When life-sized posters of iconic rock stars line the bar — in this case, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Sid Vicious — you know you’re in for a wild ride.
A colorful hallway filled with neon-lit, arcade-style games marks the entryway. The dark wood walls and stone-like floors, along with a large boulder directly in the middle of the floor, make up the eclectic mood of the place. It’s clear as soon as you walk in that Geisha A Go Go is not your typical Japanese restaurant. Instead, it is a Westernized twist on the Japanese lifestyle.
On the cozy, intimate patio space, we had a front row seat to the action on Old Town Scottsdale’s streets. But people-watching aside, we dove right into the menu to begin our evening. With two pages of appetizers it was difficult to choose, so we selected a variety of items including edamame, Japanese pork dumplings, and shrimp and vegetable tempura. Pretty soon we were on a roll — literally — sampling what Geisha A Go Go had to offer. We began with some traditional choices, and the California, yellowtail, rainbow, soft shell crab and tuna rolls disappeared quickly. After scanning the menu to decide which rolls to order next, I spied the Gaijin roll, described as “an Asian twist on the chimichanga” and I realized that we were in for a Japanese dining experience like no other.
Much like the whimsical décor of the restaurant itself, the sushi rolls were quite an adventure for the palate. And there’s more where the Gaijin roll came from; other unique rolls had names such as Red Samurai, Harajuku Lover and even the Pokemon topped with Fritos — yesFritos! At Geisha A Go Go, no flavor combination is off-limits and we plunged into these exotic concoctions. One of the favorites of the table was the Dragonball made with shrimp tempura, crab mix, salmon, avocado, spicy mayo and unagi sauce, topped with masaga and scallions. This bright orange delectable was a feast for the eyes and mouth.
The namesake roll of the restaurant was also a hit — a balance of both sweet and spicy flavors with lobster tempura, crab mix, avocado, and even cream cheese, all wrapped up with soy paper.
After what seemed like an endless array of rolls, sweet tempura ice cream, a cinnamon banana crisp and smoothsake rounded out our dizzying journey of flavors.
Geisha A Go Go is definitely not your average sushi restaurant nor is it trying to be. In addition to some of the most interesting sushi combinations you can think of, Geisha A Go Go offers private karaoke rooms available for rental. The restaurant is the perfect place to start your night off with some appetizers and drinks or for a casual lunch. Either way, the food, the atmosphere and the service form a winning combination.
If You Go:
Geisha A Go Go
7150 E. Sixth Ave., Scottsdale