Baby Kay A-OK

After more than a decade of serving authentic Cajun cuisine to the Valley, Baby Kay's closed its Scottsdale location this week. It's business as usual at the Phoenix location, however, in the Town & Country Shopping Center at 20th Street and Camelback.

The Scottsdale shop was an outdated building, says Baby Kay management, and with the lease expiring, it was time to move on. Plans are to open another restaurant in the Scottsdale area sometime in the future.

"Listen good to what I have to say," says chef-owner Kay Romero, who is considered the Grand Mère in putting the distinctive spicy cuisine on the Valley's culinary radar screen. "The last day of Scottsdale Cajun fun [was] July 31. As the Cajuns say, c'est tout [that's all]. But don't forget about Phoenix -- we'll be waiting for you."

What's Hap-pening: Hap's Real Pit BBQ has opened a second location at 32nd Avenue and Indian School. The original Hap's has been a popular favorite at 24th Street and Jefferson for the past seven years, but has required some courage for unfamiliar diners. There's no building -- just a trailer parked on an auto-repair lot -- but those who know swear by the glorious ribs, served smoky, tender and basted with a sweet and tart barbecue sauce that packs a lingering hot bite. Great go-withs, too, especially the bacon-flavored beans and homemade pies.

The new Hap's location is a full-service restaurant, including a drive-through window and catering facilities. Free deliveries are an extra bonus.

Todai For: The shell of Wolfgang Puck's failed Obachine soon will be a sushi buffet hall. Todai "Never Ending Sushi" is scheduled to open at the end of the year in Puck's former space at Biltmore Fashion Park. The Japanese-style all-you-can-eat menu has made the chain restaurant popular at 15 locations across California, Oregon, Texas and Hawaii. But at the Biltmore, along Camelback's gourmet row? Are the area's upscale diners ready for tempura by the trough full?

They could be -- Todai considers itself upscale, with compelling sushi like ikura (salmon caviar), tarako (cod fish roe) and mirugai (giant clam), plus plum and radish rolls. Entrees sound interesting, like agedama (tempura flower), oden (fish cake soup), five-spice chicken, lobster claws and tail, and Korean barbecue. Almost 50 desserts, too, including banana cheesecake, tofu piña colada, and green tea cheesecake.

Pull up a chair and bring out the buckets.

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Carey Sweet
Contact: Carey Sweet