It has been said that hunger is the best sauce. I have to say, our small group showed up at the Sharky's Woodfired Mexican Grill in Simi Valley quite hungry, and it made for a pretty good sauce!
Sharky's is not exclusive to Simi, nor is it really a small "mom and pop" type establishment anymore, but it did start out that way only about 10 years ago. For the history of the restaurant, click here. It is a small Fresh Mex style, not-quite-fast-food restaurant which claims to want to "Change the way the world eats!" To do this, they offer ingredients free of GMO's, growth hormones, drugs and phosphates. Their fish is wild caught and there are some organic options, as well as local lettuces. Ordering is deli style and if you are really interested, you can even watch the preparation as it happens in the open kitchen.
Most of our group had visited this Sharky's before, but like many others, had not ventured beyond the few known menu items. To mix things up, we tried items that were new to most, including the four cheese pizza on a jalapeno-cilantro crust, fish tacos-both salmon and cod, stacked chicken enchiladas, chicken nachos and a steak tostada salad.
|Tostada Salad with organic greens|
We unanimously enjoyed the pizza, which, aside from the shock at the unity of the group, surprised at least one of us who had previously tasted it with less then favorable reviews. The enchiladas also got near perfect reviews, with only one dissenter. It was a dish full of meat, had a nice balance of sauce and had a great flavor. Nachos, another hit. One reviewer wrote, "Best nachos, ever!", while another, with less enthusiasm stated, "Not bad.". The tacos, touted on the menu as "award winning", got mixed reviews. We definitely recommend getting them with the corn tortillas, (which you must remember to ask for), and felt that the fish was cooked perfectly. However, like the tostada salad, the overall consensus was that it didn't really compare with the other items we tried.
|Four Cheese pizza|
I think the major issue we all had with the experience was just about the limits of the menu. While it is extensive and delicious, for someone on a strict diet such as GAPS or paleo/primal, or who has corn, dairy or other food allergies, the menu becomes very very limited. Additionally, while the meats are "100% natural", they are not organic and certainly not fed on pastures, let alone sourced locally.
Bottom Line: For Simi Valley residents with limited options of whole food eateries, Sharky's is a pretty decent choice for the occasional meal out. Not recommended for those with lots of food allergies or diet limitations, and when ordering be sure to ask for the organic greens. $
We gave Sharky's 4 forks.