photo credit: Noah Devereaux
Here are some activities that might have unpredictable outcomes: putting your life’s savings into bitcoin, ordering in sushi from a place you’ve never heard of, or inviting all your friends and family to your first improv show.
And here are some activities with fairly predictable outcomes: watching a Tom Hanks movie on an airplane, ordering in pad thai from the place you always order pad thai in from, or suggesting a group dinner at Shuka. These things won’t change the course of your life, but they’ll keep everyone happy. They’re safe choices.
Shuka is located on the western side of Soho, in the space that used to be Hundred Acres, and frankly, this restaurant is so safe there may as well be a crossing guard stationed inside. That’s not an insult, but rather a way of saying Shuka is straightforward and agreeable. It’s still run by the team behind Hundred Acres (which also owns the easy, reliable Vic’s and Cookshop), and they’ve made it into a Middle Eastern/Mediterranean place, serving things like kebabs and salads and a bunch of different vegetables and even some pink-colored hummus, which you might find endearing. It’s food everyone will want to eat, and all of it tastes good.
Additionally, portions are pretty big, and with most dishes under $20, prices are very fair as well, particularly for the neighborhood. They also have plenty of space, with a bunch of big tables. It’s a win for any time you get stuck being the one who has to plan a moderately priced but still semi-nice brunch or dinner, in a convenient location, for people with assorted dietary wants and needs.
If anyone says this is their favorite restaurant in the city, you should probably take them out a bit more, but that’s also besides the point. Because Shuka is like watching You’ve Got Mail on a long plane ride - a safe choice you’ll be reasonably pleased with.
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Yes, Instagrammers of the world, this hummus is pink. Take a photo of it if you must, but it’s actually not our favorite dip here.
House Made Labne
A superior dip, despite its plain white color.
These are decent, but be warned they’re full tempura-level fried.
This is where stuff starts to get good. The kebab section of the menu is a standout, and your skewers will come with pita, dips, and some salad. The steak is a favorite, but we’ve enjoyed the lamb and chicken as well.
A surprise hit, this $20 piece of breaded chicken is massive and very tasty. Get one for the table.