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Namius's Profile

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Worthwhile in Mesa?

I enthusiastically second the recommendation for Alessia's, and also beg to keep an open mind regarding its environs.

Jan 16, 2012
Namius in Phoenix

Contigo Peru [Mesa]

I haven't been to Contigu Peru, but out of curiosity, have you tried its nearby neighbor Inka Fest amongst your list of forgetable local contenders? I've only had Peruvian twice, and Inka Fest the only enjoyable experience, especially liking their rendition of Lomo Saltado as well, Tallarines Verdes con Bisteck (pesto pasta with beef loin), and Cau Cau de Mariscos, seafood in that aji amarillo/turmeric sauce. I did think that their ceviche was overly dressed acidic-wise so would steer away from that.

If you have tried both what are your thoughts?

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Inka Fest
29089 N Dobson Rd #21, Mesa, AZ 85202

Sep 08, 2011
Namius in Phoenix

China King and San Diego Bay Restaurant

I 100% agree about San Diego Bay, especially their ceviche tostadas!

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San Diego Bay Restaurant
9201 S Avenida Del Yaqui, Guadalupe, AZ 85283

Jun 29, 2011
Namius in Phoenix

Who are the top 5 food blogs?

Nice blogs with generally higher end places:

www.kevineats.com
www.alifewortheating.com

Oct 07, 2010
Namius in Food Media & News

Vegetarian Help in Southeastern Tempe

Thank you for all your suggestions thus far! Byblos is closed for renovations and will reopen on the 20th I discovered today, but I tried Cafe Lalibela today.

I'm really happy! The injera wasn't as spongy or sour as I had feared. The Masir Wat, red split lentils simmered in hot sauce and herbs, was delicious and made me not miss meat so much, with a spicy flavor that was subtle but satisfying. Tikil gomen, lightly spiced cabbage, carrots and potatoes was also a winner, with an almost buttery finish. Gomen, chopped collard greens cooked with garlic and onions was the only component that was merely okay, with the flavors being a little too mild for my taste, but by no means bad. I also had the Yekemem Shai black tea with cinnamon, cardamom & cloves cold, which was a refreshing drink. I definitely will be coming back, even after this vegetarian phase is over.

Aug 06, 2010
Namius in Phoenix

Vegetarian Help in Southeastern Tempe

I have recently committed to going vegetarian for the next 49 days. I work near where the I-10 and Baseline Road intersect, and am hoping for some independent restaurant options within 5 miles or so for my hour lunch. Please help!

Aug 04, 2010
Namius in Phoenix

Mariscos - East Valley near Gilbert, AZ (Phoenix)

I 2nd the recommendation for San Diego Bay, @ Priest and Guadelupe Road, but there is another solid contender at Gilbert Road and McKellips called Mariscos la Playita at the Southeastern corner. I might have the name wrong as its been about half a year, but very nice selection.

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San Diego Bay Restaurant
9201 S Avenida Del Yaqui Ste 11, Guadalupe, AZ 85283

Jul 15, 2010
Namius in Phoenix

Why don't more menus have pictures of their food?

Personally I would like photos. And so far as cost goes, here is a 2 year old independent sushi place with pictures... on their To-Go menus as well. :)

http://www.masasushiaz.com/menu.html

May 17, 2010
Namius in Not About Food

Cafe Mix- Greek in Mesa @ Greenfield and McKellips

Greek restaurants and I have a relationship akin to one of my neighbor's as a young boy- I couldn't pronounce his name when I first met him, and I was kinda afraid because he was so different and from another country. It would take about 5 years for me to summon the courage to try to be friends, and my first attempt ended in disaster. Grisly dried out bits of alleged lamb in some strip mall in Minnesota. I swore, never again.

Time has a way of healing all wounds however, and my heart would try to open up again. I wanted to be friends again. We found out we had a lot in common! Strong, bold flavoring is how we like to live. We want to live balanced lives, so yea don't throw solely some gamey meat in like that likely-abandoned "restaurant" in MN, put in some onions, tomatoes. And you always have to have your friend that is the life of the party, Tzaziki! He's the kind of friend that no matter how much you hang out, you never want to say no when he wants to hit the town.

