Category Archives: Uncategorized

J’s Kaiyo Sushi and Bar brings together a culinary dream team

Housed in a former Arby’s restaurant just east of downtown Scottsdale J’s Kaiyo Sushi and Bar opened without fanfare as most restaurants do nowadays especially when you consider who’s creating the menu and making sure it’s executed the way it should be.

J’s Kaiyo owner Peji Malihi brought in chef Jason McGrath and sushi chef Todd Register to serve not only sushi but sharable dishes with a Mediterranean and Eastern influenced dishes.  Think Moroccan spiced lamb and crab stuffed and fire charred avocado rolled in exotic Asian spices and seeds.

J's Kaiyo
chef Jason McGrath. Photos courtesy of Chanelle Sinclair

J’s Kaiyo Sushi

All three are committed to the freshest ingredients including seafood for the sushi bar. So much so that the sushi bar is closed on Sunday’s because they can’t get their daily delivery of fresh seafood. Chef Register knows his sushi too as he comes to J’s Kaiyo from Roka Akor and RA Sushi and plans to use all fresh fish daily to maximize freshness and flavor.

“The focus is always on keeping the dishes fresh, clean, and simple,” McGrath says. “The only thing you’ll find in our freezers is our mochi ice cream.” As Malihi likes to say, “the roll speaks for itself,” there is no need for heavy sauces, creams, or batters to give their sushi mouthwatering flavor. “It’s all about sharing creative, quality food with the community,” McGrath says.

Family friendly and Izakaya

J’s Kaiyo is a family friendly restaurant named after Malihi’s son and McGraths nephew Jayden that includes a kid’s menu. McGrath practically grew up in the kitchen as his father Robert is an award-winning chef known for his work at The Roaring Fork and other local establishments and food festivals.

Adults will love the Japanese sake menu at J’s Kaiyo along with a full complement of craft cocktails, wines and beers. Communal drinking and sharing of sake known as “Izakaya” in Japan is encouraged as sake has a unique flavor profiles.

J’s Kaiyo Sushi and Bar is open Monday Friday for lunch & dinner starting at 11:30 a.m. and Saturday’s for dinner.

The restaurant is at 4412 N. Miller Rd.Scottsdale 85251 480-427-2526. For more info visit their website.

 

Experience more experiences in 2017

I’m not of fan of “year in review’s” (do we really to review of 2016 again) and “best of” lists but thinking how to end the year with a post I find it would be valuable to review some of my journey of 2016 and give myself a clearer path for 2017’s journey.

The year that was 2016

The year of 2016 was a year of transition taking on new challenges in my real estate career but you don’t want to hear about that do you (if you do check my real estate blog http://www.SandySellsRealEsateAZ.com) . Leisure wise my blog and influence has found structure with regular posts on restaurants events and news, wine, beer and more for Phoenix, Arizona and beyond. My burger reviews came to a screeching stop with the Examiner as they shuttered in early July. As you can imagine my burger consumption feels as if it’s slowed and I will make up for that in 2017 I’m sure. 2016 was pretty much a fun year personally and an interesting year to be on planet earth.

2016 was the 1st year in  long while in which I did not set foot on an airplane as the only travel was out-of-state heading to Laguna Beach for a weekend in February to play poker at uncle Bob’s house. In 2017 I will definitely return to the friendly skies for travel with travel planned for Florida and beyond as the year goes on.

Visits to restaurants and meals with friends this year included returning to favorites of the past such as Zuzu, Zinburger, Caffe Boa, RnR among many more and made 1st visits and bites from restaurants such as Drexyl, Char Kitchen + Bar, Ahi Poke, Worth Takeaway along with a long list of others.

Despite the running around I missed out on one of my favorites sandwiches all year…The Il Purista at Defalco’s Italian Deli in Scottsdale. A monthly visit for me, this pile of prosciutto and hand pulled mozz is a reward I will grant myself in the 1st couple of days of 2017. Other foods I’ve denied myself(not many) will find a home in my belly again in 2017.

