Tag Archives: sushi

sushi

Stingray Sushi celebrates 10 years, closes Old Town location

It’s a bittersweet day for the owners of Stingray Sushi. After 10 incredible years in Old Town Scottsdale, Stingray Sushi has shuttered its original location and is in the process of securing a bigger, better space in the heart of Scottsdale. But fear not Scottsdale sushi lovers, sister restaurant located right next door, Geisha A Go Go will be expanding their lunch offerings to seven days a week. Furthermore, the Stingray crew is already hard at work securing a new Old Town Scottsdale location, with plans to reopen in 2015.

“Back in 2003 we opened our little Sushi Bar inside a 2,300-sq.ft. space and we never thought Stingray would grow to include three additional restaurants all across the Valley,” says Bryan Chittenden, co-owner of Stingray Sushi along with Greg Donnally and Andrew Nam. “It’s bittersweet. We have so many amazing memories in that little space, we just outgrew it. We are super excited for our newest, bigger, and better location of Stingray in our home of Old Town Scottsdale.”

And speaking of new locations, Stingray Sushi is excited to announce it’s expanding to the South East Valley. Scheduled for completion in late October 2014, Stingray Sushi Chandler/Ahwatukee is housed inside a sleek, custom-built space just off the I-10 and Ray Road (900 N. 54th Street).

sushi_signThis stylish 5,000-sq.-ft. restaurant and lounge will feature Stingray’s signature bold, colorful and eye-grabbing décor, as well as two spacious and shaded dining patios. Here, guests will savor Chef Andrew Nam’s famously fresh, inventive take on traditional sushi, as well as a full selection of noodles, salads, soups, bento box lunches and signature entrées such as lobster dynamite, tempura battered king crab and yakiniku (shaved NY strip & Asian vegetables, stir fried in Korean soy sauce). Pair it all with a gourmet cocktail, beer or wine from Stingray Sushi’s extensive drinks list, handcrafted by renowned Valley mixologist, Jason Asher.

“We’ve been eyeing this neighborhood for a while,” says Bryan Chittenden. “We’re all big fans of the Chandler/Ahwatukee area and think it’s the perfect location for Stingray’s unique mix of great vibes and seriously awesome sushi.”

The new location at 900 N. 54th St. in Chandler will open late October 2014. Stay tuned for details at www.stingraysushi.com.

Nicholas "Nicky" Mailliard, the nephew of one of RA's founders, who lost a long battle with brain cancer at the age of 13.

RA Sushi hosts fundraiser for children’s hospital

From Sunday, May 25, through Saturday, May 31, RA Sushi will host its largest annual fundraiser, “Nicky’s Week,” to help kids battling cancer and other deadly diseases. In its 10th year, the week-long fundraiser benefits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where thanks to community support, no family ever pays for anything. The cost of treatment, travel, housing and food is covered so that families can focus their attention on their child’s health and well-being.

During Nicky’s Week, RA Sushi will donate 100 percent of sales from a variety of menu items and beverages to St. Jude to help support the hospital’s lifesaving mission. Since its inception, Nicky’s Week has raised more than $1.3 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The special Nicky’s Week food menu includes: Edamame, Tootsy Maki, Shrimp Nigiri, Pork Gyoza, Chicken Yakitori, Garlic Citrus Yellowtail, plus a variety of select beverages.

All 25 RA Sushi locations in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Nevada and Texas will participate in the fundraiser. The five Valley RA Sushi locations are:
Ahwatukee: 4921 E. Ray Rd., Phoenix, Ariz., 85044. Call 480-940-1111.
Kierland Commons: 7012 E. Greenway Pkwy., Scottsdale, Ariz., 85254. Call 480-951-5888.
Tempe: 411 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, Ariz., 85281. Call 480-303-9800.
Dana Park: 1652 S. Val Vista Dr., Mesa, Ariz., 85204. Call 480-632-9500.
Old Town Scottsdale: 3815 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, Ariz., 85251. Call 480-990-9256.