Once I became friends with my neighbor, I realized Hey, these people are EVERYWHERE! I have been living in a box. What a wonderful world with so much variety and life!

Little Greek restaurants are popping up all over the country the last decade or so it seems. I have been friends with some and sworn enemies of others. However, I have not forgotten my lesson as a young boy that realized there were more than just Asians and Caucasians in the world- Cafe Mix, will you be my friend too?

Pulling up to Cafe Mix is a relaxing experience. A colorful depiction of a Chicken Greek Salad surrounded by Pita greets you, tempting you right away. Opening the doors, there is a vast ceiling with a very nice beige color, and depictions of Greek culture and art are everywhere. Tasty, Healthy, Food! is blazoned above the cooking area, and you can watch the chef at his work on the grill. It could probably seat about 50 people, but the layout makes you feel like it could fit double that.

As much as I love the Gyro however, I wanted to try out as much as I could. Eying the Mix's Combination, which would net me Lamb gyro, Chicken Gyro-style, Tenderloin Kabob, and Chicken Kabob, I felt that was the broadest way to get acquainted. At 11.99, it included basmati rice, salad, hummus, and pita. Thinking the price was lower at a place I frequent in Phoenix, I inquired if the serving size was enough for me ( I audition for the Before Guy in those Slim-Fast commercials ). I literally overhead the table behind me laugh, and the server smiled with quiet confidence, saying "I'm pretty sure it will be enough." I also ordered a bottomless fountain drink/ ice tea, for 1.75. My girlfriend was less adventurous, opting for the Bacon Cheeseburger adding fries, with the burger being $6.50 and another $2.50 to add fries and a drink.

This confidence came to be well-founded. After getting some green tea and picking our seats, barely a minute passed before I was brought the salad that came with my meal. It was a worthy rendition, with a great balance of Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, olives, feta cheese, onions. Not too much dressing which I approved of, the olives and onions gave it a tart kick, balanced by the cheese. I forgot to take a picture, but the serving size was much larger than most salads thrown in with your entree.

Our entrees arrived, and my Mix Combination looked great, with a faint vapor rising from the freshly grilled meats. I tried the lamb first, and was satisfied, but not that amazed. It had the right flavor, and I wouldn't say it was dry, but, it was approaching it. Then the beef tenderloin- this was nicer, with a nice juicy pinkish center. I would've liked the outside to be almost charred but that is a personal preference, this had more than adequate moisture and definitely a valued member of this meal. The chicken-gyro style was better than the lamb, but still not quite out of this world. Then the chicken kabob came and put all the others to shame. I don't understand how, but it put up plenty of resistance when I cut it with my knife, but it came apart in my mouth. This was the best chicken I've had in my life that was under $10 at a restaurant. Just crazy good. The rice was straightforward, cooked competently. The hummus was colorful, but not as flavorful as some I've had before, and the pita bread was also fine, but was almost a little too hard for dipping in hummus.

My girlfriend's burger was fine, with a hand-molded patty, bun finished on the grill with some butter, bacon nice and crispy. Lettuce, tomato, pickles and onion also packed in, I'd say this burger is about equal to the burgers you could get at Red Robin. The fries were out of this world! Seasoned perfectly, crunchy on the outside and pillowy wonderfulness within.

Sometimes, first impressions are so good that you know you will be friends for life, which I believe Cafe Mix can be. Work a little on the sides, and then we'll see about you coming over and meeting my parents too.

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Cafe Mix
4405 E McKellips Rd Ste 106, Mesa, AZ 85215

Mar 30, 2010
Namius in Phoenix

Is there an upscale Mexcian restaurant in the Valley?

Maybe midscale, but getting there, how about Fuego bistro on 7th st and bethany? Had some nice lunches and dinners there.

Mar 14, 2010
Namius in Phoenix

Cucina Di Vita- great italian deli downtown Mesa!

Lots of going-ons in downtown Mesa today, live music, a mini-carnival a little south of it, tons of vendors in the streets and people having a great time. Taking 5 minutes to go through half a mile of greenfield road construction compelled me to avoid the freeways today, and I am extremely grateful for finding this 5 week old deli in Mesa.

