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Any comments on Samurai Cowboy?

thewiff Jul 15, 2010 10:16 PM

My husband and I are visiting Phoenix for 4 days and we found the restaurant on Urban Spoon. He's a sushi fanatic, needs to try it wherever we go. Me, i can so without it but i will try to find something that works for me on the menu. I thought this would be ok for me because of the robata. The only thing is, I can't find any reviews of this restaurant, anywhere. So, if someone has been there, can you let us know how it was?

  1. johnseberg Jul 15, 2010 10:55 PM

    Their website still says "coming soon". I have evidence of them getting a permit, but, it looks like it has lapsed. They were supposed to have opened several months ago, but, I haven't been following too closely.

    There are some good sushi places in town that aren't strictly sushi. It might help to let us know approximately where you'll be staying, and you could get some good recs.

    1. JK Grence the Cosmic Jester Jul 15, 2010 11:00 PM

      The reason you can't find reviews anywhere is because the project is dead in the water. The sign is up on the building, but there's no sign of life. The people who were doing Samurai Cowboy own two sushi places across the street: Stingray and Geisha a Go-Go. Both are extremely popular. I have been to Stingray, and it was hands down the worst sushi I've had anywhere. The rice on the rolls was warm, something that in my book is absolutely unacceptable, akin to ordering a steak medium-rare and having it come out of the kitchen barely past raw. The dining room at Stingray is also offensive to anyone with knowledge of Japanese culture. You see, the number four plays a big part in the decor: There are four window slats in the door, four sushi making stations, a set of decorative shelves behind the sushi stations in the shape of a diamond with four shelves on a side... When I saw the shelves, my jaw hit the floor and if I was paying I would have immediately asked for the check. Why my fuss, you ask? In Japanese, the number four is "shi", which is a homophone for their word for "death". As such, the number is extremely unlucky, enough so that Las Vegas hotels will skip from floor 39 to 50 just the same as from 12 to 14.

      As for Geisha a Go-Go... the less said the better. A friend who checked the place out loved a quip from some Scottsdale socialites: "I love how these portions are so small, we'll never get fat!"

      If your husband wants sushi in the Old Town scottsdale area, the best bet is to get off the beaten path about half a mile and go to Dozo, on the southwest corner of Miller and Camelback, buried deep in a strip mall that appears to be built some time in the late 1970s or early 1980s. You'll forget the surroundings as soon as you walk in. If you don't do sushi, they do have the usual suspects for Japanese food (teriyaki, katsu, tempura).

      Geisha a Go-Go
      7150 E. 6th Ave., Scottsdale, AZ 85251

      6 Replies
      1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester
        danieli10 Jul 16, 2010 06:59 AM

        Sushi Roku is pretty darn good. But, you need to sit at the bar and let them go to work. Hiro sushi is still great for fish.

        1. re: danieli10
          thewiff Jul 16, 2010 09:38 AM

          Thanks for the update. We are staying at the gainey suites hotel, but we'Ve got a car and gps and we can get around easily...definitely going to stay away from the two you mentioned, lol...the description sounds disgusting. Interesting that when we walked by sushi a go go it was packed last night. No accounting for taste... And completely agree with you on the decor...we lived in Vancouver bc for 8 years and there would not be a soul in that place if it was in Vancouver. Ok, so Dozo and Sushi Roko are good options...if here are any other pls let me know. Thanks!

          1. re: thewiff
            johnseberg Jul 16, 2010 11:51 AM

            I would go to Roka Akor, based on your parameters and past recommendations, but, I've never been there, myself (yet). I think they have a very informative website.

            Roka Akor Restaurant
            7299 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85253

            1. re: johnseberg
              Rubee Jul 16, 2010 01:46 PM

              We went to Roka Akor for the first time a couple of months ago. Lots of non-sushi options for the OP, which is what we ordered (we ate at the bar and had apps and izakaya). Highlights were the fried squid with chili & lime, shishito peppers with bonito flakes, roast duck with kimchi udon, rock shrimp tempura with chili mayo, and the robata-grilled pork belly.

              We've also had a nice time at Sushi Roku, although there we ordered mainly sushi and sashimi, so I don't have any recs for other options.

              Roka Akor Restaurant
              7299 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85253

              Sushi Roku - Scottsdale
              7277 East Camelback Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

              1. re: Rubee
                thewiff Jul 16, 2010 09:25 PM

                We went to Roka Akor and really enjoyed it. I had robata, a japanese beef served with three varieties of salt, brocollini with sesame seeds and sweet potato with teriyaki and Ginger. My husband had toro sashimi, California rolls, chefs special rolls and the chefs special sushi. Overall, our meal was excellent. According to my husband, the sushinwas fresh, which is to be expected at a restaurant of this quality, but it was the preparation that was excellent. For example: the toro was served with Himalayan salt and wasabi instead of soy and the special rolls were served with chili sauce and wasabi mayo which was like spice tuna rolls but way, way better. The desserts and drink choices were also interesting. Overall, a great choice, recommended for sushi lovers and those who love them! Not cheap, but definitely good food.

                Roka Akor Restaurant
                7299 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85253

                1. re: thewiff
                  Rubee Jul 17, 2010 05:48 PM

                  Thanks for taking the time to report back, glad you liked it!

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