Renegade by MOD Launch Event Last Night in Scottsdale: Creative Cocktails and Whimsical Food

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If you were expecting Renegade to adopt some of the vibes from O'Dowd's old digs at Kai, which is the only five-star and five-diamond restaurant in the state, you'd be totally off the mark. This place is quite the opposite, in fact, with a rustic-meets-urban theme. Think: an up-cycled bike, lots of wood, and even more graffiti. In addition to an indoor-outdoor bar and spacious bar seating area, the restaurant has two dining room spaces and an outdoor patio complete with an inviting fireplace.

At first glance, the menu may not wow you. It's got a lot of familiar stuff that chefs are into right now like kale, pork belly, and heirloom tomatoes, even ramen is sort of "in." But the food and drinks guests tried at Thursday night's event were well thought out and anything but boring -- even, at times, a bit odd.

The standout dish had to be the flavored goat cheese under smoke with fennel pollen essence and the platters of kale and chard kimchi with Braunschweiger pâté made quite a few rounds as well. Other bites included the venison lollipops, tender MOD 'n' sour pork wings and black bean hummus with raw veggies. On the stranger end of the spectrum fell items like the waffle cones filled with mango mousse and cayenne, which were memorable in taste but almost overly extravagant in design.

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Lauren Saria
Contact: Lauren Saria