Nattha’s Bann Thai Asian opens at former Peking Palace in Tucson

Husband and wife Nattha and Eric Post both grew up around food, she in Thailand and he in Tucson. Both attended Blue Elephant and Napali cooking schools in Thailand and have worked in restaurants in their native countries. They’ve now opened Nattha’s Bann Thai Asian, bringing authentic Thai and Cantonese Chinese cuisine to Tucson.

“Nattha’s Bann Thai Asian is a labor of love and an opportunity for us to invite the dining community in to taste the result of our passion for and dedication to serving authentic Asian cuisine that is approachable and delicious,” says Eric. “We want people to enjoy the experience of trying new things but also feel comfortable eating the familiar dishes they love.”

Tam “Sam” Quan is the executive chef serving a wide variety of “AppeThaizers”, soups, Thai curries & rice and more. Dishes include Yum Nua (grilled beef salad), Yum Woon Sen (glass noodle salad with shrimp and ground pork); soups like Tom Kha (coconut milk) and Tom Sabb (pork ribs); Thai curries including red, green, yellow, mussaman, panang and more; Thai noodle stir fries such as Pad Thai and Pad Kee Mao (drunken noodle); Thai rice stir fries like Pad Prik King (with crispy pork belly) and Pad Krathim (garlic chicken). They serve beer, wine and cocktails along with Thai teas.

Nattha came to the U.S. in 2018 and hopes to be a citizen soon and has worked in several local restaurants. Eric, a practicing attorney learned to cook from his Italian mother and worked at Tucson’s Kipple’s Pizza Parlour. Nattha’s Bann Thai Asian is at 6970 E. 22nd St. Tucson 85710. Hours are Monday – Saturday from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Visit their website for more information.

Ling & Louie’s Asian Bar and Grill “Takes a Gallon Off” your meal

John Banquil, owner of Scottsdale’s Ling & Louie’s Asian Bar and Grill and Ling’s Wok Shop knows how the high gas prices affect people’s everyday life. With that in mind he came up with the “Take a Gallon Off” promotion during July and August. The idea came to him while at Disneyland after seeing the high price of gas and knowing it’s on the top of the mind of his staff and customers.

Everyday he checks the AAA website for the cost of a gallon of regular gas and emails his managers and those who sign up to be a Wokstar. When customers present the email during the purchase of $40 or more they get the amount off their bill. Many of the meals at both restaurants are gluten free and they offer a variety of dishes for all tastes including vegan and vegetarian eaters. In the first 10 days 5-10 people per day, per store have taken advantage of the promotion. To sign up to be a WokStar visit either restaurants website.

The “Take a Gallon Off” promotion is just one of the ways Banquil supports the local community with donations. The monthly “Cooking for a Cause” at Ling’s Wok Shop has chefs create a special dish and donate part of the proceeds to charity. July’s dish is the Thai Tuna Bowl and proceeds go to Gabriel’s Angel.

Ling & Louie’s have 2 locations in Arizona and one in Idaho and Texas. In Arizona visit Scottsdale at 9397 E. Shea Blvd 85260 and at Wild Horse Pass Casino at 5040 Wild Horse Pass Blvd. Phoenix 85048. Ling’s Wok Shop is at 20511 N. Hayden Rd. Scottsdale 85255.

 

A double header of food festivals coming February 5th & 6th

One ticket is all you need for two up-coming food festivals in downtown Chandler. The double header starts on Saturday February 5th with the Arizona Bao & Dumpling Festival then keep your tickets for Sunday’s Arizona Ice Cream and Donut Festival. Both festivals will be at Dr. A.J. Chandler Park with the Bao and Dumpling starting at 10 a.m. and the Ice Cream and Donut Festival starting at 11 a.m.

Food items can be purchased separately from admission with foods ranging from $5-$14 depending on the dish with many about $8. In addition to the main dishes other Asian foods, desserts and boba will be available. An anime marketplace featuring local artists will be on display.

Tickets for the double header are $14.99 for Early Admission at 11 a.m., $10 for General Admission at 1 p.m., the Night Market starting at 4 p.m. is $10 and Happy Hour admission at 7:30 p.m. is $6.00. Children 7-12 years old are $6 and those under 7 are free. The ticket prices do not include tax and a processing fee with nearby parking is free in lots and garages. To purchase your tickets follow this link and to stay up to date on both festivals follow them on their Facebook page.

The Metro Phoenix Night Market to showcase over 12 Asian food vendors

As live events continue returning fans of Asian food will want to circle Saturday, January 29th on the calendar. That’s when the Metro Phoenix Night Market returns showcasing a variety of food and culture from China, Korea and other Far East and southeast Asian countries. The Press Room in Tempe will host the event that starts at 4 p.m. for early admission ticket holders.

Vendors will offer at least one menu item for $5 or less with beer and cocktails also available for purchase. A curated market with local artists will be showcasing their work at the outdoor event. All vendors will accept cash or credit but cash is suggested and parking is free.

