Sunday, May 24, 2015

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Toro

PHM0415 FlashToroThe 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?

 

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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.

 

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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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