Second Helpings

Restaurant News: You may think the Valley is saturated with restaurants. But obviously that's not the way investors see it. Here's what we can look forward to this season:

Hiro Sushi, 9393 North 90th Street, Scottsdale. The area around Shea Boulevard and Scottsdale Road is starting to look like a Tokyo suburb. Sushi on Shea and Sushi Ko are well-established. Now, they're joined by Hiro Sushi, which takes over a storefront that last housed a short-lived Spanish restaurant.

Ra Sushi Bar, 3815 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, 990-9256. This sushi bar/Asian restaurant moves into the space formerly occupied by Zinzibar, which lasted only briefly. Will nearby Kyoto feel the competition?

Tutu's Gourmet Pizzas, 1331 East Northern. Having a hard time finding good pizza? Let's hope Tutu's will distinguish itself.

Restaurant Oceana, 8900 East Pinnacle Peak Road, Scottsdale. This promises to be an interesting addition to the Valley's small seafood restaurant community. It's run by a high-powered San Francisco restaurateur, who promises "definitive seafood." He also says everything, "from bread to ice cream," will be made in the restaurant's kitchen.

Gerda's Grill, 6710 East Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek. "Upscale food, at a fair price," is the way this restaurant's backers describe their operation. The dinner entrees seem pretty staid: steak, surf and turf, pork tenderloin, chicken paprika and a daily fish special.

Veneto Trattoria, 6137 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale. Long-running Vagara Bistro is gone. In its place comes Veneto Trattoria, which joins some pretty stiff company competing for our northern Italian dining dollars.

Harvey's Lakeside Cafe, 5350 South Lakeshore Drive, Tempe. It's a beautiful dining spot, bordering a manmade lake. But the last occupant, Waterfront Restaurant, didn't have the food to match the view. Maybe Harvey's, which calls itself an "upscale steak/seafood restaurant," will get its kitchen to take our eyes off the scenery and on to the plate.

ObaChine, Biltmore Fashion Park, 24th Street and Camelback. Wow, major league baseball and Wolfgang Puck in our town. Ten years ago, who'd have believed it? The Phoenix branch of Puck's trendy L.A. restaurant features dishes from all over Asia. Wonder what the proprietors of the nearby Bamboo Club, with its own pan-Asian menu, think of the newcomer? Is there enough business for everyone? We'll see.

Roy's Restaurant, Scottsdale Seville, 7001 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale. What once was a branch of Marilyn's will be turned into the 14th branch of Roy's. Founded in Hawaii by noted chef Roy Yamaguchi, the restaurant has already gone international, with locations in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Guam. Look for what backers call "innovative Pacific Rim cooking" with "value prices" when the place opens early next year.

Tommyknockers, 101 East Buchanan. This thriving Colorado brew pub is coming to downtown, just in time to greet the throngs at nearby Bank One Ballpark. Look for brews like Red Eye Lager, Butthead Bock and Pick Axe Pale Ale.

--Howard Seftel

Suggestions? Write me at hseftel@newtimes.com or New Times, P.O. Box 2510, Phoenix,

 
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