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NOCA Simple Supper (PHX)

c
crsin May 2, 2009 07:54 PM

Sorry I'm a bit behind the "learning curve" on this one--is the only dining option on Sundays at NOCA the simple supper, or is the main menu still offered? I made reservations a while back for a Sunday, assuming that they did offer the main menu with just a separate option of the simple supper, but reading back posts it seems there may be only one option.

I'm hoping the main menu is still offered, as there are plenty of things I've been eyeing and waiting to try, whereas nothing in the fried chicken/coleslaw/cobbler lineup appeals to me, and is probably way too limited for those I'm going with (would likely perfer meat options, several seafood dishes, etc.) and their drive time (may not be thrilled driving 40 minutes for fried chicken). Will be really disappointed to cancel the reservations, as I've been waiting for an opportunity to go...just happened to be on a Sunday. Thanks.

  1. JK Grence the Cosmic Jester May 3, 2009 03:09 AM

    If you haven't cancelled the reservation yet, you're more than welcome to transfer it over to me. It's been too long since I've been.

    They do only offer the Simple Sunday Supper on Sundays. I've had several meals at Noca. All of them were top-notch, but the fried chicken was the best. Seriously, it's absolutely incredible chicken. Yes, the menu is simple American food. However, this is simple American food made by people who are incredibly passionate about making truly great food. The only other fried chicken as good as Noca's in town is from Lo-Lo's Chicken & Waffles, or Lo-Lo's grandma at Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe.

    4 Replies
    1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester
      c
      crsin May 3, 2009 12:41 PM

      I did cancel the reservation, but it was on opentable, which still has noca reservations open in virtually every time slot for tonight, so go for it. I don't doubt their passion, or the tastiness of the chicken, but it's ultimately still fried chicken, which I'm not a huge fan of, so wouldn't drive and pay $35 for a meal centered around it. I hope you enjoy, though. Report back if you do go...I'm kind of curious what's involved in the cole slaw and ceaser bread salads.

      1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester
        Firenza00 May 3, 2009 03:36 PM

        I'd have to mildly disagree with you on Lo-Lo's. I found Noca to be better than Lo-Lo's. We're still talking great chicken either way, but Noca's was higher on our scale. We haven't been to Mrs. White's, but our fried chicken at Stacy's Smokehouse ranks between Noca and Lo-Lo's. The limited availability at Stacy's makes hit hard to get for us, though, whereas Lo-Lo's is all the time.

        As for the massive price difference, well, we find Noca worth every penny. We share EJS's "complaint" about Noca basically ruining all other restaurants to some extent. If you want great fried chicken any time, Lo-Lo's is a no-brainer. If you want amazing fried chicken combined with all that is right about restaurants, be patient and make reservations for the SSS.

        We can't wait for Tara to get a new job so we can celebrate at Noca. It's been nearly three months since our last visit. Far, far too long.

        1. re: Firenza00
          azhotdish May 3, 2009 04:38 PM

          Noca and Stacy's both make some damn good chicken. I was at Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles in Hollywood a couple months back, and didn't think it stacked up to either of their fried chicken.

          Firenza - I do believe Stacy's chicken is available during the day, but the details are alluding me at the moment. Perhaps you should give them a call.

          1. re: azhotdish
            Firenza00 May 3, 2009 07:42 PM

            I think the last time we went, it was after 3pm on weekdays. It's been a while, though, so they may have changed it.

      2. c
        crsin May 2, 2009 09:08 PM

        Confirmed: they do only offer the Sunday Supper menu. Too bad.

        firecooked-yes, they do give you an option of fish, meat or vegetables for the second course, but it's still too limited for what I'm looking for, and neither the first or desert courses excite me much, either. Thanks, though.

        1. firecooked May 2, 2009 09:04 PM

          Give them a call. I seem to remember they Sunday that we went a while back they had a fish option and a vegetarian option. Definiately not a full menu, but there was some variety.

          1. z
            ziggylu May 2, 2009 08:03 PM

            Unless things have changed the Simple Supper is the only thing offered on Sunday.

            We haven't had a chance to try the Simple Supper because we always have dinner with my parents on Sunday evening(and my father, sadly, has become a cranky old man who would not appreciate it if we tried to take him to try it one evening). Anyway, we actually had dinner with them tonight instead because my sister is out of town tomorrow so I was excited to try the Simple Supper finally. Unfortunately as you mention tomorrow night's menu features the fried chicken, which while I understand people love, holds no interest for neither me nor my husband. The last free sunday night we had a couple months ago was also fried chicken night. Hopefully the third time is a charm and we'll finally get there and try this the next time we don't have a Sunday night obligation! We have enjoyed the two times we've eaten off the regular menu but I guess that's no consolation to you.

            11 Replies
            1. re: ziggylu
              c
              crsin May 2, 2009 08:26 PM

              That's a shame...for both of us! I'm not sure I understand the rationale behind offering such a narrow dining option on Sundays, unless it just to be easier on the kitchen, in lieu of closing for the night. Anyway, I guess I'll just have to wait for another occasion to go so that I can experience the full menu.

              1. re: crsin
                z
                ziggylu May 2, 2009 08:32 PM

                You might want to give them a ring just to be sure that hasn't changed.

