Category Archives: Asian fusion

Clever Koi – December 2016

Clever Koi – December 2016

Clever Koi

384 N Gilbert Rd #101

Gilbert, AZ 85234

Organized by: Ann and Jay

Happy Holidays from the Double Ds! This year we celebrated our annual wine exchange at another new hot spot in Gilbert. Located in the booming metropolis of downtown Gilbert is a delicious asian inspired kitchen and craft cocktail bar that is tummy-making-happiness delicious! When you pair that with good service by people who have a good appreciation of the magic coming out of the kitchen, it makes for a memorable end to 2016.

In true DD fashion, we tried a whole host of tasty items. For starters we had Wok Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Black Bean and Celery Root Pancakes, and Duck Fat Sriracha Wings. Be warned, these wings are amazing and with a little kick. The Soft Shell Crab with crispy fingerling potatoes, apple, and smoked daikon is also very good, especially coming from a girl who doesn’t like shellfish! And yes, you eat the crab shell. Also do not miss out on a chance to try the Pig Face Dumplings served with kimchi, sriracha, and pickled peppers.

Speaking of kimchi…it is the freshest kimchi I have had in a long time! We even ordered a few sides of kimchi which when perfect with our ramen bowls.

For dinner, there was the Thai Chili Beef that is made of grilled sirloin steak, veggies, and a spicy (to some) sauce. We also tried the Fried Forbidden Black Rice made of Gojuchang Roasted Shrimp, snap peas, asparagus, bok choy, and a fennel and pickled ginger salad. Next time I definitely need to try the the Kimchi Fried Rice!

Do not miss the noodle bowls! You can top them with lemongrass chicken, shrimp, tofu, steak, or pork belly. The world is your oyster! Each one comes with a host of delicious fresh veggies and a savory broth. One of the big hits was the Spicy Seafood Hot Pot. A steamy bowl of shrimp, calamari, scallops, cilantro, scallions, and lime but with a nice flavorful kick in the taste buds. Be warned, these noodles bowls are big and hearty, so you may not be able to finish them…

If you haven’t filled up yet on amazing dinner dishes yet (doubtful) there is a variety of dessert options. A new one to try is the kimchi waffle churros. Before you squirm away, it isn’t kimchi on a churro.

There are so many options to try, I am going to have to go back a whole bunch of times just to try everything on the menu! You should do the same too. 🙂

See you at the Koi!

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Posted by on 12/17/2016 in Asian fusion



April 23, 2016 – Flo’s

Flo’s Tempe

788 E Baseline Rd

Tempe, AZ 85282


Organized by: Karna and Fred


In April, we visited one of the three locations of Flo’s, a local Arizona restaurant opened in 1997 and focused on spicing up your experience with Asian cuisine. Their motto of “Traditions with a twist” illustrates that there will be plenty of recognizable dishes but with some twists to wake up your senses.

We made our place on the back patio and, even on this windy day, it was a really comfortable setting with the added bonus of twinkle lights. We certainly enjoyed the San Diego type weather before the Arizona summer rears its ugly head.

As with almost every dinner, we started with cocktails. Ann ordered a Pomerita-Florita, made with tequila, triple sec, pomegranate syrup, lemon juice, sweet & sour, and soda water. To cut down on the sweetness, she ordered it without sweet & sour and it was still plenty sweet and probably more refreshing. Well done Ann! We also ordered some beers like Kiltlifter and the Japanese beer, Asahi, which is similar to a Heineken and a few bottles of Riesling. Just out of curiosity, we also ordered a taster of the Hakutsuru Plum Wine. Yes, it was just as sweet as imagined, but this was different. It was a thicker, more fragrant sweetness. Sound crazy? The best way I can describe it is to say, imagine the difference between drinking the juice of a plum versus the empty, hollow sweetness of a processed candy.

Never one to shy away from apps, we tried the lettuce wraps, potstickers (chicken, pork, and veggie versions), and the spicy wontons. The spicy wontons were hands down my favorite of the night! Shrimp and pork wontons served in a chili oil plus a soy and vinegar sauce. Nom nom nom! The lettuce wraps were a nice surprise as well. Unlike the drier versions that you find at PF Chang’s and Pei Wei, the lettuce wraps are covered in a tasty sauce. Be careful of using the red chile sauce, it carries a yummy but spicy kick!