I was heading north to Mekong Plaza along Main Street to pick up some seafood (10% off everything in the store right now btw), when the most amazing smell wafted through our car windows. Those dark streaks of rubber along Main St I confess I am responsible for, as the aroma blanked all thoughts of shopping from my mind. Pulling into the back, my first impression walking in is Wow this place must have been around for awhile. Owners calling peoples' orders by name, open kitchen with lots of bantering between the staff, just so incredibly welcoming walking in. Free Wi-FI too, nice touch. There is a long corridor with some bar-like seating, and about twenty tables in the main dining area, as well as some tables outside, which were unfortunately all taken. With the doors open and a mild breeze, it was the perfect weather today too for a light lunch. Just everything about the interior yelled inviting, and I was hoping the food would match the mood.

Jennifer took our order, and she was happy to confirm that it was a family establishment, pointing out everyone working by name and relationship. Tons of charisma from her, very smile-inducing just speaking with her. When someone in the kitchen noticed us playing Boggle, she came over and chatted about Boggle and how she played it with her kids too. Made me feel a little childish, but enjoyed the conversation.

The tomato basil was a very hearty rendition, setting me back 2.99, although they did wind up giving us 2 for the wait (which I don't think exceeded 15 minutes). Very smooth and surprisingly thick, but a very pleasant thickness somewhere between a broth-based soup and chowder. Great garlicky flavor too! I might come back just for 2 bowls of this stuff, heavenly. Ordered 2 soft drinks that will set you back 1.59, fill it up yourself.

We ordered the Quatro Fromaggi, a pizza with mozzarella, parmesan, ricotta, & gorgonzola, 8" for $6.99. A very tasty pie, with the crust being light and airy on the edges, and firm enough to hold the center without bending. The cheeses blended well, although I would have liked the gorgonzola to come out a little more. I wouldn't call it exciting, but definitely comforting and something I will be back for.

Pie # 2 was the D'avalo, Spicy ( or mild) sausage, capricola, pepperoni, and crushed red pepper. Very nice lingering, but very mild bite to it, red sauce not overly sweet, and very meaty, they definitely do not skimp on the toppings here. Similar quality of crust on the outside of the fromaggi, however I do confess the interior bottom was very oily, requiring some napkins to soak up, although still holding firm enough to support all the toppings. My gf did not mind and actually preferred this pizza, but I preferred the quatro.

Happy to say a very nice pizza place that I think will be around for a long time. A nice selection of pizzas, salads, sandwiches and paninis, I can't wait to try some more. I don't see anything that is earth shattering, but for the price, ambience, and straightforward flavors, this will become your favorite lunch spot if you try it out. However, if you are going for the deli, for now you might want to go elsewhere, a very small selection of meats and cheeses for now.

142 West Main Street (between Macdonald and Robson)
Mesa, AZ, 85201
480-834-3898
www.cucinadivita.com

Mar 13, 2010
Namius in Phoenix

Review: Aiello's - Phoenix (w/ photos!)

Just came back from here. Huge positives of owner interaction- he personally went to every single table tonight to ensure customer satisfaction. The roominess and soft lighting were huge pluses, adding to the nice atmosphere.

Our first impression of the food was very high, with some very fluffy bread with a nice crust. The garlic butter was also tasty, as well as the olive oil with red peppers in it. Unfortunately the bread was room temperature and the butter was too hard to spread easily on the bread. I would be raving about this bread if I had simply received it hot.

The gf ordered a Sprite, and I whimsically chose a glass of Orvieto Classico Amabile. A very light and fruity wine, I don't really know what to say about it, as I did say whimsically- probably ordered wine 3-4 times in my life! I can say that I enjoyed it, wasn't wowed but it, but I do have to realize I can't have Kiltlifter with everything.

For an appetizer we split the calamari, which I do have to say was absolutely fantastic. Very slightly breaded, it came with a spicy marinara sauce that gave this appetizer a great kick.

I also need to give huge kudos to Aiello's being tolerant of my indecisiveness. I was torn between the special of the day, and the gnocchi in pesto sauce. Fortunately, they were willing to accommodate me and gave me a half order of each!