                I actually don't mind the idea of the Sunday Simple Supper myself(probably because our own Sunday dinners are typical "simple suppers" where we just get together and catch up over dinner each week) but really have no interest in eating fried chicken! I know everyone is going to be along here to tell us how wonderful the fried chicken really is. I have no doubt, as fried chicken goes, it is but it's just not something I'm going to go out of my way to eat. (I couldn't tell you the last time I had it to be honest).

                Last sunday's menu looked good and I know my husband would love to try the short ribs. Me, I'm always happy to eat fish and NOCA does a great job with it so if the main selection had at least interested my husband we'd have tried it...this is the one thing typically featured on the Sunday Supper he has no interest in trying though. Oh well....someday my night off at my parents and their menu will align!

                Hope you can get there sometime to try out the rest of the menu...they really do a nice job for the most part!

                1. re: ziggylu
                  c
                  crsin May 2, 2009 08:48 PM

                  "I have no doubt, as fried chicken goes, it is but it's just not something I'm going to go out of my way to eat."

                  My thoughts exactly. I've heard their fried chicken is great but, ultimately, fried chicken is fried chicken, and I can't help but feel it could only be elevated so far. It may be very good but it's still fried chicken, and it doesn't evoke a huge amount of enthusiasm from me (maybe if I lived just a block down the road and ate there on a weekly basis anyway, but...). You're right that many of the other sunday supper menus looks much more enticing, any of them really. Hope you get another chance to head there on a sunday sometime soon.

                2. re: crsin
                  winedubar May 3, 2009 08:42 PM

                  i'm pretty sure the rationale matches that of several other amazing restaurants around he country that offer prix fixe meals, like suzanne goin's sunday supper's at luques in los angeles. its fun, relaxed, inventive, and a chance to try things at a reasonable cost, with affordable wine pairings at reduced cost (5 bucks a glass)

                  i wish more places would do it. i'm talking to you, roka akor ;) i'd be able to go there with more frequency, since their regular menu is pretty darn spendy.

                  1. re: winedubar
                    c
                    crsin May 4, 2009 12:16 AM

                    I do understand the *point* of Sunday Suppers. What I was saying I didn't quite get the rationale of is offering ONLY the Sunday Supper--why not just offer it and let the patron choose the prix fixe supper or to create their meal from what appeals to them most off of the regular menu, as extravagant or restrained as they choose. It seems to me by knocking out the full menu for one night every week, you potentially turn off parties who may not necessarily want what is being offered on that night.

                    1. re: crsin
                      winedubar May 4, 2009 12:20 AM

                      i'm 99.9% sure most places who do sunday suppers don't offer the whole menu on the sunday supper nite.

                      but the inverse of your point is equally true. there are people, myself included, who go to the sunday supper on a particular nite just because of what is being offered. we look forward to it.

                      1. re: winedubar
                        c
                        crsin May 4, 2009 12:32 AM

                        True, so it's possible it just balances itself out. However, that still doesn't offer a reason to not allow the regular menu simultaneously. That wouldn't deter someone who specifcally wanted the chicken supper, but it would likely attract people who don't--for example, a party of eight willing to spend $100+/pp. It may be true that 99% all "sunday suppers" are at the exclusion of the regular menu, but why?

                        Ahhh, the eternal question. I won't be getting much sleep tonight...damn you!!!

                        1. re: crsin
                          winedubar May 4, 2009 12:36 AM

                          because they like it that way? because it adds to the uniqueness of a place? because they have fun experimenting with new and interesting menu items?

                          i like the overall vibe of the sunday suppers. its not the same as any other nite. if the menu were wide open, i think it would change the over all feeling of the place that nite.

                          1. re: winedubar
                            c
                            crsin May 4, 2009 01:03 AM

                            "because they like it that way?"--this is basically one step away from "because I said so" (:

                            Alright, I can see how it may create a more communal/casual/"neighborly" sort of "vibe." Point taken. I guess I'll just have to bite my tongue for the time being and wait for an SS that looks appealing and experience it for myself.

                            1. re: crsin
                              winedubar May 4, 2009 01:12 AM

                              'because they like it that way' is surely a topic for another thread, methinks. and a long one ;) i find myself frustrated as of late with alot of food sites where food enthusiasts/blogger types sometimes appear to think that they're particular spin is the only right one, especially about something so completely subjective as food.

                              but i digress ;)

                              the ss in general are a whole lot more relaxed, more communal. some spots around the country have actually adopted, at least sunday nites, a 'family style' service philosophy, which can be interesting too. i love that concept.

                      2. re: crsin
                        silverbear May 4, 2009 05:53 AM

                        I won't pretend the know the motives behind the decision to not offer the regular menu on Sundays, but I wouldn't be surprised if it were related to the low $35 price for the Sunday Supper. If the kitchen knows that every cover that night will be ordering the prix fixe meal, the line in the kitchen operates more effectively and ingredients are used more efficiently. If the Sunday Supper were optional, I would expect it to come in at a higher price point and no longer be the fantastic bargain that it is.

                        With this in mind, however, I'd give Noca one bit of constructive feedback. When my wife called the first time to make us a reservation for a Sunday night, the person taking the reservation didn't mention that the regular menu would not be available. I told her before we left, and she was fine with it; in fact, she said the fried chicken was the best she ever had. Nevertheless, I can see how someone who went unaware could be disappointed. Likewise, I don't see anywhere on Noca's Web site where the policy is announced. That should probably change.

                        -----
                        Noca
                        3118 E. Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016

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