Chicken Kafta @ Mashawi Lebanese Grill
One of the juiciest, most fragrant kebabs in town can be found at this Lebanese pita joint, where ground chicken is mixed with garlic and enough minced fresh herbs to turn the meat bright green.
814 E. Union Hills Dr., Phoenix,
The more things change, the more things stay irresistible at Gio Osso’s ever-evolving fusion bistro.
When Esquire magazine names your Mediterranean-fusion bistro one of America’s best new restaurants of 2013, it doesn’t necessarily light a fire under your toque to revamp the food. But Virtù chef Gio Osso isn’t one to rest on his culinary laurels – he mixes up the menu a couple times a week. Many of the changes are simple (an existing dish with different accompaniments, or prepared and presented in a new way), but occasionally encompass large menu blocks.
Liquor store owner’s fast-casual burger joint crams flavor into every meaty bite.
Stuffed meat is hit-or-miss. Do it wrong and you have oily processed cheese greasing up flank steak so tough it rivals a doggie chew toy. Prepared correctly, it offers surprise combinations of sweet, tangy and piquant.
If you take pleasure in following the goings-on of local celebrity chefs, you’ve come across Silvana Salcido Esparza a lot, probably more than any other. So it seems only natural she’s making headlines again, this time with Barrio Urbano, a small, pleasant place that opened in January at The Yard, Sam Fox’s bustling restaurant compound in north-central Phoenix.
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.
Former 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.