Essentials

The Appetizer With a Back East Twist – Way Back East

Moto
Moto Jacob Tyler Dunn
click to enlarge Have you tried these nachos yet? - JACOB TYLER DUNN
Have you tried these nachos yet?
Jacob Tyler Dunn
Welcome to The Essentials, our catalog of indispensable and quintessential Phoenix food and drink. From now until May, we'll be sharing 50 dishes, drinks, and food experiences that make up the culinary backbone (and personality) of metro Phoenix. This list is highly eclectic, mixing classics with newer and lesser-known favorites. But all The Essentials have one thing in common: We think they're required eating (and drinking) in metro Phoenix.

Up next, the Asian Nachos at Moto

39: Asian Nachos at Moto

If you’ve ever had trouble deciding between crab puffs and chips and salsa to start off your dining experience at whatever pan-Asian place you’ve been seated at, Moto makes this part easy. Choose the Asian Nachos.


This dish consists of fried wontons topped with warm cheese sauce, sour cream, salsa, and a bright green plop of fresh soybean and avocado guacamole. You can also add pork or grilled chicken to the top of the heap. Each scoop can be its own little island with equal parts sauce, protein, chip, and guacamole.

The "nachos" start off crisp, the wontons snapping under each bite, then goes soft toward the middle as the generous pile of sauce starts to break down the wontons.

This appetizer is not something you ignore just because your entrée has arrived. The Asian Nachos are $6.95, or $8.95 for a large.

The neighborhood-style Moto offers a pan-Asian menu with touches of Japanese, Chinese, Thai, and let’s face it, some American cuisine. Appetizer time is also when you put your drinks in, and Moto has quite the menu in this department. Its full bar cranks out specialty cocktails, and your server can bring you an impressive list of beers on draft.
click to enlarge Moto's sunny dining area. - JACOB TYLER DUNN
Moto's sunny dining area.
Jacob Tyler Dunn
A good entrée to follow the airy wonton nachos is the sweet Moto Chicken Salad, the Salmon Filet, or an order of sushi. And if you’d like a dessert to bookend your hedonistic appetizer order, the housemade Mojos (sushi-style ice cream, brownie, and Nutella rolled in a layer of Rice Krispies Treats) are becoming this side of legendary.

The Essentials so far:
50: Tequila Sunrise at the Arizona Biltmore.
49: "Dragon" Dumpling Burger at Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour.
48: Dizzy Fig Empanada at Republica Empanada.
47: Linguine Carbonara at Avanti.
46: The Food Court at Mercado de los Cielos.
45: Chicken Feta Salad at George’s Kitchen.
44: Spinach & Cheese Chimi Burro at Mi Patio Mexican Restaurant.
43: Dinner at Rustler's Rooste.
42:
Gyro Omelet at Mel's Diner.
41: Zipps Wings at Zipps Sports Grill.
40: Organ Stop Pizza in Mesa.
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Lauren Cusimano is Phoenix New Times' food and drink editor. She is a journalist and food waste writer based in Tempe. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.
Contact: Lauren Cusimano