Chow Bella

Cafe: Amano Bistro

One sentence stuck out prominently in our minds as we read this week's Cafe column: "Sometimes Phoenix can be a tough nut to crack."

So true. There are countless eateries hidden in shopping centers just waiting for those who hear of their splendor to seek them out. Even Pizzeria Bianco's hard to find -- you can drive 7th Street every day without realizing it's tucked away in Heritage Square, just a pizza toss away.

Luckily we have Food Critic Michele Laudig to help us navigate the disjointed adventure that is Phoenix's restaurant scene. Her latest diamond in the rough: Amano Bistro.

Food Critic Michele Laudig on Amano Bistro:

A savvy friend clued me in to Amano Bistro, a charming neighborhood Italian joint where owners Eric and Kathy Bower have been quietly serving up homey Italian food in South Phoenix for the past five years.

That's right -- South Phoenix. Situated next to a Shell station and across from an empty lot on Baseline Road, it's an unlikely location. But there are plenty of newer housing developments just north of here, and from Tempe or downtown Phoenix, it's actually a quick jaunt...full story

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Jonathan McNamara