Kelly and Tony ordered the Hot and Sour Soup, but little did hey know that they would receive a cauldron! Entrees included Thai Fried Catfish and Chile Sauce; Katsu Chicken, which is panko breaded chicken on egg-fried rice with teriyaki sauce and sesame seeds; Yellow Curry Chicken; and Yuxiang Pork, a twist on an imperial dish with bell peppers and onions. The sauce on the Yuxiang was surprisingly sweet considering it was on the “spicy China” side of the menu. Perhaps I needed to order it with more spice? The Spicy Orange Chicken was delicious! If you have ever been to Panda Express, do not make the mistake of thinking this is the same. Instead, think less bread and more flavorful sauce.

Sadly, we didn’t get to try the Peking Duck which is on the “hidden treasures” menu and needs to be ordered 24 hours in advance. For dessert, we enjoyed the Chocolate Won Tons, which were little crisp pastries filled with chocolate ganache and a tasty wrap up to the night.

Overall it was good, but there were plenty of intriguing dishes that we just didn’t have the chance to try. I guess it just means we will have to go back. 🙂


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Posted by on 04/24/2016 in Asian fusion, Chinese, Thai


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Let’s Get Devoured

Today some of the DDs made it out to Devoured Phoenix Culinary Classic 2013 held at the Phoenix Art Museum. There was a bazillion different restaurants and wineries providing tastes of their creative culinary skill. The event is organized by Local First Arizona, which is a non-profit designed to promote the benefits of buying locally and strengthening our local communities. Through this organization we have uncovered an amazing community of restaurants and an emerging gastronomic culture that is putting Phoenix on the culinary map.

Being held at the Phoenix Art Museum is a nice treat because once you are finished eating and drinking your way through the event, you can walk it off by perusing the museum exhibits.  

A word of warning, it seems like ALL of Phoenix comes out to this event and it is wall to wall people. The beer tent opened 30 minutes prior to the food tasting so naturally everyone piles in there and begins with the marathon drinking. Thankfully they did have some desserts available to sample or else we probably would all be a little closer to hammered before we even hit the food.

Below are some of the great places we experienced:

JJ’s Brownies: Chili and Cinnamon fudgy brownies topped with sea salt and caramel drizzle – decadent taste with a spicy kick that hits you in the back of the throat later.
Citizen Public House offered a duckling ham but be careful about asking what that is, they may respond with “it’s a duckling that’s been hamed”. oh yeah? well this is a dish that is just ok
Tuck Shop (with next door neighbor Astor House) never fails to deliver and today they had a TuckRib which is a boneless rib sandwich on a soft roll topped with red onion and pickle. Delish!
The Windsor (which is a new place for me) served a beer braised pork with chorizo hash. O.M.G. can i have another?! This is definately a place we are going to have to try.
Federal Pizza (part of the North Phoenix restaurants corridor with Postino’s and Windsor) served a refreshing cocktail of grapefruit and ginger beer as well as a short rib ravioli topped with a mushroom au jus. Definately a winner with many and another place on the list to try.
Caduceus Cellars was on site and we sampled both the (unavailable) 2009 Nagual de la Naga which is a fantastic blend of Cab and Sangiovese and the Merkin Vineyards Chupacabra, which is a red blend of Petite Syrah, Syrah, Cab, and Viognier.
House of Tricks (one of our local favorites in Tempe) offered a foie gras taco, which I am told was very tasty, and duck pasole that had a delicious green chile flavor that was not overpowered by duck.
Pig and Pickle is a new player in town just recently opening in Scottsdale and serving an amazing pork shoulder tostada with ginger aioli and topped with an unexpected homemade kimchi. The spice of the kimchi was not too overpowering for the port and instead gave is a nice punch. There was also an Elvis dessert of peanut butter with chocolate which was okay, but why eat that when you can just savor the pork tostada a little while longer.
Bliss Re-Bar had a bacon meatloaf which I was told was quite good but it takes a lot for me to try a meatloaf. Maybe next year I will take the plunge.
Short Leash Dogs was an unexpected treat for me. I have longed to try this mobile gourmet hot dog eatery but can never seem to be in the right place at the right time. Apparently today was my day because I was able to sample their bratwurst on a pretzel roll with saurkraut and german mustard. They also offered a crispy dog made from Schreiner’s jalapeno cheese brat and served in a crispy tortilla. yum! The food truck revival is on a roll! (get it..heh heh)
Atlas Bistro is a local BYOB with an intimate dining room but a staff that is passionate about what they do. Today they treated us to blistered watermelon radishes from Duncan Farms with a triple brie with peppercorn crust and raisin mostarda. So good it required a double visit!
District Kitchen offered a mac n’ cheese chorizo with snack cheese puffs on top. The cheese puffs were a little strange but the mac n’ cheese was good.
Gallo Blanco Cafe was a special treat since I have heard rave reviews of this local gem. We were treated to very tender goat tacos.
Beckett’s Table served up a super delicious deep fried deviled egg with a spicy aioli sauce. Not something that sounded tasty but ended up being a hit (with most of us).
Relish Burger Bistro which is located in the Phoenician had a winner with deviled eggs served with pork belly on a skewer, which will find their way to the menu this spring and tacos in a crispy shell that I was told were very good
Santa Barbara Catering hosted some samples inside the museum’s cafe Palette such as the sausage and peppers (I’ve had better), a Dulce de Leche Twix Bar that was really too sweet, and a pork belly ruben with ale mustard. The pork belly sandwhich was good but their offerings today were a little disappointing as we have been at events catered by Santa Barbara before and the food has been fantastic.
The event was packed and I am sure I missed some of the places we tried but with so many options, it is to be expected! We walked, ate, and drank our way through everything and ended up stuffed, tipsy, and slightly overdone from the sun. Even so this is a terrific sampling for the burgeoning foodies in AZ and not an event to be missed!





