11: Amaebi at Shimogamo

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We're working up our appetites for our huge Best of Phoenix issue, out September 30, with daily servings of Chow Bella's 100 Favorite Dishes from across the Valley -- in no particular order

Leave your suggestions for upcoming favorites in the comments section.

Visit our sister blog, Jackalope Ranch, for a companion series on 100 Creatives who make Phoenix a little more interesting for all of us. We'll be posting the next 10 picks daily through the rest of the summer.

Number 11: Amaebi at Shimogamo

If you consider yourself a sushi purist, then Shimogamo is likely on your shortlist of top places to get a raw fish fix in the Valley. This unassuming spot, located at the mega-Asian intersection of Warner and Dobson (where you'll also find C-Fu, Lee's Sandwiches, Anise, Lee Lee Oriental Market, Phoenix Palace, and more favorites), is sleek and stylish inside, with a gleaming sushi counter where the chefs will take good care of you. Daily specials are where it's at.

Keep an eye out for amaebi, which aren't always available. When these sweet shrimp are on hand, they're a total treat, served as compact nigiri (sweet, almost creamy raw shrimp on rice balls) along with deep-fried heads. While those little shrimp bodies are ethereal and light, the heads are hot, crunchy, and salty, like a potato chip out of the ocean. 

You might have to be adventurous to eat one for the first time, but when the habit forms, it happens quickly. Don't be surprised when you're suddenly gobbling down another.

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