Chopstick Nights

Written by Shelby Moore Category: Happy Hour Issue: February 2018
Group Free

Score bargain bibimbap and other bites at these upscale Asian happy hours.

Photography by Louis HernandezHot Noodles Cold Sake
15689 N. Hayden Rd., Scottsdale
480-432-9898, hotnoodlescoldsake.com
Chef Josh Hebert’s casual, weekly ramen nights at his late restaurant, Posh, presciently operated under the premise that world-traveling foodies and industry insiders would have no problem coughing up $15 for a bowl of ramen. And how! A few years later, gourmet ramen is firmly embedded in the Valley’s culinary consciousness, and Hebert’s stripped-down ramen concept Hot Noodles Cold Sake is setting the bar high while keeping things approachable. Happy hour includes house-brined pickles ($2) and salty edamame ($1.50, down from $4), which will have you reaching for a golden Tokyo-brewed Kirin ($3, or $5 accompanied by a mild, slightly fruity serving of Kikusui sake). Pork and shrimp steam buns are half off at $3, inviting the distinct possibility of spoiling your appetite before the ramen even arrives. 4-6 p.m. M-F.

Photography by Louis HernandezOBON
15037 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale
602-491-2796, fukushuconcepts.com/obon
While Phoenix-based restaurants have been trying to crack the famously insular Tucson market for years – some stir up the dust (Welcome Diner), some bite it (Pizzeria Bianco) – concepts from down south rarely wander up and try their luck here in the Valley. This upscale ramen and sushi spot is the exception, having staked out a prime corner in the Scottsdale Quarter mixed-use utopia. During happy hour, select apps, entrées and cocktails get slashed by $2 a pop. Don’t miss the K-Town Shandy ($8), an appetite-awakening mix of Calpico (a tangy, yogurt-flavored soda), soju (distilled rice spirit), rum and lemon that you spike to your liking with a can of Korean Kloud lager. Tuck into bowls of rich, spicy kimchi fried rice ($14), boldly studded with Spam and freshened up with plenty of green scallions; and slurpy street noodles, accompanied by crushed peanuts and a wedge of lime to zip things to life. 3-6 p.m. M-Su.

Photography by Louis HernandezLing & Louie’s
9397 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale
480-767-5464, lingandlouies.com
The P.F. Chang’s approach to Asian fare has been imitated to no end since the Phoenix-based chain first hit it big. Though clearly inspired by PFC, Ling & Louie’s has quietly brought plenty of great new ideas to the table. For example: a towering frozen Mai Tai, called the Thai Mai, which gushes a slurry of frozen juices and tropical rums into a pool of much deeper, darker rum, swirling the booze up and down the glass. It’s a drunken Disneyland drink unleashed on North Scottsdale sippers, and it’s $3 off at happy hour, so order plenty of discounted snacks to sop it up. Creamy-crunchy crab rolls ($5) and minced, wok-fired chicken lettuce wraps ($7) ought to get you started, while Mongolian flatbread ($7, down from $11.25) with thinly sliced beef and a spicy chile aioli will keep you sharp as you tie on the Thai. 3-7 p.m. M-F, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sa-Su, 9 p.m.-close M-Su.