Experience more experiences in 2017

I’m not much of a goal setter or resolution maker at year’s end but I want to experience more experiences in 2017. Simple and frivolous such as learning to like and enjoy Caesar salads or starting a new exercise regimen or months ahead a plan to do and see more via short and long-range travel in this my bounce back year. Listening to classical music is a genre I would like to enjoy more of and have already started as Kalinnikov’s “Symphony #2 In A  Major” is playing as I post these words for you. Soothing and sometimes mellow classical music can be relaxing during life’s hectic pace.

Continuing to break bread and raise a glass with my Friday lunch crew & with fellow bloggers, foodies and friends, new & old,  always remain high on my list.

For Pulling Corks and Forks I hope to resume and grow these words and forge new relationships & partnerships while continuing to share my experiences and provide insight & inspiration so every body can experience more experiences through senses of sight, taste, smell and hearing. Plans continue to grow my social media presence and share what I know will be high on my list.

To follow my 2017 journey of food, wine, friends and other worldly experiences please subscribe to this blog or follow me on Twitter @SandyWasserman Instagram @SandyWass or Like on Facebook www.facebook.com/pullingcorksandforks

See you in 2017!

 

Saturday is Jerry Day at SanTan Brewing Company

Jerry Day at SanTan 2016-01The lazy hazy days of summer return when Grateful Dead fans come out to celebrate the birthday of the bands late singer, guitarist, songwriter Jerry Garcias’s birthday at SanTan Brewing Company in downtown Chandler.

With the bands music playing and tie die shirts brightening up the day, SanTan will be tapping “Standing on the Moon” Nitrogenated Moonjuice IPA and Grateful Dead cover band, Monkey & The Engineer will be jamming from 2- 5pm.

There is no cost to celebrate the big day so invite your friends through SanTan’s Facebook event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1108684355863145. SanTan Brewing Company is located in Downtown Chandler at 8 S. San Marcos Place.

Burger Review: The Farm Fresh burger at Burger Theory

Photo credit: Burger Theory
Photo credit: Burger Theory
As mentioned in a recent post I have decided to include my burger reviews on this blog after the site where I was reviewing burgers decided to cease operations, after 293 burger reviews this is my 1st review on this blog. By reviewing burgers on this blog I will have the freedom to express my thoughts without the restrictions of a corporate entity and will be a work in progress while I explore the right format I want to take it in. If you’ve read my burger reviews on the other site you will see a resemblance but I hope to mix it up and expand on it a bit without losing the burger review aspect of it. I often dine out with friends but will review only the burger I ate but our dining experience and opinions may be included.

The recently opened Burger Theory connected to the Holiday Inn & Suites on McDowell Rd. at 44th St seemed like an out of the way place for a sit down burger restaurant despite the heavily trafficked intersection. As my dining companions arrived we weren’t sure if this was an independently owned restaurant renting space from the hotel or part of the hotel, many indications led us to believe it’s part of the hotel’s corporate structure. Regardless of who owns and runs it we were there for burgers and with 6 1/3 lb. burgers of Angus chuck, brisket and short rib blended beef and another 4,300+ ways to Build Your Own Burger we dove into the menu to see which burger each of us would go for.

Although all of the burgers sounded delicious I opted for the Farm Fresh burger with a single patty for $10 (a double patty is $14) and comes topped with a Portobello mushrooms, grilled onions, diced roasted red peppers, iceberg lettuce (on the bottom half), goat cheese and roasted garlic mayo in between a toasted potato bun that looked and tasted like you ordinary hamburger bun. All came served in a plastic basket lined with Burger Theory wax paper.
Burger theory
Although satisfying I felt there was a heavy hand when it came to the Goat Cheese and that’s not easy to admit as I love Goat cheese but the strong flavor took away from the flavors of the vegetables and made the roasted garlic mayo un-necessary. The burger which is cooked to order was cooked pretty much the way I like it and had drops of juices dripping after the first few bites. Sides are not included in the price and a side of fries will set you back another $3.50.

