My best friend, Claire, had mentioned eating at Boom Shaka Laka at the Beaches are of Jacksonville, Florida months ago. Raving about their fantastic breakfast menu, I wanted to check it out with my brothers the last time we were all home together, but I remember they were closed the morning we went. After our return from Puerto Rico, we stayed in town for a few days before heading back up to South Carolina and I suggested we try the restaurant Claire had mentioned before. It's located down Atlantic Boulevard just a mile or so from the beach and near a few old plazas. One thing I noticed was that it was tucked away in the corner and a little hard to find, unless you know what you're looking for. The interior is also quite funky; there are bright and cheerful hues, surf boards hanging on the wall, and some really cool hand-painted art hanging from the boards on the ceiling. I was digging the ambiance of the place.
Because we didn't make it to Boom Shaka Laka for breakfast, we were given the lunch menu and I glanced at their items briefly while trying to hide my disappointment about not eating there earlier. I don't live at home, so I never find out about different mom-and-pop restaurants unless I'm actively looking for something specific or if a friend mentions it. Also, judging from its menu items, Boom Shaka Laka offered "home cooked" Hawaiian meals, plus some Filipino favorites such as adobo, which isn't surprising since the owner is from Hawaii (and exposed to the island's large Filipino population). However, one of the things I noticed on the menu was that there weren't enough Hawaiian dishes to classify the restaurant as strictly Hawaiian or Polynesian. Spam, of course, is on the menu, but it was only offered during breakfast.
My husband and I both ordered their teriyaki chicken with rice, macaroni salad, and a Hawaiian roll. To be honest, it wasn't anything impressive; the food was good enough, but it was missing that "wow" factor. Many mom-and-pop joints I've sampled normally had something outstanding in their dishes, but Boom Shaka Laka's was a bit on the normal-to-bland side. Still, the food was filling and the waitress was more than happy to offer us extra rolls and salad, if we wanted. For the kids, there's a small selection of the usual kid-friendly favorites: mac n' cheese, corn dogs, hot dogs, fries, etc. Also, we remained the only people in the restaurant the entire time we ate during lunch.
Sadly, I just found out that Boom Shaka Laka is no longer in business; they closed up shop around June, so we probably were one of their last customers before they shut their doors permanently. Hopefully, they'll re-open one day at another (and better) location in the future and I'll be writing a positive review of the place. Perhaps, it's just another casualty of the recession.