Nikki Buchanan, Author at PHOENIX magazine

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Paco’s Taco’s trio | Photo by Nikki Buchanan I’m always on the lookout for quick, inexpensive Mexican restaurants turning out great food. In a perfect world, they’re located within five minutes of my house, but hey, I’ll take what I can get. I’ve found a great one that checks most of the boxes, but alas, it takes me nearly 20 minutes to get there. Still, it’s going in the mental Rolodex for a couple of...

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In a move that surprises no one who knows him, chef Claudio Urciuoli has left Pa’La and Pa’La Downtown, the Italian-influenced, seafood-centric restaurants in which he partnered with Omar Alvarez of Tortas Paquime. As you may recall, the two opened the first Pa’La on 24th Street in late 2017, followed by a larger, full-service Pa’La Downtown — where the kitchen was (and is) helmed by Jason Alford – in 2021. He has amicably parted ways...

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Dom Ruggiero, the chef-owner of wildly popular Hush Public House in North Scottsdale, has a knack for figuring out where the market is under-served, and a good restaurant is needed. Case in point: North Scottsdale was a dining desert until Ruggiero opened Hush and resolved the problem in 2019. From day one, the place was packed with customers who loved Hush’s laidback vibe and Ruggiero’s sophisticated version of comfort food. Now, he and his wife...

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