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Hula’s Modern Tiki

Hula’s Modern Tiki
4700 N Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85012
Ph 602.265.8454
Hours: M-Th 11a-10p/Fri 11a-2a/Sat 10:30a-1a/Sun 10:30a-10p
Organized by: Jay and Ann
Aloha oukou! Come with us as Jay shares his Hawaiian memories with us at Hula’s Modern Tiki. This restaurant which opened in 2009 is part of the gentrification of downtown Phoenix and is helping to bring life back into the old soul of our city. We can be more than just wagon wheels and dusty roads and the City of Phoenix’s adaptive reuse program is helping to make that happen. Mahalo nui loa!
This building has so much character starting with the comfy outdoor Lanai (patio) with fire pit and umbrellas and finishing with the unique octagonal window, both which look out onto Central Avenue. The cocktails are delicious and cheers to the mixologists! For the first time ever, I enjoyed a MaiTai or two or three…
For appys we sampled some of the Hawaiian Ceviche and the Island Style Poke (Poke-eh). If you didn’t know, like me, Poke is not something you do to someone (sorry Ann) rather it is raw fish, usually Ahi, in a sauce. This time it was mixed in a soy sauce with avocado, onions and macadamia nuts. Jay, the resident Poke connoisseur, said it was good but it’s hard to top the Poke at Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion.
Dinner entrees were da’ bomb with the Jawaiian Jerk Butterfish (pictured) topped with jerk sauce and paired with fried sweet plantains and jamaican johnny cakes which have a consistency similar to a zucchini or banana bread. We tried a new menu item which is the Kalbi ribs; Korean marinated short ribs paired with refreshing macaroni salad and rice cooked with coconut milk. ‘Ono! (delicious!) We also sampled the Cajun Burger which was okay but when visiting this place, you definately need to go with their specialties! Kelly and Tony raved about the Thai Chicken Bowl which had a spicy sauce paired with jasmine rice and Pat ordered the Bali Hai BBQ Ribs; tender pork ribs with mango BBQ sauce and sweet potato fries. Nturally we also ordered a side of the mac n’ cheese which was fantastic! The comfort food classic was so similar to “mom’s mac” that it transported me back home to family dinner. Food that can induce time travel? Who knew?! The surprise delight for me came from the Blackened Wasabi Hapu (for Sarah and Jen) and Ahi (for Jay), also pictured. Lightly blackened with a drizzle of wasabi cream sauce and paired with wasabi mashed potatoes and *perfectly crunchy* cooked snap peas. There is a bit of a kick but just drink some MaiTai if needed and you will be all set!
There were no deserts tonight, just happy satisfied friends having a good time. It was such a pity to have to end for the night, but until next time…Malama pono and A hui hou.
(once again we find ourselves missing Jay and Bill in the photos. Just in case an alibi is needed…these shy little devils naturally found a way to weasel out of the picture frame. But we have a new addition to the gallery, Ann’s finger! This adorable little digit makes an appearance and photo bombs the food pics. See you next time little digit!)
wasabi ahi tiki patio tiki group modern tiki
jawaiian fish
(outdoor images of Hula’s Modern Tiki are from
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Posted by on 02/24/2013 in American, Asian fusion


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