Phoenix has too many Mexican restaurants to count, and you can pretty much throw a stick in any part of town and hit one (and then have the stick ricochet off the building to hit another). But most of it is cheap and greasy. While there’s a time and place for that (like 2:30 a.m. after the bars have closed), it’s also nice to enjoy a gourmet, not-like-your-mama-made Mexican meal. When you’re in the mood for upscale south-of-the-border fare, La Hacienda at the Fairmont in Scottsdale will do the trick. Not only is the food incredible, but it’s always on point and has been for over a decade. Everything on the menu has been crafted to reinterpret traditional dishes for a sophisticated contemporary salad. For example, a simple seared scallop is upgraded with crisp pork belly, blood orange glaze, pumpkin puree, and orange tomatillo demi-glace, and the rich flavor of chicken mole is rounded out by plantains, cilantro rice, and sesame seeds.
- Price: $$$, $$$$
- Hours: Sunday-Thursday 5:30-9 p.m.; Friday & Saturday 5-9 p.m.
- Outdoor seating: Open-air patio
- Alcohol: Full bar
- Reservations: Recommended
- Parking: Lot available, Valet