Where this meal fell short was the entrees. The first half-entree I I ordered was the butternut squash ravioli in cream sauce, seasoned with nutmeg. The edges of the ravioli were inexcusably hard. The filling was past the texture level of puree and approaching that of liquidy mashed potatoes. The sauce was nice and creamy but very relaxed in flavor- the sauce had the perfect body but just didn't wow me. Bland isn't quite fair, but neither is comforting. It was just kinda there.

My girlfriend's Tortolloni alla Panna suffered similar problems. At least the cheese filling was a nice consistency, but the cheese was just bland inside, and the light cream sauce was even less inspirational than mine. The peas were overcooked and the prosciutto, instead of giving a nice salty edge to her meal, only showed up in a purely ceremonial role.

Rebounding was my Gnocchi Pesto. Really addicting, very light as described on the menu, I ate them without realizing how quickly these were disappearing. Basil, pine nuts, and garlic teamed up and put the other light creme sauces we had to shame. This was a very nice rendition of a classic. I've had better, but I've had lots lots worse.

Wanting to really like this place, I tried to end the night on a high note with desert. Tirimisu seduced me once more, and this version was great, with a high alcohol content then normal, but no complaints on that score. Very chocolatey, powdered sugar abundant, and a strawberry to the side was a nice touch.

Unfortunately, the last note was discordant as it took nearly 25 minutes to get my check. This was so that the owner could personally come to my table to check on us. While I appreciated the gesture, around minute 15 or so I would've appreciated even more the opportunity to leave. Of course, on the other hand I love how much he cared, I just wish it didn't take so long. Oh well.

I'll be happy to try this place again, and perhaps order more wisely. The 2 pasta entrees, desert, appetizer, soda, and glass of wine came out to be $68. If the entrees had matched the desert and appetizer I'dve said it was worth every penny. As things stand I will need to try it again to find out- which for love of independent, charismatic owners and businesses I will.

Feb 25, 2010
Namius in Phoenix

Parlor (PHX)

I can't seem to make a post without making a mistake lately! It was a Saturday afternoon not Sunday that I went.

It makes this website even more endearing when I read replies like yours that throw in a little education along with your experiences.

Feb 17, 2010
Namius in Phoenix

Monti's La Casa Vieja- Tempe, Mill Ave and 1st St (about a 1/2 mile south of the 202)

I don't know how to edit my posts, so I have to make the correction here- rosemary not dill on bread.

Feb 16, 2010
Namius in Phoenix

Parlor (PHX)

I came here last Sunday and just want to add to the accolades. I felt a little confused seeing the herbs outside, but upon being explained their actual usage, I admit I fell into the This is so Cool! attitude, which may have colored my experience. We ate outside which was very nice, the foliage growing on the wall behind me was not off-putting, but surprisingly endearing. We ordered the Yukon Gold Potato pizza and the Pepperoni, for my less adventurous significant other. The Y. Gold was my favorite pizza I've had so far in my life, very thinly sliced potatoes, creamy ricotta, pancetta, and leeks, all combined for a great pie. The pepperoni was pretty straightforward, well-executed but nothing I'll remember next week. For desert, the tiramasu was delicious, but I must confess I am a tiramasu fiend. If not for my very sensitive teeth, I would've appreciated the caramel chips sprinkled throughout more, but my gf said it went well with it.

This place was great! The last aspect I loved was the feeling of comfort it induced, I wound up spending about an hour here despite the pizzas coming out very quickly, just a great place to relax and eat. I plan on coming here over and over!

8'' pizzas = $10, so obviously 2 = $20
Tiramasu = $6
Soft Drink = $2.50 each

Feb 16, 2010
Namius in Phoenix

Monti's La Casa Vieja- Tempe, Mill Ave and 1st St (about a 1/2 mile south of the 202)

Meant to try Classic Italian Pizza today after eating at The Parlor on Sunday. Which by the way I loved, got the Yukon Gold Potato Pizza, but for that I'll add to the various Parlor threads. I'm definitely a pizza neophyte when trying to explore beyond what the to-go places, streets of new york, nypd, etc. Unfortunately, didn't realize they were a 5-10 place!

