BEST MODERN MEXICANA RESTAURANT Phoenix 2005 - Mucho Gusto Taqueria and Mexican Bistro
Gregarious gourmets Carlos Manriquez, a.k.a. "the Sorcerer of Sauces," and Chad Withycombe hold court here at Mucho Gusto. They're two of the crew that operate Scottsdale's BYOB gem Atlas Bistro, and their contribution to the Valley is enormous -- now in the way of Southwestern and modern Mexican fare. Manriquez's passion for fine victuals at a modest price comes across in such affordable palate-ticklers as steamed clams Adobo, Barra Vieja shrimp, and a Gaucho steak in an Argentine chimichurri marinade. Salivating yet? Last one to Mucho Gusto is a rancid tamale.