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Need To Find Some Good Restaurants in Monmouth County, NJ

Hey fellow Chow Hounders! I have a date with a very pretty girl coming up and I wanted your help in locating a good Thai or Japanese restaurant in Monmouth County, NJ, preferably near a town called Ocean. I don't know the area that well and I want to impress my date with some good food. Could you please recommend some places that are good and have a nice atmosphere inside?

Thanks in advance,
F B W

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  1. SAWA in Pier Village is a Hibachi place. Its right on the water in Long Branch.

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    Pier Village
    30 Laird St, Long Branch, NJ

    2 Replies
    1. re: J M S

      I prefer the Sawa in Eatontown. It's right at the intersection of 35 and 36. But I agree with bgut1 below. Kanji is a better choice for Japanese, by far.

      For Thai, your choices are limited. Thai Chillis in Eatontown is ok. You probably will get better food at Far East Taste. It has Chinese, Malaysian, and Thai, but it's really a hole in the wall. Very good food, but no atmosphere.

      If you want to stay closer to Ocean, I've heard Takara is nice. Also, Ichiban is a favorite of many, and is very nice inside. You can read reviews of all of these on this board.

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      Far East Taste
      19 Main St, Eatontown, NJ 07724

      Ichiban
      2132 Route 35 S, Asbury Park, NJ 07712

      1. re: cantkick

        I prefer the Sawa in Eatontown too. For Thai food in Monmouth County I agree that Far East Taste is a good bet, but don't forget about Siam Garden in the Galleria in Red Bank. It's pricey but I think it's a nice place to take a date. Here's hoping you get laid!

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        Far East Taste
        19 Main St, Eatontown, NJ 07724

        Siam Garden
        2 Bridge Ave Ste 612, Red Bank, NJ 07701

    2. I have not been yet, but a lot of people on this board have had positive experiences at Taka in Asbury Park. It will be very close to Ocean and there are a bunch of bars/nightclubs in that general area for after dinner (or a nice walk on the Boardwalk if it isn't freezing).

      1 Reply
      1. re: KeithH

        I agree with KeithH. Taka is an excellent choice. Another good one is Kanji in Tinton Falls. Good luck on your date.

        http://www.takaapnj.com/
        http://kanjisteakhouse.com/

      2. Another vote for Taka here!

        1 Reply
        1. re: OGguy

          SAWA in Pier Village is great bc of the location. The food is not as good as Kanji, however Kanji is in a strip mall in Tinton Falls. I figured with your request to impress, Pier Village is a lot more appealing then a strip mall. On the other and if impressing with food rather then location is what you are looking for, my vote is for Kanji.

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          Pier Village
          30 Laird St, Long Branch, NJ

        2. I live in Ocean!

          It's a pan-asian joint, but Far East Taste in Eatontown IMO would make for a great casual first date. The decor won't impress her, but the food will.

          For Japanese, both Takara and Ichiban are good and right in Ocean. Kanji is also good but in Eatontown. I'm not a big fan of Taka, but it would make for a pretty nice date spot, maybe the best out of all the places mentioned. (Alongside Sawa Pier Village)

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          Far East Taste
          19 Main St, Eatontown, NJ 07724

          Ichiban
          2132 Route 35 S, Asbury Park, NJ 07712

          4 Replies
          1. re: joonjoon

            Both Takara and Ichiban are solid japanese restaurants. However, I find Kanji to be a notch better. That being said, you can't go wrong with any of them. While I agree that Far East Taste is good foodwise, I couldn't recommend it for a date due to the room.

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            Far East Taste
            19 Main St, Eatontown, NJ 07724

            Ichiban
            2132 Route 35 S, Asbury Park, NJ 07712

            1. re: bgut1

              I'd have recommended Far East Taste in spite of the room if Richard were still there, but since he's gone... Eh.

              1. re: equal_Mark

                It really hasn't been the same since Richard left...but for me personally, the type of girl I would be interested in would be just as excited (or more) to try a place like FET than your average sushi joint.

                1. re: equal_Mark

                  Sorry Mark, but everytime I used to get take out from Far East the smell of what I thought to be moth balls made me want to get out of there in a hurry. the food was good , but that place really needs a face lift.....so uninviting

            2. Sawa in Pier Village has a nice atmosphere for a date and the sushi is pretty good. Taka in Asbury is a great choice--just keep in mind it is a BYOB.

              1. If you're looking for something a little more on the quiet side, Bamboo Leaf in Bradley Beach has GREAT Thai. It doesn't seem like a lot of people talk about it but it would be a nice place for a first date if you're looking for something a little more intimate and quieter. Cute decor.

                I've been to Takara and while it was good, it didn't blow me away ... Sawa in Eatontown is good too but expect a lot of noise and expect it to be busy.

                1. it seems like everyone is suggesting Asian food, but for a nice date in Ocean, Piccola Italia fits the bill. Not too formal, but sophisticated and innovative Italian cuisine.

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                  Piccola Italia
                  837 W Park Ave, Ocean, NJ 07712

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: gwh912

                    The OP asked for Thai or Japanese, but your suggestion is certainly a good one, too.