Early admission tickets are $14.99 to get in at 4 p.m., General Admission starts at 5:30 p.m. and tickets are $10. Happy Hour starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $6.00 and children aged 7-12 are $4.00. Children under 7 are free. Tickets prices don’t include sales tax or a booking fee.  You can purchase tickets to the Metro Phoenix Night Market here and get more information and stay updated at their Facebook page. The Press Room is at 3125 S.52nd St. Tempe 85292.

Bitter & Twisted and Aioli Gourmet Burgers partner for new in-house menu

Downtown Phoenix’s Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour has joined forces with the award-winning Aioli Gourmet Burgers for a new menu to pair with their cocktail program. The newly re-vamped menu was created by Aioli’s Executive Chef Vicktor Velez.

“Bitter & Twisted has always been committed to innovation and constant evolution with the ultimate goal of providing a world-class cocktail lounge experience here in Phoenix. With their food truck roots and success now as top flight restaurateurs, I knew Tom and Kyle were the perfect partners for the B&T kitchen, and Chef Vicktor has created some amazing new dishes and flavors,” says proprietor Ross Simon, who also notes that B&T founding chef, Bob Tam, remains a partner at B&T, while also having more “freedom and opportunities to concentrate on his other businesses and partner projects.”

New dishes at Bitter & Twisted

Chef Velez’s new menu is inspired by his travels through Japan, Hong Kong and the Philippines while still keeping with Aioli’s co-owners Tommy D’Ambrosio and Kyle Hollenbeck vision of sourcing fresh, seasonal & local ingredients. Guests to Bitter & Twisted can enjoy dishes such as Togarashi Tuna Tataki, one of Velez’s favorites on the new menu, along with Korean French Fries, Korean Loaded Nachos, Truffled Mac & Cheese and of course an Aioli burger.

“It’s a huge honor for us to have this opportunity to partner with Ross at Bitter & Twisted. I’m proud to see Chef Vicktor’s growth and development in this role as he continues to create new and innovative dishes,” said Tom D’Ambrosio, Owner/Chef of Aioli Gourmet.

The award-winning cocktail bar has also updated their hours of service from Tuesday through Thursday (4 – 11pm food served till 10pm) and Friday and Saturday (4pm – 1am food served till 10pm), with Happy Hour served Tuesday through Friday (4 – 6 pm). Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour is located at 1 W. Jefferson St. (Jefferson & Central) Phoenix. For information check their website.

Wok ‘N Roll opens new location in midtown Phoenix

Founder & CEO Scott Stuart has opened the second location of his popular Scottsdale sushi & Asian style restaurant, Wok ‘N Roll in Phoenix at the corner of Thomas & Central. Known for its sushi, Chinese food, sports and rock n roll music Stuart opened his first location at Miller & Camelback Rds. in June ’18.

“Wok ‘N Roll combines two of my passions: great Asian food and classic rock ‘n roll.  When we decided to open in Scottsdale, the name was a natural.  We serve delicious sushi and Chinese favorites and put a smile on our customers’ faces with a bit of edgy irreverence.” says Stuart.

An accountant by trade, Wok ‘N Roll isn’t Stuart’s first restaurant as he opened O’Malley’s Sports, Spirits and Grill in Phoenix. He left the industry to raise his daughter then jumped at the opportunity to take over the former J’s Kaiyo Sushi. The fun and casual restaurant offers build-your-own rice & noodles bowls, traditional Chinese dishes and sushi. Starters such as Big Eye Tune Poke, Cucumber Salad and wings also adorn the menu. His fondness of Classic Rock can be found in his signature cocktails with names such as “2 Tickets to “Paradise” and “Smokin in the Boys Room”.

“Last year, when we were allowed to offer take-out only, I’d DJ on the patio in Scottsdale. People gathered in the parking lot.  Then I did pig roasts for fans to recall the scents of our kitchen. More people gathered.  As a result, when we were able to increase occupancy, we came out of COVID strong.”

The Phoenix location is larger than the Scottsdale location at 4,000 square feet and includes a lot of rock & roll memorabilia and lyrics of favorite songs on the wall. “Wok ‘N Roll appeals to boomers AND the younger crowds who grew up hearing their parents’ brand of rock music played over the years.  It’s a fun, welcoming atmosphere and rewarding for us because we appeal to a wide range of patrons. We’re very excited to bring our concept to Central Phoenix.”

Wok ‘N Roll Phoenix is at 2801 N. Central Ave. Phoenix 85004. For more information check out their website or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

 

 

Chino Bandido moving after 31 years at its original location

The eclectic Phoenix restaurant that serves Chinese, Mexican and Jamaican fusion is moving to a new location in north Phoenix. Chino Bandido has been featured on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” is planning an early summer move from its original 19th Ave. location not far to 310 W. Bell Rd.

Owners Eve and Frank Collins opened in 1990 and had a cult like following shortly after opening. “After 31 years, I knew it was time for a change. Frank would have been so happy to see our brand-new location, and I am honored to make this dream a reality,” said Co-Owner Eve Collins. Frank passed away in 2013 and was a staple at the restaurant helping to make the “hole in the wall” restaurant a success.

