Best Of :: People & Places
Heroes come from the strangest places. For instance, about a year ago, when Valley restaurateur Jon Basso opened the doors of the Heart Attack Grill where sexy young waitresses dressed as naughty nurses serve up über-greasy burgers like the "Triple Bypass" and "Quadruple Bypass" the eatery entrepreneur never thought he'd wind up battling the government and becoming the poster boy for the First Amendment. But that's just what happened last fall when the Arizona State Board of Nursing and the Maryland-based Center for Nursing Advocacy took umbrage with the joint's usage of medical costumes and its flaunting the sexy nurse stereotype. The Arizona attorney general's office even got involved, sending out threatening letters to Basso indicating he was in possible violation of state laws designed to keep quacks and con artists from passing themselves off as legitimate health care professionals since his servers were using the title of "nurse."
It was a laughable attempt at a legal smackdown, since no one in their right mind thought they were going to the Heart Attack Grill for medical attention (other than clogging their arteries). The brouhaha got worldwide media coverage including appearances on Fox News, 20/20, Geraldo Rivera, and German and Japanese television where Basso made like Hustler founder Larry Flynt and maintained the issue was one of free expression (albeit a rather salacious one) versus a misuse of power by the government. Eventually, the state backed off and Heart Attack Grill was free to keep slinging greasy beef and sexual innuendo at its new location in east Phoenix (the Chandler location closed in June). While we're not particular fans of Basso's burgers (they're really quite so-so), we dig the fact the dude's willing to stand up for free speech.
With its lavishly tony décor soaked in red and black, talented DJs spinning Top 40 and rock mash-ups, top-shelf food and drinkage, performances by musical and burlesque acts, and plenty of chi-chi clientele, the Jackrabbit Supper Club is definitely the kinda E-Ticket club that exudes big-city splash. Since debuting last fall, it's not strange to see the place filled to its rafters with the beautiful people (including such celebs as Matt Leinart and Jamie Foxx) from Thursday to Saturday every week. Oh, and by the way, good luck trying to get inside. We've seen limos full of ladies and gents getting turned away by the iron-jawed security types after the club hits its capacity during the prime time of 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. And even when these gatekeepers grant admission, usually they're picking the hottest hotties that are standing in line outside the unmarked building. So unless you can somehow transform into Nick Lachey or Jessica Simpson, chances are you're gonna be partying down the street at Mickey's with all the other mooks.
Something's going up on the northeast corner of Scottsdale and Camelback roads, and no, it's not another gas station. It's a cupcake shop! Well, you say, cupcake shops are as common as gas stations these days and, hey, both are outrageously priced. You're right. We won't argue (in fact, a Sprinkles cupcake costs $3.25 even more than a gallon of gas). We'll just tell you that if the hype on these precious Beverly Hills-based sweet cakes is anywhere near right, you'll be lined up out the door like an imitation of the '70s gas crisis when the Scottsdale Sprinkles finally opens. We'd hoped it would be in time for our Sweet Life issue, but alas, some good things must wait.
Just listen to the lineup of flavors: ginger lemon, dark chocolate, cinnamon sugar, chai latte, peanut butter chip. Drooling? Try scrolling over the full descriptions at www.sprinklescupcakes.com. Lemon isn't just lemon, it's "fragrant lemon cake with lemon-vanilla frosting flecked with zest." These people mean business, and we expect their business to boom when they open allegedly sometime this fall.
If it weren't for sheer willpower, we'd all be sitting around on asses the size of Texas, eating bonbons, and frothing at the mouth like Homer Simpson. Mmm... chocolate. So you can imagine we were floored to discover a cocoa treat that has zero calories and zero fat at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak. Offered as part of the Tocasierra Spa's "My Tempest Truffle" Valentine's Day package, the Chocolate Scrub immerses your whole body in guilt-free chocolaty goodness. The included Chocolate Decadence Pedicure turns tired tootsies into plump, juicy Tootsie Rolls. Can't wait to check out next year's cocoa-infused V-Day specials at Tocasierra? Don't fret the spa plans to offer the chocolate body scrub year-round for an anytime indulgence. They say that because of similar endorphins, chocolate is just as good as sex. Considering that the spa does the messy cleanup for you, we say this sinful scrub is even better.
Thanks to one of Old Town Scottsdale's newest boutiques, we'll gladly add some extra penance so we can atone for the lust we feel for Covet's Tretorn shoes, limited-edition Andy Warhol Factory Foundation Levi's, and one-of-a-kind Liz Saintsing painted bags. We're envious of owners Randy and Adrienne Kreb's excellent taste, and have been known to stare longingly at the Yoko Deveraux shirts and the Alexander McQueen Puma trainers. We're just angry that we didn't spend more time at the gym, so our slothful selves have to be squeezed into our April 77 skinny rock-star jeans.
We love looking like a million bucks, especially if our champagne tastes can be sated on our beer budgets. That's why we've been braving traffic on the I-10 for ages so we can scour the racks at Neiman Marcus Last Call at Arizona Mills. Where else will you find purple Miu Miu pumps for $19.95? Or John Galliano for Dior camis for $50? Or a men's Prada blazer for less than $150? Stock up on Radko Christmas ornaments for $9, and score a suede couch for under $1500. When you pay for your purchases and the kind clerk asks if you'd like to be added to the mailing list, say, "Yes." You'll get invitations to preview sales and you'll have first crack at some choice Chanel ballet flats. Now you'll be able to afford a matching bag. Who says you can't buy happiness? And at a bargain!