The recipient of an AAA Four Diamond Award for 18 years running, Janos fuses French techniques with Southwestern traditions and local ingredients to forge a constantly evoloving menu that garnered numerous accolades. James-Beard-award-winning chef Janos Wilder fetches fresh produce directly from local organic gardeners and seafood straight from the Sea of Cortez to conjure creative reinventions of Southwestern favorites, much like dressing Wile E. Coyote in a tuxedo. Almonds and dried apricots reinvigorate the classic chili chassis of the pibil pork relleno ($14), served alongside local greens and mesquite honey-glazed pork-belly lardons, and seared divers scallops ($32) swim in a creamy risotto sea before sunning themselves on a shore of asparagus. Chipotle creamed corn, summer tomatoes, and cippolini onions nestle alongside the succulent New York strip loin ($36), draped with a red-wine reduction. Nearly 900 local and international wines line the restaurant's ample cellars with almost 150 available for $50 or less per bottle.
It’s easy to become mesmerized while standing in line at Fresh Cutt Carving Grill—just behind the counter, slabs of roasted meat are finished on the grill and hand carved to order. This is where Fresh Cutt’s signature three-step ordering process begins. First, customers select one of the high-quality meats, such as all-natural chicken, prime cut steak, and chipotle PorkBelly, to be hand-carved. Then, they can have their chosen meat rolled into a pita or tortilla, spread across fresh salad greens, layered into a plump sandwich, served as is on a plate, or fashioned into a cummerbund for black-tie butcher’s galas. Finally, they can customize their meaty creation with a colorful assortment of fresh ingredients, such as wok-sizzling vegetables, fresh cut slaw, and pinto beans. If they’re not in the mood to make their own meal, they can order from an unintimidating menu that features specialty dishes, such as a pizzeta layering spicy shrimp, avocado-jalapeno salsa, fresh cilantro, and cheeses atop a pita crust, and sides such as hand-cut fries and avocado salad.
Owner and chef Allen Yap began his culinary career in 1991, cooking alongside his mother and father at the family's first restaurant, which they founded after relocating to Tucson from Malaysia. Inspired by his childhood in Asia and driven by a desire to innovate, he took the reins at OM Modern Asian Kitchen and Sushi and designed a menu that incorporates the spices, cooking methods, and flavors of Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, and Malaysian cuisine. The resulting blend of sushi, spicy noodle dishes, and aromatic curries earned his restaurant the award for Best Asian Cuisine & Sushi from Arizona Foothills magazine in 2011.
Along with the inventive brand of fusion fare, bartenders keep spirits high by mixing potent cocktails, pouring glasses of sake, and disguising bottles of domestic and imported beers as adorable kittens. The wine cellar brims with hand-selected varietals from the vineyards of Italy, Washington, and Napa Valley, including the Uppercut cabernet sauvignon, which teems with notes of dark fruit, expresso, violet, and spices.
The restaurant's theme of updating the traditional carries over into its decor, which features stone walls inlaid with small statues. Towering bamboo shoots coil beneath modern, curved lanterns that hang from the ceiling and light the dining room as delicately as a beach ball hosting a firefly high-school reunion.
Papagayo's dinner menu and pared-down lunch menu offer traditional south-of-the-border treats and elegant chef-created entrees. Pass around a plate of the chimichiquitas (a combination of mini chimichangas, $10.25) to your hungry synchronized hurdling team before leaping simultaneously into the main course. Tamale traditionalists will take heart in Papagayo's wide selection of familiar house specialties, such as the fresh, green chiles rellenos ($13.95) or cabbage-topped shrimp tacos ($15.95). The culinarily curious will want to explore Executive Chef Maria Mazon’s creative creations: Milanesas de puerco ($16) boasts a plate of boneless, breaded pork chops lightly fried and served alongside an eggroll stuffed with chipotle mashed spuds, and the pollo en salsa de chile morron ($16) features a spice-rubbed chicken breast grilled and cozily blanketed in a decadent red-pepper cream sauce.
Beneath the lid of each Keva cup you'll find a fresh-fruit fete where vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants swim in synchrony in hopes of wooing you into their world of wellness. Taste-test your way through Keva's tempting menu of healthy and delicious smoothies. The Hawaiian holiday carries hunger pangs away on a wave of pineapple and orange juice, banana, orange sherbet, and strawberries, while the gimme guava delivers tropical tastes of the namesake fruit's juice, pineapple sherbet, peaches, and strawberries. For something more indulgent, try the Oreo speedwagon, a mixture of nonfat milk, nonfat vanilla yogurt, chocolate syrup, and Oreos. If you're looking to settle down with a slurpable soul mate, use Keva's online matchmaking tool before you swing by the storefront. Smoothies come in sizes from 12 oz. kids (starting at $2.98) to 32 oz. large (starting at $5.27).
Red Mango's frozen yogurt has been garnering national attention for more than five years, unlike that musician strumming away next to the foosball table in his basement. The shop earned a place atop _Zagat's 2011 lists for Best Smoothie and Frozen Yogurt Chain and Best Healthy Options Among Quick Refreshment Chains. Red Mango showcases its award-winning reputation by dishing up all-natural and gluten-free yogurts—all of which are either low-fat or nonfat—that promote healthy digestive and immune systems with natural probiotics. Friendly staff members are always on hand to whip Ghirardelli dark chocolate, POM pomegranate juice, and seasonal pumpkin spice frozen yogurts into Stevia-sweetened smoothies or parfaits layered with organic granola and fruit. The toppings bar brims with crunchy cereal, cheesecake bits, and nuts, allowing creative customization.