I was somewhat happy with the Farm Fresh burger but felt a bit let down with a 1/3 lb burger for $10 with sides being extra. There are better burgers around town for your burger dollar. I decided to include a picture from the Burger Theory website and a photo of my actual burger. Had I been served the burger from there website this could’ve been a better burger.

Burger Theory is at 4401 E. McDowell Rd. Phoenix, Arizona 85008 602-358-0924 and is open for lunch and dinner from Mon-Thu. 11am-11pm, Fri-Sat. 11am-12am and Sunday 11am-11pm www.burgertheoryphx.com

A message from Sandy

binkleys burger

Good morning friends, foodies, burger enthusiasts and strangers,
Thanks you for returning to this site on a consistent basis. As many of you know I have written burger reviews for the Examiner.com in the Phoenix/ Scottsdale and surrounding areas for the last 6 years. Those days will soon be behind me as the Examiner.com will no longer exist after on or about July 10th, 2016. As for now you have until then to check any of my 293 reviews and articles until the links disappear. http://www.examiner.com/burger-in-scottsdale/sandy-wasserman and http://www.examiner.com/burger-in-phoenix/sandy-wasserman

Going forward my plan is to incorporate burger reviews into this blog as a new feature and am spending the weekend brainstorming as how to best pull it off.

Serious feedback is welcome and I look forward to your continued support on this food journey.

Have safe and Happy July 4th weekend,

Sandy

Arizona Foodie Pop Up Dinners now Eatable plus a permanent home

Diana Brandt headshot1[6]
If you’re a foodie in Phoenix and like intimate dinners with rotating guest chefs then you should know the name Arizona Foodie Pop Up Dinners, well forget that name as it’s now called Eatable and has found a permanent location at 1514 W. Lynwood St. in Phoenix. The new name was changed to help show all that founder Diana Brandt had in mind when she started the dinners, “I really envision this space and concept helping to create an even brighter food scene for Phoenix and opening up opportunity for those with a passion. I hope for more collaborations, more creativity and more out of the box cooking, all while breaking bread with new friends and old.”

Pop up dinners will still be on the menu that can host up to 20 guests who can socialize with other guests while dining on courses prepared by Phoenix areas most respected and popular chefs. Cooking demonstrations will also be available for those attending the dinners. Local chefs who have prepared dinners for Eatables pop ups and who will be in the future include Chef Aaron Chamberlain, Chef Stephen Jones, Chef Gio Osso, Chef Mel Mecinas, Chef Cory Oppold and Chef Juan Zamora, Jacob Cutino from Homeboy’s Hot Sauces, Chef Greg Wiener and Chef Doug Robson.

The dinners also provide up and coming chefs the opportunity to showcase their cooking while building a following as there careers continue to rise.

In addition to pop up dinners Eatable event space is available for private parties, new product launches and more according to Diana “I have people ask all the time for a place where they can have a special meal for a birthday or anniversary. This space can be used to connect a Chef with these people to create a memorable celebration.

Dinners sell out quick and are $65 and guests dine on passed hors d’oeuvres, 3 courses or more and beverages. For more information about pop up dinner and Eatable visit www.azfoodieblog.com

Portland Cocktail Week’s The Bar Institute is coming to Phoenix

Bar Institute LogoPhoenix is one of six cities that will be visited by The Bar Institute after successful programs presented at Portland Cocktail Week. Sunday May 1st – Tuesday May 3rd at the Phoenix Hyatt Regency is where bartenders can hone their craft by taking courses including Bar Ownership and Innovation + Development. In addition to classes there will be a trade show where samples of new products as well as classics.

Phoenix is the 2nd stop on the tour with Austin TX in June, Miami FL in August, Portland OR in September and finishing up in New York City in November.

Mashups will be held to highlight each of the host cities and newly created Upfronts will showcase 5 bars from each region that are setting the standard for bars that include innovation and technique with both cocktails and service. Each bar will have 1 hour to make presentation with 2 top bars from each city chosen to present at the final Bar Institute in New York City to present their ideas to a global audience.

To purchase your tickets and more information visit www.TheBarInstitute.org