Wednesday, April 01, 2015



Santos Lucha Libre

Intense flavors and copious chile heat rule the ring at this wrestling-themed taqueria.   

Equipped with a Chipotle-style service line and flashy Mexican wrestling décor, Santos Lucha Libre Taco Shop has all the trappings of a trendy fast-casual grazing spot, but make no mistake: This is a serious, spicy taqueria. Untested palates are likely to tap out.

Since opening last spring, the restaurant – from sibling team Jaime Zagarra (owner of Sombreros Mexican Grill in Tempe) and Martina Guzman – has quietly established itself as the taco shop in Sunnyslope, where taquerias are abundant and generally good. Guzman’s Mexico City-style fare may even be worth a drive for non-Slope folk.


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Noble Eatery

PHM0415EB07XFormer Noca chef and Downtown dough master find success in simplicity.

Former Noca chef Claudio Urciuoli is most at ease with simple dishes. Consequently, he teamed up with local bread maker Jason Raducha to open Noble Eatery, a community-focused, order-at-the-counter restaurant showcasing organic legumes, artisanal meats, fresh produce from Blue Sky and McClendon’s – and, of course, Raducha’s signature loaves.


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The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess’ hip mash-up of Latin and Asian cuisine is no bull.

It generally pays to follow the “don’t dine in a hotel restaurant unless you’re on vacation” rule. Hey, I like lobster bisque and conservatively seasoned filet mignon as much as the next person, but why settle for reliable standbys?


Read more: Toro

Paz Cantina y Taqueria

PHM0315EB05New Downtown taqueria offers subtle variations on the tried and true upscale taco theme.


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Welcome Chicken + Donuts

PHM0315Flash-WelcomeCenPho’s favorite micro-diner makes holy matrimony of two deep-fried favorites.


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The Upton

PHM0315Flash-UptonLed by its longtime sous chef, the former Petite Maison is less French and less ritzy, but a classy nosh nonetheless.


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Diego Pops

0215EB08Old Town has a new Caribbean king.

Last February, Pottery Paradise in Old Town Scottsdale shuttered after an historic 60-year-run. In its place, we now find Diego Pops, a casual Mexican eatery with Mayan, Yucatan and Caribbean influences. Out with birdbaths and railing planters, in with plantain bowls and tuna tacos.


Read more: Diego Pops