Taste FOOD FILES
SENSATIONAL SEAFOOD Dive into fresh takes on fresh fish
BY ALISON BAILIN BATZ / PHOTO BY TIM CHOW
Baja Taco de Pescados o Camarones
Spotted Donkey Cantina There is nothing like a proper fish taco, and Spotted Donkey has one of the best. It starts with a choice of fresh mahi mahi that has been beer-battered and fried golden brown or sauteed shrimp. The guest’s choice of seafood is then generously piled into two warm flour tortillas before being topped with crunchy shredded cabbage and a chipotle drizzle. The tacos are paired with Spanish rice, handmade guacamole, and crema on the side. At Boulders Resort & Spa. $18. www.theboulders.com.
Crispy Mango Fish
Malee’s Thai Bistro All of the dishes at Malee’s pay homage to Asian flavors and culture, and the variety of whitefish used in this recipe is a Southeast Asian swai, a type of catfish most often found near Vietnam and known for its mild flavor and flaky texture. It is cooked just enough to give the edges a delightful crunch and drizzled with a sweet, tart tamarind sauce before being topped with a salad of chilled succulent mango, minced red onion, lemongrass, chopped ginger slices, toasted coconut flakes, and lime wedges. $16.99. www.maleesonmain.com.
Ahi Tuna Tartare
Elements Prepared with high-quality ahi tuna flown in from Hawaii, this is the restaurant’s most popular dish. Ideal for summer, it’s refreshing, clean and bursting with Asian flavors. The tuna is seasoned with sambal, sesame oil and toasted pine nuts and served over English cucumber noodles tossed with a light chiffonade of mint as well as house soy sesame vinaigrette. The delicate dish is topped with an avocado mousse and garnished with basil oil and micro cilantro. It’s finished with an accompaniment of a housemade crostini and a togarashi sesame crisp. At Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa. $26. www.sanctuaryaz.com.
Though we may dwell in the desert, far from the sea, resourceful chefs around town don’t let that stop them from creating exceedingly fresh fish dishes. From sea bass to scallops to salmon, there are plenty of light, bright takes on from-the-sea favorites at local eateries. Dig in, or should we say dive in, to nine of our picks here.
So Scottsdale! August ‘20
The Mission A sumptuous seafood extravaganza, this dish starts with sustainably-sourced halibut from Phoenix’s own Chula Seafood. Beyond the perfectly cooked halibut, expect a symphony of flavors thanks to the addition of rock shrimp, clams and chorizo. Each element is plated over a bed of bomba rice with smoked tomato. The final ingredient is aji rocoto nage, a spicy sauce that’s almost like a broth served tableside in a pitcher so guests can choose how much they want to use, though it is almost always empty by the meal’s end. $38. www.themissionaz.com.