Sharky’s Woodfired Mexican Grill
5511 Reseda Blvd.
Tarzana, Ca 91356
For some time my good friend Cameron Hashemi, Franchisee of 4 store locations, would tell me to come to his family-operated Sharky’s franchised locations, and I finally did. I was asked to come in to show people a side of Sharky’s they might not have expected, like how it’s actually healthy and great for gym buffs looking for a quick protein-heavy low-carb meal. My only regret is, WHY DIDN’T I COME IN SOONER!? This place is amazing! It is fast like Chipotle, but wayyyy better. Sharky’s is a fast-casual chain where you place your order at the cashier line, then grab a variety of complimentary salsa while waiting for your food to be delivered to your table. Although it is a chain, they are unlike what chain restaurants represent. First off, they use ORGANIC, LOCAL, and ALL-NATURAL ingredients. I must summarize the benefits, because this is important:
– All Natural Chicken Breast. No added preservatives, hormones, or phosphates.
– All Natural Angus Steak. Antibiotic free with no added hormones.
– WILD Caught Fish (holy moly!). Wild Caught MSC Certified Alaskan Salmon and more depending on store location.
– GMO-free Corn.
– Organic Tofu. Non-GMO Project Verified & U.S. grown.
– Organic Ingredients: Black Beans, Pinto Beans, Quinoa, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Long Grain White Rice, Salad Greens, & Yams.
– rBHG-free (Growth hormone free) Cheese & Sour Cream.
– Salsas and Guacamole Handcrafted Daily.
– Vegetarian, Vegan, and Gluten Free options.
It is clear that they truly are dedicated to providing the BEST ingredients every chance they get, which is awesome for a restaurant with 24 branches! Now, on to what I ate…
I ordered something off their Naked Menu: Lower Fat & Lower Calories items just to see if I would like it (because after all, I’m not really that girl). I went with the Wild Salmon “Lite” Burrito. Now, here’s what is in it: Grilled WILD salmon, nori seaweed, organic poblano brown rice, avocado, cucumber, cabbage, chili sesame aioli, wrapped in a low-fat whole wheat tortilla. It is loaded with 41 grams of protein! First off, I was very impressed that they use WILD caught fish. Even that can be a challenge to find to buy for home use, let alone finding it on a restaurant menu. Secondly, I went with this burrito because besides the restaurant that my own family owned, I have yet to see very many salmon wraps/burritos. Third, the ingredients were different and I wanted to try something new. All in all, it was a great combination. Especially topped with Fire Roasted salsa (dark colored)….mmmm mmmm!
Next, I tried their tacos…Original Chicken, Original Steak, and their Tempura Battered Cod Fish. The original style tacos have onion, cilantro, and salsa verde. All seafood tacos have cabbage, pico de gallo, sauce, and cheese. As listed above, each restaurant has their own supply of fish which varies store to store, so not all fish selections are available. The fish tacos were bomb!!!!!!!
Next, I went with the Sharky’s Quinoa salad, a vegan dish. It had organic red and white quinoa, organic baby spinach, cabbage, jicama, cucumber, sweet peppers, green onions, cilantro, avocado vinaigrette topped with avocado slices and a sprinkle of toasted flax and chia seeds. Besides the fact that the salad was tasty, and the ingredients are top-notch, the portion was pretty big. A salad like this is big enough if that’s all you want to eat for lunch (although, I could never), but PERFECT to split it four ways as a side dish.
To drink, we tried two of their daily handcrafted lemonades and teas. These drinks also vary in other Sharky’s. The Tarzana location I visited currently has these flavored lemonades: Strawberry Cilantro, Watermelon Basil, and Strawberry Lime. The ones we tried were the Hibiscus Ginger Green Tea, and their Watermelon Lemonade. Both were delicious!! You can’t go wrong with either one.
Last but not least, my favorite thing I ate was the Spicy 4 Cheese STONE FIRED PIZZA! Tomatillo cheese sauce, tomatoes, cilantro, red onion, sour cream, chicken (add-on), served on a jalapeno-cilantro tortilla crust. This was awesome! The only other Mexican pizza I’ve ever had is from Taco Bell, and no offence to Taco Bell, but you can’t even compare the two. Not only does this pizza have better quality ingredients, but it was just done REALLY well. This is hands down my MUST ORDER if you are not about counting calories. Again, something you could easily split.
My advice is to order a Power Plate which is basically their meats/fish/poultry with sides, the 4 cheese pizza, a salad, and share with your friends. If you are a body builder and in a bind, you can stop in, get your meat and side of brown rice and/or yams. If you’ve never been to Sharky’s before, than I’d say, for once, just skip Chipotle and Baja Fresh, and try it!! Their menu is very eclectic so you have tons of options to choose from. Their menu will satisfy the health-conscious or those just seeking a craving for flavorful Mexican food.
Most importantly I’d like to thank my good friend Cameron and proud franchisee of 4 locations. His passion for what he does has been an exciting thing to watch and finally experience first hand with the amazing customer service. Even though he’s the head honcho, he was out there wiping down tables, greeting guests, and making sure they had a five star experience. Thank you for giving me a true Sharky’s experience!
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