Oleh Balaban takes over the space that was last Holy Smoke Grill, wiping out its soft tones and wood paneling for bright red and neon green décor. He's also brought in chef Marc Bynum to "elevate" his menu.
As the moniker insinuates, the star at this fast-casual joint is fajita tacos and bowls. The former is delivered via a toasted flour tortilla with vegetables, lettuce, shredded cheese and sour cream, plus salsas; the latter comes over rice with beans, vegetables and the usual fixings. Chicken, shrimp, steak and additional vegetables are can be ordered with both options. Tacos start at $5; bowls at $7.95. Platters and "boxes" that feed two to four people are available, too.
Custom sauces get equal attention here. Its housemade options include ranchito (buttermilk ranch, chipotle peppers, cilantro and lime), serrano (a fiery-meets-citrusy sauce) and salsa macha (spicy merit peppers with a touch of smokiness and umami).
The menu also features everything from enchiladas and quesadillas to burritos and a macha taco with guacamole, salsa macha, roasted corn and pickled onion. Super hungry? Go for the more-than-one-pound crunch wrap with rice, beans, tostadas and your choice of protein stuffed in a toasted eight-inch tortilla.
Quick bites come in the form of nacho tots, Mexican corn shrimp and Texas trash bean dip (refried beans with queso blanco, melted cheese, ground beef and salsa Fresca).
At Ole’s, customers can make modifications to menu items, but cannot DIY their own meals. Order at the counter then take a seat at one of about half a dozen tables.
Ole’s is at 3357 Merrick Rd. in Wantagh. It’s open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 8 p.m. 516-214-0387. olesfajitas.com