Restaurant Update: There's no letup in the rush to open new restaurants in the Valley. Among the establishments I'm looking forward to checking out:
* The Famous Door: It's in the old Daa's Thai location, at 7419 Indian Plaza in Scottsdale, just down the street from Don & Charlie's. According to the proprietor, it's going to be a "classic cigar-martini supper club, vintage 1930s." Look for lots of mahogany and brick in the decor, and straightforward American fare coming out of the kitchen.
* Bistro 24: The Ritz-Carlton, 24th Street and Camelback, is opting for a new dining look. A casual bistro will replace The Restaurant.
Look for a wraparound patio and fare that's reported to be "interesting, but not too bold."
* Lagerfields: As the name suggests, it's a micropub/sports restaurant opening near Paradise Valley Mall, at 12601 North Paradise Village Parkway. Look for more than 50 microbrews, 21 big-screen televisions and a mostly pizza-burger-sandwich menu.
* Genevieve's Bistro: This new bistro, at 15414 North Seventh Street, promises French/Cajun fare and a musical setting.
Some well-established restaurants are also moving and shaking.
* Different Pointe of View: Gone is the odd, two-part menu, one featuring classic cuisine, the other the chef's special creations. Now the menu seems more coherent, with a New American/Southwestern slant. Look for fetching-sounding entrees like macadamia-crusted ono served with quinoa and couscous; pork tenderloin in a butterscotch-flavored sauce, served with grits; and garlic-studded beef sirloin with a dried-cranberry barbecue sauce.
* Caffe Boa of Tempe is adding a second branch, opening in restaurant-starved Ahwatukee, at 51st Street and Elliot. Except for chain restaurants, there's not much eating in the area.
Caffe Boa will offer panini (Italian sandwiches served on focaccia or a baguette), salads and pasta dishes like rancho ravioli, described as "ancho chile pasta filled with a blend of pinto beans, jalapenos, ancho chiles and cheese, served with a salsa-verde sauce of tomatillos, cilantro, red onion, olives and lime juice." It sure doesn't sound like anything that comes out of a Chef Boyardee can.
* Ah-So, the west side's first Japanese teppanyaki restaurant, is boldly expanding to downtown.
Look for its second branch, which will feature a sushi bar, at the corner of Central and Adams.
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* Hard Rock Cafe, at 26th Street and Camelback, is shaking up its menu. My previous dining experience at this place suggested that no one could possibly come here for the food.
Maybe that will change with new items like the hickory-smoked chicken and spinach dip and the pig sandwich, pulled pork in a vinegary barbecue sauce served on a toasted bun.
Suggestions? Write me at New Times, P.O. Box 2510, Phoenix,