duenas to create a menu worthy of loyal sushi followers.
“Inspiration for the menu is all the things I’ve learned over all the years I’ve been doing sushi. Taking the best of all the rolls, combinations and things that are tried and true,” says Chef James. “Chef Ken Duenas is amazing, there’s nothing that guy cannot do in the kitchen."
This creativity is found in fresh rolls like the Bonsai, with eel, avocado and Asian aioli topped with fresh salmon and a soy reduction. (Don’t underestimate this one’s simple stature -it’s big on flavor.) The North Shore is a crowd pleaser with shrimp, cream cheese and tempura inside - tuna, avocado and krab salad on top. Shaka’s most popular roll, The Pipeline, features tuna, Asian aioli, green onions and crunchy tempura, topped with more tender tuna, avocado, sambal and a soy reduction. “That is a perfect combination to me,” says Chef James.
The sushi isn’t the only thing on the menu that showcases fresh seafood. Poke Bowls come with your choice of proteins, a selection of melt-in-your-mouth tuna, salmon, yellowtail, octopus and shrimp. They’re the crowning jewel atop a bed of rice piled high with squid, seaweed, krab salad, daikon, and radish.
Build your own Bento Boxes with goodies like Chicken Teriyaki and Short Ribs. Bring your appetite for this one. Portions are huge, as it comes with your choice of rice, salad and a classic sushi roll.
Good ramen is food for the soul, and Shaka has a noodle bowl for everyone. Classicists will go for The Bodhi, with its pork broth, ramen, pork belly and tenderloin, pickled veggies, shrooms, cilantro, bok choy and a soft-boiled egg. (Send noods!) Vegetarian and seafood bowls are also on the menu, and you can substitute ramen for udon or rice noodles.
“Chef Brendan Wakeham at Pescado developed the recipe for our broth. It’s an 8-12 hour bone broth that’s cooked overnight to bring out all the flavors,” says Chef James.
Hangin’ loose at Shaka is made easy with Sake Cocktails. Typhoon Sake, citrus, simple syrup and pickled ginger form what is known as a Sake Drop. And you can’t go wrong with a Shaka-Mary – sake meets Taste of Florida Bloody Mary mix. Enjoy this one in the courtyard with friends. Of course, warm sake, wine and beer are available to suit different tastes.
Shaka Sushi and Noodle Bar is located in the heart of the Shoppes at Inlet, minutes from the entrance of Scenic Highway 30A at Rosemary Beach. The restaurant does not accept reservations and offers service on a first come basis. Join them daily for lunch and dinner. See menus and more at www.shaka30a.com. Follow Shaka on Facebook and Insta @shaka30A for culinary inspiration.
Shaka Sushi and Noodle Bar is the latest concept dreamed up by Last Call Restaurant Group, creators of Shades Bar and Grill, Pescado Seafood Grill and Rooftop Bar, and Southside Slice. The restaurant group is renowned for its collaborative spirit and excellent eats. Download their app "Last Call Restaurant Group" (found in the App Store and Google Play Store) and create a loyalty account to earn a 5% credit with every purchase redeemable at any of their four locations.