For Janet Traub -- Restaurant Hapa in Phoenix
"I just join her occasionally when she's staying at
the Biltmore and other nice hotels to hang around the
pool and help with the expense account."
-- LOL !!!! You sure know how to enjoy yourself.
Anyway, I discovered Hapa when I was out there in
March. It's owned by a very nice young husband and
wife team, James & Stacey McDevitt. Stacey's the
pastry chef. James is part Japanese and Hawaian --
which inspired the name Hapa (means "half" in Hawaian)
Hapa serves some of the best Asian fusion food I know
in Phoenix. No surprise 'cos James used to be the
sous chef of RoxSand's (one of my faves in Phoenix). I
was bowled over by his skillet roasted mussels in a
heady Thai red curry broth, and I also liked the
caramelized Chinese mustard beef tenderloin.
Hapa's at 6204 N. Scottsdale Rd. (602) 998-8220
Call for directions. It's a little hard to find . But
if you know how to get to Rancho Pinot Grill (Hapa's
financed by R.P. Grill), it's only a few doors away.
Slightly off-topic, but: Do you really like
RoxSand? I ate there a couple of weeks ago,
and was utterly appalled: the ethnic mixing
is so extreme and so ungrounded in anything
that the food comes across as a hodgepodge.
Nothing we tried, from the soggy b'stilla to the
oil-laden piri piri, the soggy Cantonese
air-dried duck to the weirdly spiced Thai pasta,
was even modestly competent--
the bad cooking of all nations.
I did, however, have astonishing Italian food
at a downtown place called something like Pizza
Bianco--properly blistered crust, homemade
mozzarella, world-class antipasto plate--which
was almost a mini Cafe at Chez Panisse in the desert.
re: jonathan gold
Yes, I do like RoxSand's when I ate there 3 months
ago. I guess I'm more tolerant of the hodgepodge than
you are. But I know what you are talking about -- when
fusion food is not done right (which is very often the
case), the results can be downright appalling.
Pizza Bianco is terrific ! I'm glad you found it. I
think the guy came from the Bronx (not quite sure, so
don't take my word for it).
re: Gary Cheong
Wow, my name in bold letters on the chowhound site! Now
that's a real honor indeed!
Thanks for catching my attention Gary. I'll add Hapa to
the PHX list along with Pizza Bianco (I love those
white mounds of homemade mozzarella on a pizza).
I have to agree with Jonothan on Roxsand's though. I
was there 3 yrs ago and the meal had no real winners.
James must of been out that day.