The new location will 6,000 square feet with almost half of the space dedicated to the kitchen. A new patio for up to 30 people, new tables and chairs will give it a new feel. The industrial “vibe” will be the same and Pancho the 7,500 lb. black granite bear has already made the move to the new location.

It’s business as usual at the original location until early June when Eve hopes to move. The menu will stay the same at the new location as will the hours of operation 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. daily. “Chino Bandido has been my labor of love for over half my life. Our customers’ extreme loyalty got us through the pandemic, and I could not be more excited for the next chapter in our history,” said Collins. For more information and to stay up to date visit their website.

 

P.F. CHANG’S INTRODUCES PAD THAI

P.F. Chang’s has launched a new Pad Thai menu with entrees starting at $12.95. For a limited time, guests can order a sweet and savory combination of rice noodles, egg, tofu, bean sprouts, crushed peanuts, crispy shallots, cilantro and lime, topped with a choice of shrimp, chicken or a combination of both.

Pad Thai combo

To complement these new dishes, P.F. Chang’s suggests two wines. The Fillaboa Albarino offers layers of tropical fruit and crisp acidity, while the Garnet Pinot Noir provides lush fruit, spice and rich textures. On the specialty cocktail menu, the Chinese 88 Martini, Yuzu Ginger Mojito and Platinum Pom Margarita are also suggested to balance the Pad Thai flavors.

“We are very excited to introduce Pad Thai and bring this iconic Thai dish to our menu for the first time,” said Dan Drummond, Brand Director of P.F. Chang’s. “We look forward to sharing Pad Thai with our guests and hope they enjoy it with one of our recommended wines or cocktails to complement the experience. “

Yuzu Ginger Mojito

The new Pad Thai dishes will be offered at all P.F. Chang’s in the continental United States, starting Wednesday, October 3. Pad Thai will be available for a limited time only. More information can be found at www.pfchangs.com/padthai.

Healthier, Tasty Dishes Reflect Dragon Wok Owner’s Passion for Food

Sam Stezo knows Chinese food has a misunderstood reputation. It’s one he’s been passionate about changing at his Gilbert restaurant for nearly a decade. His Gilbert restaurant, Dragon Wok, serves Fine Chinese Dining with a warm and inviting ambience. This is the first perception of what Fine Chinese Dining really means. It is quickly followed with a menu of healthy and authentic Chinese cuisine.
Stezo, affectionately known as “Dragon Sam,” has taken traditional, secret family recipes and added modern, contemporary touches to his offerings of Chinese food and specialty dishes. His meals represent a value in quality and taste unmatched by other restaurants in the East Valley.
Sam’s father is a grand master chef from Hong Kong, and he learned about the connection between ingredients, food and life early on.
“Chinese cuisine has always been about balance – eating for your health, the season, even your mood,” he explains. “But today, there are so many versions of Chinese food out there that the balance and connection has been lost. I hope I can educate more diners about what our authentic Chinese dishes are meant to be, and help them re-establish that balance.”
Sam starts with a traditional Chinese menu with dishes like Mongolian Beef, Kung Pao Shrimp & Chicken, General Spicy Chicken and Beer & Broccolli. But diners know the difference Dragon Wok represents after just one bite. The taste and flavors are not smothered in sauce, but actually work in unison with each other to deliver a truly traditional taste.
This is the heart behind Dragon Wok’s definition of Chinese dining, and why his customers loyally return again and again – no matter where they live.
Happy hour selections
“Cooking is like an art. It is like being a musician. We all have the same notes to work with and the same ingredients, but is it my job to combine them into something beautiful that the diner can enjoy,” says Sam.
He does this with top quality ingredients and a variety of herbs and spices that bring out the flavors with minimal calories. For example, he uses lemon and lime to cut cholesterol and fat; chrysanthemum, licorice and teas for one-of-a-kind accents; and garlic and ginger in just the right amounts. All vegetables are steamed and cooked in a wok rather than sautéed in heavy oils.
Stezo emphasizes that it’s not the herb and spices individually that make his dishes good, but the blending of all the ingredients together. And in Chinese tradition, when he knows his customers, he can customize dishes to help them be healthier over time.
“I’m not a doctor,” he jokes. “But what you eat is what you are. When my guests say they are they are looking to be healthy in one way or another, I take what I know about them and their tastes to blend our sauces, herbs and spices into dishes they enjoy. It helps them be healthier over time and to have a healthier life.”
Dragon Wok offers daily lunch specials from 11am – 3pm during the week and 12-3pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Prices range from $6.95 – $8.25. Dinner entrees range from $7.99 – $16.99 and are often served family style. During Happy Hour from 4 – 9 pm there are $5 cocktails, $5 sake bombers, $3 beers and $4 house wines plus half off the second appetizer.
Dragon Wok also offers take out and catering. Contact Dragon Wok at 480-782-6889
pot stickers, orange chicken and beef skewers.
Dragon Wok Fine Chinese Restaurant is located at 727 W. Ray Road, #B1, in Gilbert. Menus and specials are available online at dragonwok.biz or get updates from Facebook (facebook.com/dragonwokAZ) and Twitter (@dragonwok)
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