Restaurant News

Claudio Urciuoli's Tiny New Wood-Fired Eatery, Pa'La, Has Opened

Pa'La has opened.
Pa'La has opened. Claudio Urciuoli
Claudio Urciuoli, who cooked at Noble Eatery for four years, has taken the stove at his next endeavor: Pa'La. Urciuoli opened the Phoenix restaurant on Monday. Pa'La will "create dishes that reflect the seafood, grains, and vegetable-driven coastal cultures of the Mediterranean and South America."

The menu will change every single day.

That menu is divided into three sections: tapas; schiacciata (Tuscan flat breads); and an entree-like section of rice, grains, and fish. Urciuoli harps that both his menu and kitchen at Pa'La are very, very small.

He will be using wood-fired heat sources to cook all of Pa'La's food. There's a wood-fired oven. There's also a wood-fired stove where he can cook with cast iron pans on top or — as in his youth back in Liguria, Italy — place food directly on the coals and embers inside.

Urciuoli will be sourcing fish from Mexico and the West Coast. He will be using Arizona grains. He will be getting his produce from local providers.

Today, Urciuoli will be preparing one sandwich and four fish preparations, including scallops from Hokkaido. He will also be serving couscous made from faro. But offerings change constantly, and tomorrow he'll be swapping in ceviche made with snapper from Mexico.

Pa'La has opened after a long remodeling of a bungalow on 25th Street (between McDowell and Oak). To keep up with its ever-shifting menu, follow Pa'La on Instagram
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Chris Malloy, former food editor and current food critic at Phoenix New Times, has written for various local and national outlets. He has scrubbed pots in a restaurant kitchen, earned graduate credit for a class about cheese, harvested garlic in Le Marche, and rolled pastas like cappellacci stuffed with chicken liver. He writes reviews but also narrative stories on the food world's margins.
Contact: Chris Malloy