The Spot: Naya Mediterranean Cuisine 8877 N. Scottsdale Road 480-355-6600 www.nayaaz.com
The Hours: Happy hour is offered from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday
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The Interior: Naya offers the type of chic, upscale vibe that you's expect to find at a restaurant in the north Scottsdale shopping center, The Shops at Gainey Village. The large restaurant has a spacious dining room, patio, and bar all of which are done in a white theme accented with teal and dark wood. The curved bar is impressive with tile accents and large displays of spirits. Unfortunately when we came in for happy hour, we were the only ones in the whole place.
The Food: The happy hour menu at Naya includes six different appetizers priced at $6 each. The list includes fried calamari, chicken kebab, spinach and cheese fatayer, and stuffed mushrooms.
We went for the hummus and baba ghanoush combo that includes grilled pita bread. The hummus was creamy and fresh with a nice balance of flavors including olive oil, lemon, and just a little bit of garlic. The baba ghanoush was also quite good. The dip -- made of eggplant, onions, tomatoes, olive oil, and other seasonings -- offered a slightly smoky flavor that was a nice contrast to the freshness of the hummus. For $6 it's a decent deal, a nice snack for two to share.
The better deal, however, was the $6 plate of mussels. We were shocked when our bowl arrived at the table with dozens of mussels in it. The crustaceans were dressed in a nice lemon and white wine sauce that we were more than happy to sop up with the pieces of grilled bread that also came with the dish. It was more than enough for to make a satisfying meal for one.
The Drink: On the drinks side of the menu Naya has two glass of wine available for $5 each (one read, one white) as well as a red and white wine available for $6 a glass.
We went instead for two of the restaurant's $5 specialty cocktails. The first was a Citron Mint Collins, which is basically the restaurant's play on a mojito. It featured vodka, fresh mint, citrus, agave, and tonic water and was a very light and refreshing drink -- perfect for summer.
We also tried the $5 Serrano Margarita that was made with Serrano tequila, fresh citrus juices, and agave nectar. This drink offered a nice bit of heat but still managed to be a well-lanced and easy to drink cocktail. It was a bit heavier on the booze, we discovered upon finishing it a little too quickly.
The Conclusion: Although it was a little awkward being the only ones in such a giant restaurant, we were happy with the food, drinks, and service at Naya. If we lived closer to the area, we would be happy to stop in for a drink and a snack. It would be nice if there were more drinks on special. But at least those that we tried were on point.
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