Ask the Critic: Where Can My Rock Band Eat Near Hollywood Alley?

​As the former New Times music editor, I was kinda tickled to check Twitter and see that a request for restaurant recommendations just came in from a touring Los Angeles indie rock band that's going to be in the Valley this Saturday. 

The band, called Louden Swain, asked, "Any really good eats near Hollywood Alley that you'd recommend for a band passing through PHX?"

In short: yes. But before I throw out some ideas, I should mention that the Saturday night lineup looks cool -- it's part of the International Pop Overthrow festival, and I can vouch for a few of the local acts on the bill (DFactor, Elvis Before Noon, Breakup Society . . .). Hell, maybe I'll even head over myself, after taking care of my food spying duties for the night.

Once upon a time, I toured the country (and also Japan!) with a band called The Makers, as merch table chick, roadtrip sing-along participant, and occasional Japanese translator. Seemed like we ate a hell of a lot of fast food no matter where we were, and when we were driving through the Midwest, we relied on Subway and any Chinese buffet we could find. Too bad Twitter didn't exist back then.

Louden Swain ought to have no trouble finding a decent meal to fuel their rock. Not far from Hollywood Alley is the Mesa location of Cornish Pasty, which seems super band-friendly -- cheap, delicious pasties (sorta like British hot pockets), a geeky beer selection, and a killer juke box stocked with punk and indie rock. Another fave is stoner-themed sub shop Cheba Hut, also nearby. And there's pizza and Italian food at Nello's.

Just a few miles north, though, lies Apache Boulevard (on the Tempe side of the 101), a stretch with a lot of options. There's excellent Indian food (although no lunch buffet) at The Dhaba, great pho and Vietnamese noodle dishes at Khai Hoan, and a lot of Mediterranean cuisine. Haji-Baba, a tiny cafe area inside of a small ethnic grocery store, serves killer hummus and cheap combo platters, while Tasty Kabob does Persian food in a stylish atmosphere. Next door, Pita Jungle has healthy salads, pita wraps, and the like, plus an artsy vibe that always brings out the ASU students.

Got any other ideas for these guys? If so, blow up the comments section. Cheers!

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.
Michele Laudig
Contact: Michele Laudig