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Jacqueline Monahan

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By Jacqueline Monahan

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Sharky’s Invites You To Take A Bite… And Feel Good About Eating

Despite its name, Sharky’s has nothing to do with hustling pool, deep sea fishing, or serving up hammerhead filets.  The only jaws that bite here are those of the loyal customers who like their food free of hormones, pesticides, and genetic modifications.  Long a fixture in Southern California, Sharky’s is the first woodfired Mexican grill to hit Las Vegas, opening May 8th and located at 8975 W. Charleston Boulevard (at Fort Apache) in the Crossroad Commons Retail Center.

Sharky’s upscale, urban industrial interior boasts galvanized steel tables, large, stylized mason jar light fixtures, exposed ceiling pipes and sandblasted Douglas Fir beams.  Some of the wood is reclaimed. There are single tables and booths, a communal table, dining bar, and outside seating. Food prep personnel and friendly wait staff spring into action after guests place their orders at the Carrera marble counter just to the left of the entrance.  Full table service follows.

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Your First Stop
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn
 
You are served on stoneware plates with metal flatware.  Paper or plastic is reserved for the cups that are (sometimes) filled with spirits such as sangrias, wine by the glass and beer selections.  Infused teas and lemonades enhanced with fruit nectars and pulps (your humble correspondent (HC) tried the Watermelon Basil lemonade, a refreshing, not-too-sweet, dark pink drink with personality and delicate undertones.  The pulp-filled Pineapple Lime is an acquired taste, very sweet and almost chewy – but unique.

A salsa bar provides varying degrees of heat for your chips and guacamole starter, which comes with a generous serving of guacamole.  And those chips?  They’re non-gmo (genetically modified organism).

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Chips and Guacamole
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Dishes arrived at our table swiftly in a colorful parade that included a Wild Caught Mahi Mahi Taco (no phosphates) on a non-gmo corn tortilla resting on a bed of cabbage with pico de gallo, cheese and a sauce that complemented the whole range of taste and texture.  The fish was Mesquite Grilled, but a Tempura Battered version is also available.

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Wild-caught Mahi Mahi Taco (mesquite grilled)

Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Sharkey’s Quinoa Salad, a vegan offering, combined organic baby spinach, cabbage, jicama, cucumber, sweet peppers, green onions, cilantro, avocado slices, toasted flax and chia seeds, and was topped by an avocado vinaigrette that actually became more flavorful the longer it sat (and it was pretty fab from the first bite).  The snap and crunch of the greens, the creaminess of the dressing, and the variety of texture from so many first-rate ingredients made each bite a new experience in flavor composition.

 

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Harvest Quinoa Salad (includes fruit and goat cheese)
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Quinoa Salad (with toasted flax and chia seeds)
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

The Stacked Chicken Enchilada held its unique shape (square-ish, not tubular) could be cut neatly, even with a fork, and was served covered in a mild, velvety tomatillo cheese sauce.  One of the most popular menu items, the all natural chicken breast filling, including onions, cabbage, and cilantro remained under its tortilla roof until summoned, ensuring a taste of each of its components in every bite.

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Stacked Chicken Enchilada
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Power Plates are protein packed, Mesquite Grilled and come in half (two sides) and full orders (three sides).   Your HC ordered the Angus Beef Power Plate (half order, and antibiotic-free) came with a choice of two sides – brown rice and roasted vegetables. The meat was tender and obviously cooked to order with expert attention.  Organic sides of pinto beans, black beans, and white rice complemented the various entrees, including two chicken tacos, original style, with onions, cilantro, and salsa.

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Angus Beef Power Plate (Half) with Pinto Beans and Roasted Vegetables

Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Our party consisted of both gluten free vegetarians and carnivores and all dined to the stuffing point.  Veggie Fajiyas are made to look as appetizing as any meat entrée and food is cooked with an eye toward elegant presentation. Pizzas are  stone fired and can be made gluten free.  An added bonus: prices are reasonable. Nothing on the Kids Menu (10 and under) is more than $5.50, while the highest priced adult entrée is around $15.00.  Many offerings hover in the $8 - $10 range.

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Pizza
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Veggie Fajitas
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Gluten Free Nachos
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Each entree lists its calorie count so it’s even harder to make a misstep in dietary planning. Lite and Naked menu options offer lower calorie versions of burritos, salads, and bowls.

Manager Jessica Jackson was on hand to oversee restaurant operations, while General Manager Enrique Peralta made the rounds, ensuring customer satisfaction.  Kitchen Manager Ilse Castellon sees to the food preparation for consistent quality and care in building customized plates that reflect the innovative vision of Sharky’s founder and CEO, Steve Paperno.

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General Manager Enrique Peralta, Kitchen Manager Ilse Castellon, and Manager Jessica Jackson
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn
   
“Made to order using only the best ingredients,” is Paperno’s mantra. Sharky’s food is real and undefiled by pesticides, antibiotics, growth hormones, or genetically modified Frankenfoods.  Your HC’s food-laden, steel table resembled a colorful, non-gmo, organic garden, where one could munch happily without “additive angst” (my words).

Prepared with stone oven and mesquite-grilled cooking styles for optimal flavor, this food is memorable for what’s not in it.  That should make you want to put a lot of it in you.


GALLERY

 

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Place Your Order at the Counter
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn


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Tacos Fajita Style
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Sharky's Chicken - A Salad of Organic Greens
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Black Beans and Spanish Rice
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

 

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Original Chicken Tacos with Brown Rice, Black Beans
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

 

 




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