Friday, January 30, 2015

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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.

 

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Shabu Fondue

0215EB05Chef Johnny Chu’s hot pots return for a steamy, mouthwatering experience.

Megan Draper’s cheesy appetizer from the Mad Men Season 6 opener looked so scrumptious it landed in a cookbook aptly titled Fondue. But the gooey Swiss standard isn’t the only trending heat-and-dip option. In August, chef Johnny Chu unveiled Shabu Fondue, a petite North Phoenix eatery serving Japanese “shabu-shabu.” The concept is simple: meats, veggies and noodles cooked tableside in broth. The fun part: You do the cooking.

 

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Marigold Maison

PHM0215Flash-6-MarigoldIs the Valley hungry for upscale Indian cuisine? The brain trust behind Roka Akor is betting on it.

The new Marigold Maison is as much a proving ground as it is a place to get a good plate of tikka masala or tandoori chicken. And if Valley diners respond as the owners anticipate, you may see Marigolds blooming around the country.

 

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Cuff

PHM 500x500 FPOFormer Eddie V’s chef Tom Harvey sticks with the script at his palate-pleasing West Valley food pub.

In the 2014 sleeper hit Chef, the titular character reluctantly forgoes an adventurous menu in favor of cooking his “greatest hits.” Local chef Tom Harvey, formerly of Eddie V’s Prime Seafood, goes a similar route at Cuff, a newly-opened American eatery in the West Valley. The movie comparison probably ends there – Cuff owner David Chang (Zang’s Asian Bistro) doesn’t strike me as the kind of seething control freak Dustin Hoffman plays in the flick – but plating things safe is a wise move in downtown Glendale, where culinary piety, not experimentation, is most prized.

 

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Mucho Macho Taco

PHM 500x500 FPOA Valley taco legend delivers little pieces of paradise in uptown Phoenix.

Can there ever be enough tacos in Phoenix? Probably not. Because tacos, when done right, are stuffed pieces of paradise. And in Phoenix, there are as many kinds of taco tastes as places to get them – from the juicy lengua at La Frontera food truck at 16th Street and Van Buren to the meltingly soft Yucatán-style cochinita pibil from chef Silvana Salcido Esparza’s legendary Barrio Café.

 

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Vivo! Ristorante

PHM0115Flash-1-VivoThe authentic Italian menu at Tomaso Maggiore’s new Scottsdale restaurant makes offers we can’t refuse.

When Valley legend Tomaso Maggiore teamed up with a pair of paisans from the old country to open Vivo! Ristorante in September, their goal was to create an authentic Italian experience. With an emphasis on quality ingredients imported from Italy, the trio has built an impressive menu of traditional Italian favorites and assembled a kitchen brigade with some serious cooking chops.

 

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¶lim¶50 Best Places to Eat

PHM0115Feat-1From the curds of Wisconsin to the California Cobb salad, eat in all 50 States... without leaving the Valley!

Almost since its inception, America has played the role of cultural melting pot. Or is “stew pot” a more appropriate metaphor? In this 30-page celebration of American culinary traditions, we’ve selected the most singular, defining dishes from all 50 states. Then we scoured the Valley to locate the 50 restaurants that make the best local versions of these regional delicacies. 50 states, 50 plates. Which did we choose to represent your home state? Keep reading, American food lover.

 

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