Wandering around Mill Ave and realizing the 202 was approaching, decided to stop at this corner restaurant. It's huge! The parking lot and entrance seem to have a very weird relationship however, and the myriad unmarked doors, little alleyways inside the building made me a little leery, but also induced a sense of adventure, as if I was exploring some mysterious castle. A little fun in and of itself, but not quite what I want to feel before I walk into a restaurant. After finding the entrance however, I was entranced by the history this restaurant proclaims. The hostess (mind you, this is around 1:40pm) said that someone would be with me shortly, which was a little weird because no one was in the restaurant, but I didn't mind because there is so much to distract you. Articles, history, guns everywhere, a little bar area, curtained rooms, partitioned rooms for what I fantasize secret meetings taking place, I gotta admit, I was enchanted. Not so enchanting was after I walked around the building I realize we still had not been seated. There were probably about 4 tables of customers, but I was shocked to look at my watch and see it was 1:50pm. I mean, 10 minutes at a near empty restaurant? Come on.

We were led through the honeycomb of rooms to an area that had a view of the historic Hayden flour mill under construction. I guess it wasn't the prettiest picture with the state of the building and halting of the restoration, but it promoted some conversation I suppose. Country music crooned gently in the background, the restaurant felt quite but that was likely due to the size and lack of customers. I can never resist baked potato soup, and upon ordering it and some sprites it was a mere 2 minute wait. I remember thinking to myself, now we're talking! Creamy, peppery, thick with potato, I thought it was a very nice version, but I still rate Crackers and Co version my favorite. It was almost too heavy, but still, I was happy. The server also asked if I wanted to have the Monti Bread, which turned out to be decent but room temperature. It was pretty tasty regardless with dill, garlic, almost-but-not-quite over salted, an almost fluffy interior. I just really regret the temp it came out at, I thought it could've been great it it came out hot.

Unfortunately ,the temperature as well as the I-don't-mind-taking-my-time-and-thus-your-time theme continued. When my lunch order of 7oz prime rib came out, along with mashed potatoes I ordered as a side that came with it, we were in the 20-25 minute range. 3 containers of au jus, horseradish blended, and sour cream were the perfect accompaniments for my lunch. The mashed potatoes were great, melting-in-the-mouth variety while being slightly firm, hate liquidy mashed that you find at lazy restaurants. The prime rib I ordered medium rare, and it was, also seasoned very well, was luscious, although I must admit its the first time I've had prime rib for probably 2 years. My girlfriend ordered the fettuccine chicken alfredo, which had a nicely rich without being oily sauce, and the pasta was tender. However the chicken almost seemed to be an afterthought, without feeling much seasoning and just mopping up the sauce, and being slightly dry. With that said, a feeling of wistfulness pervaded my meal, because I felt that it could've been amazing, but was done in by service issues. I enjoyed it, I will probably go back, but in the recesses of my mind I'll be judging and wondering if being teased by a the promise of a great experience and being let down to a good one will be worth it. This place will either be a place I come to love or hate, hopefully the former!

7oz prime rib w/side lunch: 11.99
fettuccine chicken alfredo: 14.99
2 soft drinks: I think about $6
the soups didn't appear on the bill, but they would've been 2.99 for a cup, 3.99 for a bowl.

Feb 16, 2010
Namius in Phoenix

favorites near the biltmore

Thanks for the correction! A quick question, I do love carne adovada and would love to try wherever you think makes its best rendition.

Feb 15, 2010
Namius in Phoenix

Review: Tinderbox Kitchen (Flagstaff, AZ)

Looks amazing! Always a pleasure to read your reviews. Do you recall how much you spent there, or what would be your best guess for 2 people w/o alcohol for dinner?

Feb 14, 2010
Namius in Southwest

favorites near the biltmore

Tex-AZ Grill on 16th St and Bethany, self-proclaimed home of the chicken fried steak. If they have chicken fried turkey it's an amazing special- if not go for the cf steak or chicken. Ridiculous amount of food for $7.

Cherry Blossom Noodle Cafe on Camelback Rd and 6-9th st (or thereabouts), excellent italian and japanese food, get anything but the sushi, any noodle soup is worth getting here, see if you can sneak home some extra banana bread too. If you pick here, forewarning service is extremely erratic in terms of time- they won't be rude but they sometimes take forever getting your check, refill, etc.

Coup De Tartes- quiet lil french place, nice place for lunch surprisingly, really really cozy in converted house. Onion tarte used to be something I got weekly. Highland and 16th st.

