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Feb 3, 2009 08:50 AM

Scottsdale/Phx recs???

We are going for a long weekend in March. Looking for one splurge dinner and one moderate dinner, maybe a good sushi place, Roka Akor?? Going to try PIzza Bianco one night since the wife is a huge pizza freak and not much of a foodie. any recs would be greatly appreciated. Any of the resort restaurants any good? thanks!

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  1. If you have one dinner to splurge, it has to be Binkley's. However, since your better half isn't a foodie, you may want to try one of the many steakhouses in the area. They are all pretty good and the differences are purely based on opinion. As for sushi, again, there are many places and it depends on what type of sushi you want: rolls, sashimi, a big scene with music/hipsters, or a chill chef-one-on-one. As for pizza, SKIP Piz. Bianco. Seriously, this is by far the most overrated burnt crust weak pizza around. It is nothing special. You are better off going to Grazzie or a few other good spots around town without the hassle, wait, or hype.

    2 Replies
    1. re: danieli10

      Leopard spotting is definitely not the same thing as burnt. I've done both in the wood fired pizza oven I built, and one is tasty and desirable, the other definitely isn't. ;-) To someone not familiar with Neapolitan pizza, it often looks burnt, and gets sent back. A real shame, since that's a leading reason wood fired pizza places run a much cooler oven than they should, and end up sending out a soggy, limp, inferior product. Pizzeria Bianco does it right, and with exceptional ingredients.

      1. re: modthyrth

        I'm very familiar with the style of pizza. Its still overrated. Burnt is burnt.

    2. Depending on where you will be staying and how far you are willing to drive - Hana is a great choice for sushi. It is on 7th Ave in between Camelback and Bethany Home. It is a BYOB restaurant .

      Hana Japanese Eatery
      5524 N 7th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85013

      1. what? skip pizzeria bianco's? no way - its fantastic. like jk always says, rediscover the art of conversation, split a bottle of vino at bar bianco, and dinner will be ready in no time :)

        i would completely disagree on the steakhouse recommendation. there's a whole slew of uber steak spots here now. but i'd still skip them. unless you live under a rock i imagine there are some pretty stellar steak places near you ;)

        i would say, for a splurge

        try noca, because its the best restaurant in town
        try lons, because the food is great, and the scenery is unbeatable, esp in this weather
        try kai, because i can't imagine there are many restaurants like it anywhere on earth
        try digestif, because their charcuterie and inventive drinks are amazing
        try rancho pinot, because the food and old phoenix kitcsh are ultra fantastic

        oh, and there's nothing moderate about roka akor. hold on to your wallet with both hands, that place is EXPENSIVE. hana is a much better choice - excellent sushi, and it won't break the bank.

        hope that helps :)

        1. One that I've been hearing raves about for sushi is Dozo, tucked away in a strip mall a hair east of Roka Akor. Doesn't look like much from the outside, but anyone I've sent there has come back raving.

          Pizzeria Bianco is hands down *the* best pizza I have had anywhere. Winedubar stole my usual line. It's worth it.

          Dozo Japanese Cuisine
          4320 N Miller Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

          10 Replies
          1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

            thanks guys! I am leaning towards noca and will check out the other sushi places. is noca a tough reservation? i tried on open table but it is too far out.

            1. re: elegantelliot

              NOCA is fabulous, but totally for foodies. I second Hana as well.

              1. re: danieli10

                Third on Hana. And my Noca leanings are well documented. :)

              1. re: elegantelliot

                In that case, you really should also check out Prado restaurant in the resort. Their menus are on the hotel website, and there are several reviews online. We've dined there twice and had great experiences. A nice lunch of tapas, perhaps, since your dinners seem to be planned out. I love anything cooked over hard wood, and they do it well. BONUS for the burrata and the churros & chocolate!

                You shouldn't have any problem getting into NOCA this far out, but you can call them to make the reservation if you want a specific time.

                I'll also throw my support to Bianco's. It's a lot of fun socializing in line, especially once the bar next door opens up. The food is totally worth the wait. We always get the roasted veg antipasto (again, roasted with hard wood) and have never been disappointed.

                1. re: MesaChow

                  I was curious about Prado, but we will probably like to leave the resort for dinners. What about Bloom? you are making me nervous about noca since the wife isnt too adventurous, but i did find some things on the current menu she would eat.

                  1. re: elegantelliot

                    People who aren't foodies will love Noca, and people who are foodies will REALLY love Noca.

                    1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                      Very well stated!

                      To the OP, please do a Search of this board for some fairly extensive reviews of NOCA. Seth Chadwick just posted one a week + ago. Don't hold the photograhs against him. The venue did not fit well for his flash unit. His photographs are usually much more reflective (no pun intended) of the fare, that he's eating. Just plugging in "NOCA" should yield many threads to read. I also link to others' articles off this board (a CH no-no, but they seem to have left them up?).

                      To muddy the waters a bit, however, I've dined at many of the places recommended in your thread, and have to say that they are very good, as well. The others, get great reviews, so would assume that they are very Chow-worthy, too.



                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                        just wanted to thank you guys for the recs. we went to Noca and it was great! the owner was very friendly and helpful. we sat at the bar looking into the kitchen and all of the chefs were great as well. the food was great! I had the bacon and eggs and the skate. both were delicious. i would definitely reccomend it to others and go back again if I am in the area. We also ate at Bloom and Roka Akor which we also enjoyed. thanks again!

                        1. re: elegantelliot

                          I am glad that you had a good time at NOCA, and that you took the time to post back.

                          And, please come back to the area. There is more!!!


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