However, a salad of apple, fennel, and grapefruit should have been ethereal. Instead, it was soggy with sherry vinaigrette, lacking balance. Marinated baby octopus was another good idea that didn't live up to expectation. Think "chewy." Thankfully, a similarly tangy seafood salad — chunks of crab with cucumber, red pepper, tomatoes, and pickled cauliflower — was perfect on a sticky summer night.

Chicken meatballs with truffle jus simply did not taste like truffle, while lomo con Romesco — marinated pork loin with Romesco sauce (smooth, with garlic and red pepper) — was both overdone and lukewarm. As a kicker, sautéed lobster with white corn and serrano ham was actually bland, and not tender. As the most expensive thing on the menu, this should've been stunning.

A couple desserts did put a smile on my face, though: silky "Sol y Sombra," a dome of chocolate pudding cake capped with crema catalana, made its French cousin, crème brûlée, seem staid, while a frozen Marcona almond nougat soufflé with salted Marcona almond crunch had a craveable combination of creamy, crunchy, and chewy.

Chef Aaron May adds Old Town Scottsdale's Iruña to his roster of restaurants.
Jackie Mercandetti
Chef Aaron May adds Old Town Scottsdale's Iruña to his roster of restaurants.

Location Info



7217 E. 1st St.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Category: Restaurant > Small Plates

Region: Central Scottsdale


7217 East First Street, Scottsdale, 480-398-3020
Hours: 4:30 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 4:30 to midnight Friday and Saturday

Tortilla española: $4
Pollo Colonial: $9
Filet mignon: $16
Sol y Sombra: $8

Will Iruña be the restaurant that puts Aaron May back on the foodie radar, or will it just become another Old Town watering hole? That's up to him to decide.

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My Voice Nation Help

I ate here a few weeks ago and thought it was mediocre at best. I wouldn't waste your money.


A Tapas Void?What about Tapas Papas at Southbridge?


Nice Review. One correction. They had the mural painted and distressed to make it look old. Hope they weren't the ones that told you the story 'bout it being 50 years old.

David M. Johnson
David M. Johnson

We were trying to do something new at Sol y Sombra with Spanish cuisine. In the Valley, you had Altos, Pepin, Lola, and Tapas Papas Fritas..(short lived Tapas Cuisine of Spain) and a few others. Compared to the 275 Italian styled restaurants in AZ and the handful of former and present true French restaurants we are deficient in European dining concepts. The economy caught up with Soly, but there was never a lack of focus and intent. Too bad, the only Spanish concept people in AZ recognize involves flamenco and bullfights. That is like comparing Scotland to a place of bagpipes, Highland Games, and kilts. Unfortunately, Europe can only evolve to the safe stereotype of the imagination.