Pedro's Modern Mexican Cuisine- on camelback and 10th st, some interesting things like duck tacos and lobster quesadillas, no misses yet there.

Baby Kay's Cajun Kitchen- in the town and country center on camelback rd and 20th st or so. Competent gumbos, etoufee, dirty rice.

Feb 14, 2010
Namius in Phoenix

India Delight (NW Corner Higley / Baseline)

India Delight is no more, although it has been replaced by another restaurant, Deep Indian Palace, if I remember right. I ordered lamb korma two months ago, tasty and satisfying. I also went a second time to try their 8.99 buffet. Half of it I felt similar to what the OP did about Indian Delight, but I went literally 12 minutes before the lunch buffet ended and the restaurant closed for an afternoon break. The chicken curry was outstanding in the buffet however. Still, I would say try their (or really any) buffet early if you must, but stick with ordering off the menu. And speaking of which, the menu here is only 2 pages, so much simplified.

Feb 11, 2010
Namius in Phoenix

Sushi

Technically Mesa, but go a mile south you're in Gilbert- I am also an advocate for Sekai Sushi, on the northwest corner of the massive two story office/strip mall of Gilbert and Southern. It's been there for over ten years, and there is a devoted following. Nice photo-lined separate dining area for promotion's sake, but tastefully done, just like the decor of the rest of the restaurant. The owner is very endearing, with classic memories of chopsticks taped together for those who are c.sticks handicapped. Same c/s handicapped friend also spilled soy sauce on his shirt, so she made him a bib and got him some carbonated water to get the stain out. If you're offended by that level of interaction, understandable, and I don't say it to imply you will also receive it, just little things have made this place also burrow into my heart.

The sushi itself I rate just a hair over Sakana, and while agreeing upon its friendly service, the ambiance combined with the charismatic owner gives the nod to Sekai over Sakana, despite the latter's better prices/amount ratio. Although both fall far behind my personal favorite of our area, the aforementioned Four Seasons. I mean, I like Sekai and Sakana, but if I couldn't have my Four Seasons, I would cry like a little girl. I actually had the best gyoza of my life there a few weeks ago, super hot, perfect crispiness without even approaching the dreaded land of the burnt, very juicy filling, and what made it the best for me, no oiliness/greasiness/whatsoever. How that is even possible with what amount to fried and then steamed dumplings, I don't know, but greatly appreciate. In about 6 visits now, always been happy with the sushi.

Feb 11, 2010
Namius in Phoenix

Great Thai experience, Gilbert AZ

Siam Orchid- Gilbert AZ Northeast corner of Gilbert and Guadelupe Roads

Returning to somewhere that has a fond place in your memory can be a treacherous proposition. In the rosy glow of nostalgia, everything is seen as better than it was. I loved the house I grew up in, but when I went back I can see all the cracks in the shutters, the tiles on the roof not quite aligned after all the hail punched through, the faded paint on the fence and the siding of my Minnesotan home, pummeled for 30 years. Coming back, there's that voice in the back of your mind that says Stop! - don't ruin something great. I kinda wish I had listened in regards to my childhood home. Of course, with food, you want to share your experiences, so in recommending somewhere you do have to re-examine your judgment if it's been awhile.

This restaurant is a mom and dad operation, and at one point their daughter was a server/cashier nearly 5 years ago, the last time I was there. The decor is lovely, with a very light pink coloring on the walls, and some bolder Thai decorations in the form of a huge screen, Buddha figurine and a small shrine in the center rear of the restaurant. There are a bunch of Thailand tourism guides and brochures in the corner too, which makes for nice reading material during a meal. I bring up the 5 years because after I ordered my favorite roast duck curry incarnation, pin poy brought out her husband ( sorry, name escapes me ) and said I knew he was going to order this dish! We shared some nice laughs, caught up, she explained about the only change I noticed, which is that the eastern wall is covered with drawings from the children of her customers. With anyone that oozed a hint of smarmy character it wouldn't work, but these two are so genuine that it's very endearing.

