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By Carey Sweet
April, 2009, Page 264
Photos by David Moore
Baked cod “saikyo-yaki” in sweet miso
Those with deep pockets, a daring palate and
a party mindset will be wowed by the W, Scottsdale’s loud and lively sushi restaurant.
It’s not often that my dinner waves at me.
Yet, at Sushi Roku, that’s exactly what happened. My server set down a dish of raspberry point oysters, arranged on the half shell and glistening with dollops of osetra caviar. The mollusks sat on a glittering bed of ice, and perched alongside was a sea urchin.
A live sea urchin, hunkered like a spiky black ball, its needles dusted with gold flakes and gliding to-and-fro as it must have wondered, where is my salt water, and why is my butt suddenly so cold?
A few minutes earlier, the sushi chef had held a live lobster mere inches from my face. I looked into its beady coal eyes, and it reached out a rubber-banded claw, its tiny legs kicking uselessly as its captor described the many delicious things he could do to it.
I didn’t eat either creature. No matter how many odd things I’ve consumed in my two decades as a food writer, I draw the line at live goods.
Grilled tuna steak with shiitake mushrooms & micro green salad
Yet, I wasn’t surprised to see the animals on the menu – such shock effect is one of the hallmarks of Sushi Roku, which opened last September at the new W Scottsdale Hotel across from the Scottsdale Waterfront. It’s the fifth location for the hip spot, following outlets in Los Angeles, Pasadena, Santa Monica and Las Vegas. [The hotel is facing foreclosure proceedings, but restaurant proprietors say they are independent of the hotel.]
Investors include Ryan Seacrest and Tori Spelling, and most of the times I visited, I was swallowed up in a sea of hopelessly beautiful people, including the girl who sat next to me as I contemplated my oysters and uni: an exquisitely dressed little thing who had flown in from New York just to “do a little shopping” and giggled at the fact that she had rung up a solo tab of nearly $300 at this same restaurant the night before.
Now she was poking happily at a dish that was little more than high-budget bar food: popcorn rock shrimp tempura in a sticky miso glaze ($16). Do I even need to mention that this place is frighteningly expensive? The least costly adventure is a dull grilled Jidori chicken with shiitake mushrooms at $20; add another $6 if you want miso soup and rice.
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