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Dec 9, 2007 06:43 PM

Tucson Recommendations

We will be spending 4 days in Tucson over the New Year staying at The Westin La Paloma. I would like some suggestions for the best Italian and Asian restaurants in the city. Any special recommendations for New Years Eve? I would like one restaurant to have a great view, another more of a neighbourhood feel. Thanks! Martin

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  1. I'm not an expert, having moved from Tucson years ago, but I'd choose Yamato and Gavi for the neighborhood feel restaurants. "The best" I'm never sure of, but both have good food/selections and warm environs.

    1. we ate at Gavi on a recent trip and it was outstanding. Very simple, neighborhood type place as mentioned above. Portion sizes are WAY TOO BIG. when you've eaten for a while they just come by and ask if you are ready for a box...everybody leaves with a box.

      Another nicer place that we enjoyed was Mona Lisa Corleone, a Sicilian place downtown. Nice service and very good food.

      can't help with a view place though.

      1. We're fans of Gavi as well.

        For a view, we like JBar right there at the Westin. Might be too cold right now to sit out but they may have really effective heaters. Since you're staying there definitely check it out, at least for a drink and some guacamole.

        We had a good dinner at Janos over the summer as well. More upscale and elegant then JBar.

        1. If you want great Italian food you need to go to Tavolino. I say it time and time again on this board but it is the best Italian in Tucson. The owner/chef has pictures of his family at a dinner table in Italy. Just a wonderful restaurant, I recommend the penne pasta dish, it is so simple but soo good. Another good place is Trattoria della Famiglia. They have a wonderful carbanora!!! As for Asian, I like Neo of Malaka which is pretty upscale and may be a bit over priced but the food is good. They also own another restaurant in town called Sri Malaka, but I haven't been there so I can't comment. I also like Pacific Cafe. It is this hole in the wall place but very good food. Not much for ambiance but hole in the wall places never are.

          As for something special, with a wonderful view, I recommend The Grill at Hacienda Del Sol: Their food is always amazingly tasty and you can't beat the wine list. If you like meat I recommend the buffalo, it just melts in your mouth. Usually I have the sommelier choose our wine because the list is pretty large and for the most part he usually goes off list and gives us something wonderful. Not sure what they are doing for New Year's but I would call soon because most places fill up pretty quickly.

          2 Replies
          1. re: bluedevil33

            I forgot! If you like Japanese you need to go to Yoshimatsu. Wonderfully good bento boxes and excellent sushi.

            1. re: bluedevil33

              I concur re: Tavolino and The Grill at Hacienda del Sol. I'm no expert on Asia, so I'll leave that area alone. The only other Italian place I highly recommend is Vivace. it's very popular and very good.

            2. If you are willing to drive a bit, "Primo" the restaurant at JW MArriott's Starr Pass is wonderful and the views of the city are spectacular. It isn't a hard drive from the Westin.

              We stayed 1 night at the Westin July 2006 [before going to Starr Pass] and had a less than stellar experience. I hope they have remodeled since then, as our room was very worn and tired.

              Hope your time there is better than ours was.