I wrote all that because I do think that a when thinking about a great restaurant, one's experience is not exclusive to the food. You can have great food but still retain a poor experience due to inattentiveness, surroundings that make you want to cry, cleanliness, etc. Of course, you can't have a great restaurant experience without great food, so I'm ecstatic to say I was not let down in that arena either. I had the everlastingly popular and delicious roast duck curry, which had a great sized portion of sliced duck, cherry tomatoes, pineapple, grape in a red curry sauce garnished with mint on top. It hit all the right notes in terms of sweetness ( a hint ), spiciness ( background but constantly aware of ), and savoriness. My only quibble is that I wasn't thrilled with the amount of rice that came with it, but then again I sometimes am accused of mistaking rice for air as I inhale both all day. I also had the coconut ice cream which came ringed with crushed peanuts for a soothing ending to a great meal. I also want to mention that all the food is presented beautifully, with the curry holder, rice bowl, plate to mix ingredients, ice cream, all having distinctive containers.

Accompanying my meal I had a pot of jasmine tea 1.95, nothing special but tasty. The roast duck curry is 11.95, which is about right. This isn't one of those you get two meals sized portions, but I am 5'9'' and weigh 240 lbs, and didn't leave hungry. They gave me a free desert, but the normal price for the coconut ice cream is 2.95.

The only shortcoming I have to mention is the wait time- the service is unfailingly kind, focused, and engaging but it does take awhile to get your food, probably 15 minutes for mine.

This is the kind of place where you will love the food, and feel the care put into it. The fears of nostalgia have vanished, and I'm planning to make as many new memories as I can, and invite you to as well!

http://www.siamorchid-az.com/
50 E Guadelupe Road
Gilbert AZ 85234

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Siam Orchid
50 E Guadalupe Rd, Gilbert, AZ 85234

Jan 31, 2010
Namius in Phoenix

Any Good Restaurant in Mesa?

Four Seasons Sushi- just made a review, don't know how close higley and baseline are to you, technically gilbert but I live across the street and I live in Mesa... go figure

Pasti's Eurogrille and Delicattessen- what it sounds like, at Val Vista and Baseline, I didn't find the meat or cheese platter a good value, everything else great esp cheese stuffed pork tenderloin /w white sauce

Siam Orchid- best duck curry of my life, at gilbert and guadelupe

La Roca Peruvian Grill- some interesting and tasty dishes, esp spicy seafood, ignore run down strip mall, at country club and southern

Crackers and Co- truly excellent breakfast and lunch location open only until 2pm, not too much unique but everything done exceptionally well, I get the potato soup every time I go, located at Greenfield and Brown

Serrano's- 9 store chain but only in AZ, only thing I ever get are the chicken tacos, albondigas, cheese crisps, if I don't have a hankering for those I don't know if I would recommend it or not

I haven't been, but my visiting family from Westminster area (vietnamese) said they liked most everything at Mekong Plaza on Dobson and 202-ish area.

Hope that helps!

Jan 07, 2010
Namius in Phoenix

Astonishingly great sushi value in Gilbert, AZ - NW corner Higley and Baseline

I never expected such a stand out restaurant in the shadow of Banner hospital, but here it is, and hidden in a 3/4 empty strip mall for the last 4 years. The last time I was here it was a tiny sushi bar with about 8 tables, but now they have knocked down a wall, took over the previously adjoining business, so that you have two sushi bar areas and probably ~25 tables/booths. Walking in the soft blue hues of the lighting and the dark wood tables/chairs made a cool, relaxing atmosphere.

But of course the highlight is the sushi. The chef/owner worked with the owner of Hana's in San Diego and has the same supplier, and it shows. I've visited twice this week and been extraordinarily pleased. My first visit I had Lobster Tempura maki roll, tuna maki roll, yellowtail w/scallion maki roll, and the Saguaro roll, a specialty roll consisting of shrimp tempura, crab, cucumber, avocado w/tuna on top. The prices were 4.5, 3.5, 3.5, 6.5 respectively. The most expensive roll on the menu is 6.50 for the specialties, maki ranges from 2.5-4.5, nigiri ranges from 2-4, and finally sashimi is 5.5-7.5. All my food was expertly prepared, I especially hate when everything falls apart once you dip in the soy, but everything held together, very fresh, and I was beyond stuffed. Uber Food Coma.

