Scuba and the Beast, Highlands [NJ]

(Greg Caggiano) #21

NONE of that food looks even remotely appetizing.

(Retired !) #22

Wow, that drink looks like something from the tiki room at Disneyland…

What’s under the Texas toast?

(Mr met) #23

You really are the hero of the site man, two in one day. Looking forward to hearing about this place too.


To start, that is their BLT my friend had. This is probably going to get long so pour yourself a cocktail or start your smoker up…I’ll try to keep it somewhat brief.

So we get there at 830 and it’s jumping. We got the last spot in the parking lot, literally at the very end.

We dined outside and there were two tables left, both 2 seaters so we were greeted immediately and seated instantly…good start on all fronts.

The vibe was cool…a mix of younger and older people…not hipster at all. There was a larger party of women and I think it may have been some kind of Bachelorette party. There were sashes and glitter involved lol. It was rather loud, but not too loud for me.

So I order scallops crudo and tuna carapaccio to start. I’m told the scallops are 86…no biggie. I said to just bring out the tuna and we will decide on some other apps. A little time goes by and I’m told the tuna was 86 as well. 0 for 2.

So I decide to go with scallops wrapped in bacon and a second app with bacon, the slab bacon.

So I’m 2 for 4 at this point.

Meanwhile my Disneyland drink was a home run! Seriously a great cocktail…Tiki punch. It wasn’t like hi-c, it had ample liquor in it, was ice cold, decent sized and had some great coconut flavor without being overpowering. My friend got a cucumber lemonade and that was smooooth. The bartender this night was on. At 12 a clip these should be good drinks and they were really tasty.

I then go to order mains and I opt for the shortrib…86. Then I ask for the tuna…guess what…out as well. So I’m 2 for 6 here. Then the waitress says “oh and here are a few more we ran out of.” So at that point I was frustrated and said, let me get some wings and think this over. I wasn’t frustrated but just kind of baffled maybe.

So the scallops in bacon come out and appear nice looking but the white plate and no garnish don’t really make this look super appetizing. I think 3 for 15 so not exactly cheap. They are RAW on the inside. I still ate them, as I eat raw fish and beef, but I kindly let the waitress know. I didn’t ask to send them back. I just said “you might get some disgruntled customers if this is what they are going to serve.” They got the bacon right. It was crispy and they had the right idea, they just didn’t execute. Bacon takes a hell of a lot longer to cook than a scallop so on paper they got this correct but the cook just botched this up. In hind sight, I should have asked for some ponzu and eaten the scallops separately.

The slab bacon had a decent coffee rub, not too strong. As Greg mentions, the presentation just isn’t there. I’m more of a food guy so looks come later on my priority list but they can improve on this area. This bacon was tasty but it was served warm. I wish it was served hot. This dish was ok. 11 bucks I think for two thick slices. They served it sliced as well. I’ve never seen that on slab bacon. Not bad but I like to cut my meat and don’t opt for cut porterhouses or large ribeyes for 2.

So then the BLT comes out. The thing must have been sitting around for 20 minutes. The fries had absolutely no warmth. It was like someone chucked this out in the kitchen and then it was found later and brought out. The fries were literally room temp. The sad part is, they probably are great fries hot.

So I kindly say to the waitress, please feel this. She is like wow, those are cold. Yup. And at the same time I said, “they forgot her side of guacamole too.”

So I commented on two dishes. I never asked to send anything back or blamed her. She came back and told me that all the food was comped. I paid for drinks and left her a very nice tip. More to come…


So the manager came over and was very apologetic. He said he noted some of the things that I pointed out and would work on getting the issues fixed. He seemed genuinely concerned.

Greg, the wings were tasty. I got them hot and they juiced it up with some crushed red pepper.

So is it on the waitress to check the heat of the blt dish? Does she/he feel if there is any heat coming off the fries or is it on the cook? (Or both to make sure you’re getting a decent dish?)


I’m trying man. Someone’s gotta do it :smile:

(Retired !) #27


With the beast



Wow–they really ARE new at this, huh? (Fwiw, it looks like they’ve been open <2 weeks.) But–if you’re open, you’re open–and need to figure out how to fix issues like this, AND FAST! I don’t know that town/geography at all, but when I drove by the other day, I was surprised that it was in the middle of a residential area. So…are these all locals who are packing it in the early days? Were they desperate for something close by? I guess I’m shocked that a place this new is THIS packed. Maybe it’s all friends/family/fans of the food truck–who knows. But I’ll say this–from a hospitality standpoint, it sounds like management did THE right thing. Half the menu being 86d says to me that they haven’t figured out how busy they’ll be yet, and that’s totally understandable imo. But food that’s not cooked and not hot? NOT okay under any circumstances. That sounds like kitchen basics to me!

I’m curious to know if anyone is familiar with their truck. Up in NNJ, when Oink and Moo opened a bricks and mortar location, many of us were thrilled because we knew the quality of the food coming off of the truck. Ditto with Kimchi Smoke; he built a rep out at local markets and events, so the food was already speaking for itself.

(Greg Caggiano) #29

Wow. What an experience!