Nicky’s Week was developed in memory of St. Jude patient Nicholas “Nicky” Mailliard, of Scottsdale, Ariz., who lost a long battle with brain cancer in 2005 at the young age of 13. A nephew of one of RA Sushi’s founders, Nicky held a special place in the hearts of RA Sushi associates throughout the organization. RA Sushi initiated the fundraiser to honor the memory of Nicky and to raise awareness and funds for St. Jude, where no child is ever turned away because of a family’s inability to pay for medical treatments.

“Nicky’s Week is an exciting time for our team members. Everyone at RA Sushi rallies behind the cause and is honored to help the brave children benefiting from the lifesaving treatment and research at St. Jude,” said RA Sushi Regional Manager, Jeff Berlinsky.

St. Jude freely shares the breakthroughs it makes, so every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. The hospital treats children from all 50 states, including Arizona, and around the world.
Garlic Citrus Yellowtail

strawberries

Do Something Different for Valentine’s Day

As Valentine’s Day rolls around again, many couples will find themselves in the same old flowers-and-dinner routine.

There are many places around the Valley that offer something a little different this year, whether for first dates or long-married couples. Here are some to think about:

1. Romance in the Garden: On Feb. 16, the Desert Botanical Garden is hosting a candlelit outdoor concert by Chris Burton Jácome Flamenco Ensemble. Dinner, wine flights and bottles of champagne are available. Can’t celebrate on Thursday? Take Saturday to hear sexy music under the stars with a glass of wine.

Ullman Terrace, 6-9 p.m. Dinner tickets must be purchased ahead. 480-481-8188

2. Chocolate Affaire: From Feb. 8-10, experience downtown Glendale’s festival of chocolate, wine and romance. Watch chocolatiers making their specialties and sample treats like chocolate-covered bacon. Bring the kids for crafts and rock-climbing, and take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage through the historic district.

Starts Friday at 5 p.m. Park in garages at 59th Ave & Glenn Dr.

3. Citrine Natural Beauty Bar: Fragrances definitely play a big part in everyone’s Valentine’s Day. Melissa at Citrine will take time to blend you a customized fragrance from the purest organic essential oils. Ingredients like Somalian Frankincense and Egyptian Jasmine are aphrodisiacs, or try a blend that matches your astrological sign.

At UNION Biltmore. 602-955-2354. Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sun. 12 p.m.-6 p.m.

4. Picasso at the Lapin Agile: Written by Steve Martin, this play is being performed by the Brelby Theatre Company in Glendale. Think Einstein and Picasso at a Paris café in 1904, add Steve Martin’s intelligent humor, a special cameo and great acting, and you have an idea of what to expect.

7:30 p.m. Thurs-Sat through Feb. 23. Tickets $20. Brelby.com. 6839 N. 58th Ave.

5. The Spouse Whisperer: If you’re looking for laughs, head over to Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino to hear Mark Cordes’ tongue-in-cheek, sharp-witted humor about marriage and middle age. This hysterical look at couples’ life is a great change of pace for Valentine’s Day.

Ovations LIVE! Showroom, 7:15 p.m. Tickets $15. 877-840-0457

6. Roka Akor: While prix-fixe menus are a staple of many V-Day dinners, this one stands out. Items like wild boar bacon, lobster tartare and mushroom tempura will be served in three seatings: 5, 7 and 9 p.m. Voted one of the top ten sushi restaurants in the U.S., Roka Akor is an excellent date spot as well as a culinary destination. This menu will be served through the 16th if you can’t make it Thursday.

$98 per person. 7299 N. Scottsdale Rd. 480-306-8800

7. The Bassics of Love: On the 14th, the ASU Kerr Cultural Center is featuring Chunyang Wang, who studied at Julliard and played in the New York Asian Symphony Orchestra. Wang will perform timeless classics from Rachmaninov, Mozart and Piazzolla on double bass and piano.

