BEST SUSHI Phoenix 2005 - Stingray Sushi
The first time we visited Stingray Sushi, not long after it opened, we were more impressed by the eatery's decor than its maki or nigiri. Brought to us by the same team that gave us the hip Scottsdale tiki bar known as Drift, Stingray was an instant hit with the Gen Y party set, with its orange walls, zebrawood tables, and general James Bond-ishness. It's taken a little time for Stingray to prove itself as more than just a pretty face, but our last few outings of bellying up to its sushi bar have shown us that it is. Sure, the crowds are still attractive, and the interior is still fit for a Bond nemesis, but now the sushi is produced as professionally as you'll find anywhere else in our oceanless metropolis. And in many cases, it rises to the level of greatness, as it does with the lollipop -- tuna, salmon, whitefish and crabmeat wrapped in cucumber, then sliced and skewered. Or the pink blossom, with unagi, tamago, shrimp and avocado in a roll bound by pink rice paper. Standards like tuna, yellowtail, and toro (fatty tuna) nigiri and maki are just as fresh and delicious. And that's why, over time, Stingray has become the first place we think of when we want to get our sake and sushi fix. Good work, gents.