Ever since it was singed by candles at its 8th birthday party, sushi has steered clear of open flames. Celebrate flame-free fish with today's Groupon at Roka Akor in Scottsdale. Choose between the following dining options:
• For $8, you get $20 worth of sushi and Japanese cuisine during lunch.
• For $30, you get $60 worth of sushi and Japanese cuisine during dinner.
Roka Akor's expert chefs populate lunch and dinner menus with fresh sushi and robata-grilled Japanese entrees, which garnered a ranking as one of the Top Ten Sushi Spots in the U.S. by Bon Appetit magazine. Lunch-farers shovel spicy avocado ($6) and flame-seared sesame salmon nigiri ($11.5) onto tongues with chopsticks, cupped hands, or miniature catapults. Salmon, accompanied by schools of pickled cucumber, swim through teriyaki currents ($15 lunch, $19 dinner) and into waiting mouths, as lamb cutlets dance with Korean spices ($16 lunch, $27 dinner) and stand by to satiate stomachs. In between savoring sashimi or altering the consistency of soy sauce with wasabi, tipple a selection from the wine list or kick back at the robatayaki bar and slurp one of Roka Akor's signature cocktails, such as the blood orange margarita ($10), made with premium tequila and the flavorful essence of type O oranges.
Forget artwork. The focal point of Roka Akor’s dining room is the robata grill, a multi-tiered, oak charcoal–fueled contraption that leaves prime ribeye, glazed pork ribs, and Madagascar prawns precisely blistered on the outside and moist and tender within. This approach lets the inherent flavors of the top-quality ingredients take center stage, and accordingly, executive chef Ce Bian takes a considered, minimalistic approach to many dishes, plating even hot entrees with the elegance one generally expects of sushi.
Of course, there is sushi, too—Bon Appetit voted Roka Akor one of the top 10 sushi spots in the U.S. in 2009. Fresh fish is flown in daily for nigiri, sashimi, and a concise selection of maki, most filled simply with seafood (or wagyu beef, in one case) and perhaps some avocado and an element of spice.
In striking counterpoint to the fire of the robata grill and the oceanic flavors of the sushi, the bar gets attention with ice. Specifically, glass-sized icebergs, carved by hand from enormous, crystal-clear blocks frozen, like popsicles for the children of billionaires, from purified water in an airtight environment over days. These maintain the purity of Roka Akor's signature shochu tonics, a mellower take on the vodka cocktail. Harking back to the semi-medicinal tradition of ancient Japanese shochu-making, mixolgists start with a base of house-infused shochu (perhaps flavored with blood orange or mango and chili) and add macerated fruits and spices such as plum, ginseng, and pine needle.
7299 N Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, Arizona 85253