Need suggestions: Asian food in PHX East Valley.
I'm looking to try something new and avoid another trip to PF Changs for dinner out Friday night with a friend.
She's requested Chinese, and wants someplace 'a little nicer' where we will feel comfortable taking up a table for awhile to do some catching up. (I think we'd both be willing to do someplace more casual if it offers great food, and won't be concerned about a slow turn on the table.)
Her suggestion was PF Changs, but I would like to try something new , and even better if it's a non-chain. I think I could talk her into Japanese, however she's not a sushi fan (although I am), so we'd have to go somewhere that offers more than just sushi. Perhaps Vietnamese as well; I'm not much of a Thai fan, though.
We'll be meeting at AZ Mills, but I am comfortable driving to Scottsdale or wherever for a nice meal. Price isn't a primary concern. We're also planning on eating a little on the early side (6pm or so) so hopefully crowds won't be as large of a factor.
She'll want to review a menu online prior to agreeing, as well. Not as large of a problem as it used to be, but still a possible factor!
I would recommend Wong's Chinese on Baseline just east of McClintock. It's only a few miles from the Mills. They have a regular (pink) and blue (which is for the sophisticated Chinese food diner) menus to order from. We live close by and have always been pleased with their food. The interior is nice and we've never been rushed by the staff.
From your description, Taneko seems to fit the bill. It is actually a chain (but so far, it is the only restaurant they have opened). It is a sister to PF Changs.
It is Japanese, and really is a nice atmosphere. Food is hit or miss (but they have a few wonderful dishes, so order properly, and you will have a nice meal).
There has been a ton of discussion on the boards regarding this restaurant (and at least half a dozen reviews by the critics).
6166 N Scottsdale Rd Ste 601, Scottsdale, AZ 85253
I would respectfully disagree with the recommendation for Taneko. I found the food lacking the one time I went, and it does feel just as much of a chain as PF Changs to me at least.
For Chinese, you could try C-Fu Gourmet at Warner and Dobson, or Golden Buddha at the Chinese Cultural Center. Both are known for dim sum but we've had good experiences there at dinner time as well. Both are near big asian grocery stores that can be fun to stroll around afterwards.
Korean is a good way to go for someone wanting food that is not too scary but good. Just about everyone likes Korean BBQ (Bulgogi). My favorite Korean place is Chodang at Arizona Ave. just south of Ray. Their specialty is tofu stew, which is my absolute favorite thing, but they do nice bulgogi and kalbi plates (cooked in the kitchen, not at your table).
Good luck. I'd be interested to hear where you end up...