Cafe Reviews

Aaron May's Praying Monk in Scottsdale Plays Out Like a Punk Rock Show

If a restaurateur could be likened to a music genre, then chef Aaron May is punk rock.

The well-known Valley chef and restaurateur does what he wants, the way he wants to, and with zero apologies.

And his newest venture, Praying Monk, in Old Town Scottsdale, plays out like a punk rock show. The scene is a mash-up of industrial and dimly lit DIY. The ever-changing menu of modern American food, like a set list, offers May the ability to add and subtract whenever and however he likes. Some songs (or dishes) are fist-pumpers, while others aren't nearly as good -- and have you heading for the bar. That's a good thing at Praying Monk, since an extensive selection of beer is one of the things it does best.

Here's an excerpt from this week's review:

"If your dining chums agree to try the pig ear appetizer and then decide they are not fans of offal, the bowl of thin, crispy, and very chewy slices (best enjoyed with a squirt of lime and a dip in a spicy rocoto chile sauce) will be yours to enjoy. Sadly, the plate of chicken wings, tender but without a trace of flavor in their coating, falls flat for a shareable snack of a more conventional nature. Best are the crispy potatoes. Headily perfumed with truffle aioli and topped with shaved Parmesan and chives, the golden cubed spuds are deceptively addicting and more filling than you might expect."

Hungry for more? Read my full review of Praying Monk and get a taste.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Laura Hahnefeld
Contact: Laura Hahnefeld