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Anyone been to Taneko lately?

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Hi, I am a business reporter for The Arizona Republic and I'd like to hear from people who have eaten at Taneko Japanese Tavern in Scottsdale lately. I'm writing a story about how the restaurant, a new concept from P.F. Chang's, has fared in its first five months of operation.
What do you think about the food, atmosphere, service, etc?
Please share your thoughts/experiences, good and bad.

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  1. i ate there about 3 months ago. i thought the food was great. i thought the service was even better. everyone was happy and really helpful. i went with a friend who lived in japan and she asked a million questions of everyone..they were well trained and could answer any question for the food, and were really nice about how many questions. and there were ALOT :D the black cod wsa great, the scallops were great, the fresh tofu was great, the meat you cook on rocks was great. i left my sweater in the booth, and our waiter came running after me with it outside. which has NEVER happened....

    my only complaint? why is it in scottsdale and not central phx :D

    1. My husband and I have eaten there 4 times since they opened last fall, most recently this past Saturday, for lunch. We have never been disappointed. The room, itself, is very impressive, with huge, wooden beams overhead and well-spaced tables. The service is excellent - the waitstaff most anxious to please.

      They have a great twist on the ubiquitous edamame - after the initial steaming or boiling (don't know which), they sear the edamame in a hot wok and toss it with some very nice seasoning. The blackened pods have a wonderful and different flavor.

      The last time we had dinner at Taneko, we were with another couple and, between us, had a lot of food restrictions to deal with. One of our friends is allergic to sesame seeds (but not sesame oil) and I'm dealing with chemo-induced neutropenia (sp?), which means I cannot eat any raw meat, fish, or vegetables because of the risk of food-borne illness. Our waiter listened very carefully and made sure that we ordered safely. One of the dishes my husband ordered was the tuna tartare, his favorite dish there, which ordinarily has sesame seeds in it. The waiter suggested that he'd have the kitchen omit the sesame seeds so that our friend would be able to share the dish. After the waiter put our order in, the chef came out of the kitchen to personally confirm all of our restrictions/allergies - he was confused by the "sesame seeds are out but sesame oil is okay" - and assured us that he would oversee the preparation of the dishes we had ordered so we wouldn't have any problems. That was a much-appreciated first.

      We love this restaurant for the whole experience - the atmosphere, the excellent service, the very tasty food. It's not exactly bargain-priced, but we find it to be worth it, and it's very convenient that you can go onto their website and make reservations online.

      1. I have been to Taneko 6 times since it has opened in the fall. It is by far the best restaurant I have ever been to. I have had nearly everything on their menu and everything has been amazing! Whenever we have company from out of town, we take them there. Not one person has been disappointed. My father especially. He lived in Japan for 3 years and could not believe the food! He said that it is the only place that he has been to that was so "right on" on how the Japanese really eat. He couldn't believe the flavors as well as all the dishes and he is very particular!

        Also, their wine list is amazing. My husband loves wine and rates restaurants on their lists as well as their food. He was impressed with the list and loves the food. We always try to get new things each time we go but one thing we always get. That's the Kobe beef. It is awesome! As is every appetizer, fish dish, veggies, etc. I could go on and on!

        Basically, we love this restaurant and will be lifelong customers there.

          1. re: Firenza00

            It's on Scottsdale Road, at the Borgata shopping center.

          2. Thanks. I didn't realize it was that far north on Scottsdale.

            1. Ate there today. It was o.k. I've been meaning to try it for a while as I love Japanese food and thought I'd give it some time to work out the kinks of a new place. The reviews were so so, hence I've not been in any hurry to get there. Regardless, I won't give a blow by blow review, but here are the basics...

              - The staff are very chipper and, at some times, a little too eager and raw.
              - The space... nice, but kind of too "themed" if going for the feel of a pub. In Japan.
              - We were there on a weekday, at lunch, dressed as one does for a conference, but they engaged us like it was Sat. night... suggesting multiple dinner courses and reviewing the booze lists.
              - They don't have a happy hour. What's up with that?
              - The food wasn't bad, but nothing great. I give them props for trying, but it seemed evolved by corporate thinking. For example, the hot stone meat entree was different, but only as different as ordering fajitas for the first time. The other tables look in awe, but it's just meat still a cooking. My miso soup was big, colorful, had chunks of ingredients swirling about - but was simply o.k. in taste.
              - My entree was tempura shrimp and veggies. I thought it would be a lighter choice, but halfway through I was dragging. Corporate wise, it was big, bold and full of color. The plate would look grand in a photo. Taste wise, I wasn't digging it. There was something non tradtional about the batter and it poked through with each bite.
              - My lunch meal was described as a bento box. I love bento boxes, This was nothing close. A Bento box presents the diner with a variety of self contained tastes that make the buds shift gears. Hot and cold, spicy and mild. I got a bunch of battered things and a side of strange rice (another story).
              - Again, they aren't bad, but nothing to be proud about. They don't need to do so.

              When I win the lotto, however, I'll take you to a real Japanese pub in Los Angeles where we can find
              the best on wildest dishes for a few bucks apiece,

              2 Replies
              1. re: tastyjon

                Your experience was closer to the one that I had...I know this sounds pathetic but the entree that we liked the most out of everything we tried was the burger.

                1. re: Molto E

                  Funny, because the tastiest morsel for me was the free amuse-bouche... a tasty marinated shitake mushroom.