My second visit I had the rainbow roll, spicy salmon, and tuna again. At happy hour prices it came to $11. That pretty much never happens when I go out to eat sushi... and perusing the lunch specials is where even more deals emerge, with lunch specials ranging from 5-7 dollars, sushi combination D for 7 having 3 rolls, which I will definitely take advantage of my next visit, and hope any reader in this area will too!

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Four Seasons
, Gilbert, AZ 85233

Jan 07, 2010
Namius in Phoenix

Where to buy Bagels in Phoenix?

I can't speak for their bagel quality. But I can say I ordered a pastrami on sourdough bread, a "bowl" of minestrone. It cost me $12. Too much dressing, and the meat was surprisingly bland. The minestrone was about 8 oz for 3.50, which actually tasted decent and felt great on a cold Saturday approaching noon. The service was nice, and the manager as well as the cashier were very friendly and informative. Normally that would be reason enough for me to try again, but I was just hugely disappointed at the quality and the quantity of my meal.

Dec 09, 2009
Namius in Phoenix

good eats in Mesa Arizona

Good things have been said (I'm one of the one's that've been saying it too, admittedly) about Pasti's Eurogrille and Delicatessen. It's on Val Vista and Baseline opposite of the Dana Park area. A search on the board will find what's been said about it, it also was listed on Phoenix Magazines Top 23 New restaurants (for whatever that's worth). Highlight for me was the cheese stuffed tenderloin w/white wine sauce on it. Here's the website so you can peruse the menu and mapquest it: http://www.pastisaz.com/ The website isn't up to date so far as they now offer alcoholic beverages, but everything else is accurate.

Nov 05, 2009
Namius in Phoenix

Two Hippies Beach House Outrageous Tacos and Burritos? (PHX)

I've been, I liked it, but beware going during school day lunch hours. The lines can get to be ~25 minutes! It's good, but if you see a huge line, it's not wait-in-a-line-for-almost-half-an-hour good.

Apr 27, 2009
Namius in Phoenix

PHX: Pho Bang Closing

Ha ha Firenza, so true. I guess the bun bo hue being 7.95 I was anticipating the train and not the car. As explanation for that, a fun conversation with a server @ Da Vang: for a larger bowl it is called xe lua= a train so I said I wasn't that hungry, just make mine a xe hoi = car, i.e. honda civic). I can honestly say I left Pho Loc still craving food, and was tempted to stop by the Vietnamese restaurant kitty corner, but I had to get back to work. I will say that Pho Loc was top 10% of all Viet restos I've been to in terms of cleanliness and decoration. And par for the course in terms of service. :-)

Silverbear, I'll try it again and hopefully have a more favorable impression.

Apr 03, 2009
Namius in Phoenix

Pasti's Delicatessen and Eurogrille: Mesa AZ Val Vista and Baseline

This restaurant opened in Mesa in Dana Park nearly 4 months ago, and I'm happy to report it's become my new favorite restaurant if I want a highly relaxed, and excellently prepared meal. I really mean it about relaxation too... I like to (after feeling out the management, of course) go out and play Boggle with my girlfriend and graze happily on whatever I ordered... there are sit-and-you-fall-asleep sofas on the patio with a coffeetable outside. Besides the restaurant area, there is a market where there are imports from various countries, along with meats and cheeses. Everytime I go I hear the owners deeply involved in yet another language (I swear they're multi-multilingual) with someone reminiscing of their homeland. I generally spend two hours there per meal and cherish every moment of it. I hope I managed to attach a picture of the menu.. failing that here's the link where I got it : http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/22/141456...

Apr 03, 2009
Namius in Phoenix

PHX: Pho Bang Closing

I wasn't sure to start a new thread or not, but I just had Pho Loc for lunch today... and if you're talking about the 19th ave and Northern restaurant, I would vote to pass on it. I ordered a bowl of Bun Bo Hue and a Sua Dau Nahn (soy bean milk) ~$11. Was handed a 12 oz can and a glass of ice for $2.00, no refills. The Bun was tasty enough, but I probably got about 2oz of actual beef, and the rest was pork knuckles and the blood cubes. The weirdest service of my life too... no greeting, no refills, just handed a menu with a borderline intimidating stare from my server.

Apr 03, 2009
Namius in Phoenix