Although there seems to be no shortage of new restaurants in the Valley, two of these new ones come with such great reputations that you need to be prepared to stand in line for an hour or more. And if the third of our latest new restaurants is as good as its sister facility, we predict the lines soon will be long there, too. So don't spend too much time reading this if you want to try out these new places.
Across the Pond
4236 North Central Avenue, #101
East of the Pacific, here in the American desert, you don’t usually notice rice when eating sushi unless that rice is bad. But at Across the Pond, the recently opened sushi and cocktail concept from the team behind Clever Koi, you notice the rice. It is good. Not good like fried rice is good. Good in a more modest way — a trace sweet, an echo of vinegar to reveal the spirit of the grains. Across the Pond offers three kinds of sushi: hand rolls, sashimi, and nigiri. These are made using three fish: salmon, tuna, and yellowtail. Specials may increase the number of offerings by a third. Across the Pond is across the walkway from Clever Koi. This bodes well for the cocktails, because Clever Koi crafts some great ones. The cocktail menu brims with more compelling options than you could drink in a night or four.
Little Miss BBQ, Sunnyslope
8901 North Seventh Street
Local barbecue standout Little Miss BBQ finally opened its second location on Tuesday, November 20, in Sunnyslope after more than a year of hype. For those who have dined at the original Tempe location, you have most likely been waiting for this day for a while now. We cannot say enough good things about this central Texas-style barbecue, though we have tried. The fatty brisket melts in your mouth, the smoked pecan pie is one of the best joys you can find in the Valley, and the pastrami only sold on Thursdays is legendary. There's a reason Phoenix New Times food critic Chris Malloy put it in a tier of its own for the best barbecue in metro Phoenix. Oh, and for the best news: This new location will have alcohol, which isn't available at the original store in Tempe. According to the Little Miss BBQ Instagram post, there will be beer, wine, and mixed cocktails.
16205 North Scottsdale Road #110
On Saturday, at 8:30 in the morning, a line of people in light jackets and hats curled through the west end of Scottsdale Promenade, the labyrinthine strip mall in North Scottsdale. Donut Bar, a doughnut-bar hybrid with locations in San Diego and Las Vegas, had just opened. By 10:30 a.m., Donut Bar had sold some 1,300 donuts. None were left. Donut Bar supplies more than just doughnuts. There are espresso and cold brew options. There are mimosas and craft beers from places like Dragoon Brewing Company and THAT Brewery, both based in Arizona. There are all kinds of doughnuts: new-age and old-school; huge yeasted and tighter, crisper, simply fried; whole and hole; filled and unfilled; Cookie Monster and blood orange and unicorn and strawberry cream cheese. The menu changes daily. If you want to choose from all of it, go early.