Thank you for the detailed review. I think I may pass on this place. I’ve been to too many clunkers in the last couple months it seems.

The place is within walking distance from a friend’s house. That is the only conceivable way I would end up there. I’m glad your slab bacon was good. From the pic, it appears to be soggy and sitting in grease. Not very appetizing-looking, but if you say its good, I believe you. The BLT contains the largest bread I have ever seen. I wouldn’t even call that “Texas Toast”.

Thank you for taking one for the team. There’s a nice cross waiting for you somewhere! :smiley:

(Retired !) #30


The song…

One thing I could never figure out, what’s José with the cheesy Mexican accent doing in Hawaii ?


Greg the bacon was served with an espresso maple butter. It was a decent dish but I wish it came out hot and was cooked up a little more, but with bacon it is tough to please everyone. My definition of the perfect bacon “crispy factor” could be different from yours and ten other people. Bottomline, it tasted good, didnt blow my mind and the flavor of the coffee butter added a unique taste. If I were the chef I’d serve it with a side of jalapeño syrup/jus or some bread to sop up some of that butter. Drew does jalapeño with his chicken and waffles and so does gas light.

As for the blt, I don’t eat those so I can’t comment on it. I’m not a mayo or raw tomato person. I will say it looked a lot different than the blt my mom and dad used to eat.

@CurlzNJ I don’t really know what to tell you lol. It was an off night for them. I could probably go on but I think you got my point. On a positive side, our waitress was very nice and attentive. I’ll let her slide on bringing out the cold fries :slight_smile:

The manager told me a cook walked out in the middle of a shift so I am sure this didn’t help matters.

Anyway, as off as this night was, I will still give this spot another try. Everyone has a bad day. I will give it a little time and I respect how they handled this. I literally only said a comment on the raw scallops, the cold fries and the missing side. They made right by me and I never looked for any handouts. I want to see this place do well.

My approach next time is to fly solo maybe and sit at the bar. I want to try the tuna carapaccio and short rib…and not disappoint anyone I bring :slight_smile:


I like my bacon partly almost raw and partly overcooked. The contrasts in texture and flavor does it for me.

I know Scuba and the Beast is new but the combination of running out of food and comping meals is something I’ve seen too many times on Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares.

I wish them well.


Yes, everyone likes bacon differently and I’m not taking any points off for this dish. It could just be better with a little attention to details. I’m also not going to rant and rave on yelp or Google about this place after a single visit. Businesses and people have bad days. It happens to me, my business, and I like to give everyone a second chance…even a 3rd chance as they work kinks out.

This place has potential and I hope they can turn this into a successful business. I believe I just caught them on a busy night under a bad situation. It appears management is going to look into some issues and I think they will get better.

@NotViking I’m not sure on that topic. I’ve been to HI and I don’t think I’ve met one person from mx there. I will give this place and bartender kudos for making some tasty cocktails with some actual liquor in them. I can’t stand watered down bs drinks.

(Retired !) #34

Have you been to ikinawannapoku or kamaniwannaleia ?

(Junior) #35

Interesting, very interesting. I will go along with the group in thanking you for taking two for the team!! Unfortunately for you both sucked! lol

I will say this, I too dislike my bacon cut up into pieces, the only other place I know that does this is Steak 85. Not a fan although their bacon is coated with brown sugar so it’s very tasty!

I would also suspect your bacon wrapped scallops were probably frozen. This would explain how the bacon was cooked yet they were still raw, or just “defrosted” vs. cooked all the way through.

I will say though I appreciate management being proactive and obviously the server as well for notifying the manager of the issues you were having. That’s a big PLUS in my book, for that reason alone no matter how miserable your experience was, I would still give them a try. I respect any establishment who is having some growing pains if they own up to their mistakes.

Where you there Sat or Sunday? I passed them on Saturday night on my way to Bay Pointe Inn and the parking lot was pretty packed around 8pm.


Yeah it wasn’t the best food weekend I’ve ever had!

I was there saturday night and it was packed up. I got there around 8:30

How was bay point?

(Junior) #37

Bay Point was very good, perhaps even better than last time…BUT at $ 360. without tip for 4 people (obviously with more than just a couple drinks) I’m not sure it’s anywhere near worth $ 100+ per person with tip.

Myself and my buddy got the broiled seafood platter $45. each came with a crab cake (as described) but honestly should have at least a half a 4oz. lobster tail. I would take the All Seasons Diner broiled seafood platter (with a half lobster tail) @ $ 26 any day of the week over the Bay Point Inn’s. It’s honestly one of my favorite things to get at the All Seasons…even the Americana’s broiled seafood platter isn’t half bad, but I like the All Seasons better.

(Retired !) #38

It certainly is big bread… a very big bread… a very… big fluffy bread…

Is anybody back there?


Yeah the bread was big! I didn’t touch it so I can’t comment on the sandwich. Looked weird to me.

Jr, that’s a steep bill. 100 a head is a good night in newark if you don’t go heavy on the booze.

(Retired !) #40

I think we need to check this out. Thanks for the tip.