Best Japanese Restaurant - 2012
Nobuo at Teeter House
The accolades heaped upon chef-owner Nobuo Fukuda — a James Beard Award and "Best New Chef" from Food + Wine — really are all you need to know about the man running this transformed turn-of-the-century bungalow in downtown Phoenix's Heritage Square. He truly is one of the best things going in the Valley's culinary scene. Fukuda's ever-evolving menu of seasonally appropriate Japanese dishes is one aspect that keeps this restaurant interesting. The other thing simply is food — fresh, inventive, and always delicious. There's a wonderful soft-shell crab salad, tempting sake-steamed clams, yellow tail ceviche, and washyugyu short rib, among many other small plates and cold and hot dishes. But perhaps the best way to go is omakase-style, meaning you, the diner, let Fukuda decide what you'll eat, courtesy of a coursed-out tasting menu. For that, you'll want to give the master 24 hours' notice, as he dreams up what invariably is a Japanese meal you won't soon forget.