Cafe Reviews

Paz Cantina in Downtown Phoenix Is a Very Nice Taco Stand With Inexpensive Food

Chef Brian Webb and restaurateur Joseph Aguayo have made names for themselves as adventurous food pioneers. Aguayo brought bold, affordable Mexican fare to downtown in 2010 with his popular Verde, which closed after just seven months. Webb, who previously worked at Pointe South Mountain Resort in Phoenix, took the lead in the food truck craze when his and wife Margita's Hey Joe! mobile eatery turned heads with their take on Filipino street food. (The couple won New Times' 2011 culinary Big Brain award.)

Last year, Webb and Aguayo teamed with Michael Reyes (of Scottsdale's Pure Sushi and the sublime Otro Café) to launch Paz Cantina in the former home of The Local, which also closed after only half a year. With all that restauranting behind them, expectations were high. The result from this revered trio's joint venture is a mixed bag of inconsistently pleasurable food and service.

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Robrt L. Pela has been a weekly contributor to Phoenix New Times since 1991, primarily as a cultural critic. His radio essays air on National Public Radio affiliate KJZZ's Morning Edition.
Contact: Robrt L. Pela