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  • Article

    Roll Meister - Wake up, little sushi

    I must be paying for the sins of a past life. Why is it every time I locate a new sushi purveyor that I'd like to put into heavy rotation for my weekly feeding rounds, the joint is inevitably 30 minutes to an hour away from me? By Thor's mighty hamme...

    by Stephen Lemons on May 18, 2006
  • Article

    May Day - Going tapas

    On paper, the whole concept of tapas must seem a boon to money-grubbing restaurateurs everywhere, which is why nearly every upscale nightclub you waltz into these days serves what they refer to as "American" or "International" tapas, basically a catc...

    by Stephen Lemons on May 11, 2006
  • Article

    Cinco de Steve-O - A fiesta in your mouth

    The ofays in this town would starve without Mexicans, whether legal, illegal, or full-blown citizens. Seems like just about every eatery in Maricopa County has Spanish-speaking help in the cocina, from cheapo fast-food outlets and slow-food bistros t...

    by Stephen Lemons on May 4, 2006
  • Article

    Lasso Me - Friend of pho

    In case you haven't noticed, I've been burning a humongo hole in my billfold the past few weeks, eating out at all these high-dollar grubbaterias, and stacking so much credit card debt that Visa should consider taking out a life insurance policy on m...

    by Stephen Lemons on April 27, 2006
  • Article

    Commons Killer - Conceptual like a Fox

    If there's any place in town that has me daydreaming about bloody guillotines and headless aristocrats, it's Kierland Commons, though my 18th-century fantasy is more Monty Python than History Channel. First, we'll erect the infernal machine in front ...

    by Stephen Lemons on April 20, 2006
  • Article

    Secret Sharer - Grape and murder

    Halfway through the slightly acidic creaminess of my sorrel bisque, and well into a second bottle of value-priced Pinot Noir with my dining companions, I feel unusually blessed. Seated amidst the colorful hodgepodge of art and antiques that is the Ba...

    by Stephen Lemons on April 13, 2006
  • Article

    Lige Largess - Belgian endeavor

    Hoist the Belgian tricolor and strike up that kingdom's national anthem, "La Brabanonne." Chart a course for the ancient port city of Antwerp, and make it snappy. We sail for the land that gave us mystery writer Georges Simenon and the Singing Nun, ...

    by Stephen Lemons on April 6, 2006
  • Article

    Name Blame - Scores some hits, but not destination dining yet

    I'd have a rough time coining a more idiotic name for a restaurant than "Cocono's," the d.b.a. of the new West Valley venture brought to us by members of the Salazar family, proprietors of the mostly mediocre Manuel's Mexican Restaurants. The handle'...

    by Stephen Lemons on March 30, 2006
  • Article

    Crescent Fresh - The cafe that foot traffic forgot

    I've had New Orleans on the cerebrum lately, and not just because the Katrina disaster remains an open sore on the American body politic. I picked up this recently published comic novel Tremble and Ennui by New Orleanian Edgar Nicaud the other day, a...

    by Stephen Lemons on March 23, 2006
  • Article

    Blarney Boned - Turning of the green

    Holy headcheese, not another freakin' Irish place! Now, don't ruffle your kilts, lads. After all, it is St. Paddy's Day, and this is the only time of the year I'd bother writing up two new purveyors of Celtic comestibles in a row. Last week, it was S...

    by Stephen Lemons on March 16, 2006
  • Article

    Pogue Mahone - Erin go bar

    Irish Disneylands? You bet they exist. Actually, I'm as sure that Shane MacGowan likes his Jameson that you've been to one. Hard to avoid 'em in this town or any other American city. They're called Irish pubs. And if a little green man approaches you...

    by Stephen Lemons on March 9, 2006
  • Article

    Uni Vision - Roll with it

    Outstanding sushi in the wiles of the northwest Valley? Yeah, right. Now you'll be telling me that President Bush has been secretly planning to sell U.S. shipping ports to some Arabic-speaking emirate in the Persian Gulf. Huh? He did what? Guess ...

    by Stephen Lemons on March 2, 2006
  • Article

    Killing Me Softly - A person's got to eat

    Would it trouble you terribly if I told you that I'm guilty of murder? The murder of a strapping, dark-haired chap, whom I'd only just met in Chandler? The homicide would cause me more grief had it not been so much bloody fun. Oh, I know I'll suffer ...

    by Stephen Lemons on February 23, 2006
  • Article

    Thai Tee Off - Currying favor

    By the Great Seal of Solomon, they were the most treacherous 18 holes I've ever encountered in all my years as a golf enthusiast. I don't know what made me want to hit the links in Mesa recently. Perhaps it was seeing Bill Murray at the FBR Open. Or ...

    by Stephen Lemons on February 16, 2006
  • Article

    Jamrock Jaunt - Cool jerk

    How's this for synchronicity, Carl Jung fans: I'm driving down Broadway in SoPo (a.k.a. South Phoenix), my windows open and my system blasting the title song of Damian Marley's brilliant CD Welcome to Jamrock. My head's in the clouds, and I'm lost. L...

    by Stephen Lemons on February 9, 2006
  • Article

    Greek Love - Saganaki mon amour

    Did you know that the German fashion house Hugo Boss outfitted the Nazi SS during WWII? That many of the clocks in Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction are set to 4:20, a.k.a. international tokers' time? Or that actor Kevin Spacey's dad was supposedly su...

    by Stephen Lemons on February 2, 2006
  • Article

    Pox Populi - Odds are against the few good bites

    The classic rock jams filtering through the stereo system at the Yard House in Desert Ridge are hand-picked at the corp's Irvine HQ by none other than The Founder himself, Steele Platt, whom I imagine as a dead ringer for The Architect in The Matrix ...

    by Stephen Lemons on January 26, 2006
  • Article

    Tandoori Tummy - Feast of clay

    I was home alone, meditating in the buff after a particularly sweaty yoga workout, when he appeared to me in a blaze of glory: the four-armed, elephant-headed Hindu deity Lord Ganesha, that potbellied avatar of wisdom, success and prosperity, revered...

    by Stephen Lemons on January 19, 2006
  • Article

    Valley Vixen - Ho still needs a few new tricks

    Like Scottsdale really needs another Ho, one more glamour gal about town who lives to slink sexily through Valley nightlife, turning heads, breakin' hearts and bleeding wallets dry. And yet, the newly revamped Hotel Valley Ho, with its recently compl...

    by Stephen Lemons on January 12, 2006
  • Article

    Beggar's Banquet - Sticking a fork in 2005

    Selective amnesia and creative revisionism run rampant this time of year, like social diseases in a pre-penicillin bordello. I can't frown too much upon my comrades in criticism for wanting to repress the negatives and stack up the positives in their...

    by Stephen Lemons on January 5, 2006
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