It's not unusual to find Tammy, owner of Pearl Sushi Lounge & Bomber Bar, standing behind the bar at one of her two restaurant locations, chatting with customers while they sip her signature cocktails and sake bombs. Her crew of bartenders takes their tasks seriously, mixing up martinis infused with soju, sake, fresh fruit juices, and muddled blackberries, or pouring red and white wines straight from the special tap designed to prevent oxidation. Inside the kitchens, the chefs work with equal dedication, whether crafting classic california sushi rolls or the more inventive White Snake roll stuffed with sweet-potato tempura, tamago, asparagus, and cream cheese, and topped with escolar and a spicy peach sauce. Small plates sport crispy calamari sautéed with fresh ginger and garlic while Big Plate meals feature wok-charred beef and teriyaki salmon flanked with miso soup, salad, and steamed edamame.
Arizona’s most promising side-splitters share the stage with nationally renowned headliners at Speakeasy Comedy Club, a venue taking its atmospheric cues from a Prohibition-era nightspot. Shows on Friday and Saturday nights feature performers who have honed their anatomical knowledge of funny bones during televised appearances on Conan, Last Comic Standing, and HBO specials. Though the club discloses its password to a range of comics from diverse backgrounds, most performers eschew squeaky-clean comedy for a brand of dirty humor that appeals to the noir detectives who regularly lean on the venue's gray brick walls or occupy the back row’s plushy seats. A friendly wait staff supplies cocktails, signature margaritas, and other exquisite libations along with Mexican cuisine to soothe bellies aching from chortling fits.
At Stand-Up, Scottsdale! bellies ache from a rotating selection of nationally known comedians seen on Comedy Central and late-night talk shows. The intimate 180-person venue, where such local legends as David Spade got their start, beckons a cast of talented funny persons that changes regularly. Voted Best Comedy Club of 2012 by Arizona Foothills magazine, the ha-ha hot spot has recently hosted performances by noted names including Dana Carvey, Frank Caliendo, and Norm Macdonald. A full menu of pub-food appetizers and entrees keeps would-be hecklers otherwise occupied, and Wednesday evening open-mic nights allow rookie comics to test their mettle.
Accomplished poker player Kevin O'Donnell dreamed up K O'Donnell's American Bar & Grill, where he invites guests to enjoy a congenial atmosphere complete with 32 HD televisions. A multi-fireplace patio boasts cigar- and dog-friendliness, like a mailman-scented humidor. Classic foods such as sliders, burgers, and pizzas meet up with a list of draughts, bottled beer, and wines. At different times during the month, there are events such as ladies’ night, Mutt Madness—when the patio is dog friendly—and poker nights. And at the end of the night, patrons can make use of a complimentary shuttle bus.
4th Floor Grille & Sports Bar serves lunch and dinner amid the warmly lit luxury of Chaparral Suites. Chefs fill the menu with burgers, pizzas, and southwestern specialties such as tacos and spicy sandwiches. For dessert, an in-house pastry chef invites diners to indulge in flourless chocolate peanut butter cake and frozen margarita pie. In the adjacent sports bar, watch the human body at its mightiest, and the ball at its most humiliated, as 10 HDTVs broadcast football, baseball, basketball, and hockey packages.
Named for a Spanish legend about the romance between a sailor and a mermaid, Salty Senorita encourages guests to fall in love with their over 50 hand crafted margaritas instead. Waiters carry deep bowls of guacamole with handmade tortilla chips, plates of shrimp and mango quesadillas, and 11 kinds of tacos, which can be accompanied by 130 kinds of tequila and various mixed drinks. Waitresses' tank tops and short-shorts continue the beachside vibe created by shark frescos that sometimes fling seaweed at passersby.