Food News

Best Bites: This is Not Your Average Tuna Melt

The Hatch chile tuna melt at Chula Seafood in Uptown Phoenix.
The Hatch chile tuna melt at Chula Seafood in Uptown Phoenix. Tirion Morris
Welcome to Best Bites, a series where we celebrate not a whole restaurant or menu, but one specific and amazing dish. These bites have something to say and we are listening. Keep reading for dishes that are seriously worth the trek across metro Phoenix to find. Dig in! 

The Hatch chile tuna melt at Chula Seafood is not a hot new invention. This flavor-packed sandwich has been around for a while, earning its fair share of fans and applause along the way. But for anyone who has yet to sink their teeth into this magnificent mountain of food, I implore you, go.

This sandwich finds its spot on Chula Uptown's lunch menu, along with an array of poke bowls, burritos, and fish tacos. On a recent midweek lunchtime, a line of customers clad in business suits snaked its way through the counter service restaurant. As customers placed their orders, a fridge at the front of the line displayed fresh shrimp, scallops, and oysters begging to be taken home for later.

click to enlarge Fresh shrimp, scallops, and fish steaks are available at Chula Seafood. - TIRION MORRIS
Fresh shrimp, scallops, and fish steaks are available at Chula Seafood.
Tirion Morris
But I was there with only one sandwich in mind. Two slices of crunchy, toasted Noble Bread envelop a hearty helping of rich, salty tuna spiked with fresh pops of green chile. This is no mushy tuna salad, but rather a chunky mixture of flaky fresh fish held together with melty Oaxaca cheese. Some may tumble out of the sandwich as you pick it up. Scoop up these morsels with the side of potato chips for an extra treat.

And while this sandwich truly stands on its own, a small side of chimichurri dials up the flavor even more. This bright, herb-filled sauce provides a contrast to the rich tuna and cheese, making both sing.
click to enlarge A line of customers waits to order lunch at Chula Seafood. - TIRION MORRIS
A line of customers waits to order lunch at Chula Seafood.
Tirion Morris

Often, seafood tastes refreshing and light. This sandwich is not that. It's a hearty, cheesy, indulgent mess sure to fill you up for hours, or find its way to your fridge ready for seconds the next day.

Chula Seafood's mission is to sell fresh and sustainably sourced seafood and the company started in San Diego with a fishing boat and local distribution. In 2015, Chula started moving inland and turned its efforts to bringing high-quality fish to the desert. The family-run business now manages restaurant and fish market combos in Scottsdale and Uptown Phoenix.

click to enlarge Chula Seafood has locations in Uptown Phoenix and Scottsdale. - TIRION MORRIS
Chula Seafood has locations in Uptown Phoenix and Scottsdale.
Tirion Morris
Throughout the week, Chula offers rotating specials based on seasonal availability. Some current options include a Hawaiian plate lunch on Fridays and lobster tacos on Sundays. Lucky for us, however, the Hatch chile tuna melt is a menu staple, available to satisfy seafood cravings every day.

Chula Seafood

100 East Camelback Road, Suite 172
602-354-3599

8015 East Roosevelt Street, Scottsdale
480-621-5121
www.chulaseafood.com
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