7:30 p.m. Tickets from $10.50: vip.me/AAMOdCWkHBM. 6110 N. Scottsdale Rd.

 

strawberries

Do Something Different for Valentine’s Day

As Valentine’s Day rolls around again, many couples will find themselves in the same old flowers-and-dinner routine.

There are many places around the Valley that offer something a little different this year, whether for first dates or long-married couples. Here are some to think about:

1. Romance in the Garden: On Feb. 16, the Desert Botanical Garden is hosting a candlelit outdoor concert by Chris Burton Jácome Flamenco Ensemble. Dinner, wine flights and bottles of champagne are available. Can’t celebrate on Thursday? Take Saturday to hear sexy music under the stars with a glass of wine.

Ullman Terrace, 6-9 p.m. Dinner tickets must be purchased ahead. 480-481-8188

2. Chocolate Affaire: From Feb. 8-10, experience downtown Glendale’s festival of chocolate, wine and romance. Watch chocolatiers making their specialties and sample treats like chocolate-covered bacon. Bring the kids for crafts and rock-climbing, and take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage through the historic district.

Starts Friday at 5 p.m. Park in garages at 59th Ave & Glenn Dr.

3. Citrine Natural Beauty Bar: Fragrances definitely play a big part in everyone’s Valentine’s Day. Melissa at Citrine will take time to blend you a customized fragrance from the purest organic essential oils. Ingredients like Somalian Frankincense and Egyptian Jasmine are aphrodisiacs, or try a blend that matches your astrological sign.

At UNION Biltmore. 602-955-2354. Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sun. 12 p.m.-6 p.m.

4. Picasso at the Lapin Agile: Written by Steve Martin, this play is being performed by the Brelby Theatre Company in Glendale. Think Einstein and Picasso at a Paris café in 1904, add Steve Martin’s intelligent humor, a special cameo and great acting, and you have an idea of what to expect.

7:30 p.m. Thurs-Sat through Feb. 23. Tickets $20. Brelby.com. 6839 N. 58th Ave.

5. The Spouse Whisperer: If you’re looking for laughs, head over to Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino to hear Mark Cordes’ tongue-in-cheek, sharp-witted humor about marriage and middle age. This hysterical look at couples’ life is a great change of pace for Valentine’s Day.

Ovations LIVE! Showroom, 7:15 p.m. Tickets $15. 877-840-0457

6. Roka Akor: While prix-fixe menus are a staple of many V-Day dinners, this one stands out. Items like wild boar bacon, lobster tartare and mushroom tempura will be served in three seatings: 5, 7 and 9 p.m. Voted one of the top ten sushi restaurants in the U.S., Roka Akor is an excellent date spot as well as a culinary destination. This menu will be served through the 16th if you can’t make it Thursday.

$98 per person. 7299 N. Scottsdale Rd. 480-306-8800

7. The Bassics of Love: On the 14th, the ASU Kerr Cultural Center is featuring Chunyang Wang, who studied at Julliard and played in the New York Asian Symphony Orchestra. Wang will perform timeless classics from Rachmaninov, Mozart and Piazzolla on double bass and piano.

7:30 p.m. Tickets from $10.50: vip.me/AAMOdCWkHBM. 6110 N. Scottsdale Rd.

8. Vampire’s Wedding: If you’re in the Tucson area and looking for a laugh, head to Tucson Dinner Theatre on the 14th. “Murder at The Vampire’s Wedding” is a 3-act interactive show at Arizona’s oldest dinner theatre. A 3-course meal and champagne toast will be served, and the ladies will receive a ‘Keepstake’ rose.

2744 E. Broadway Blvd. 520-624-0172. Tickets $42. Show starts at 7 p.m.

9. Orange Sky: If you prefer something a little more traditional, Orange Sky at Talking Stick is offering an excellent $70 prix-fixe on the 14th. What makes Orange Sky different is the romantic, award-winning view of the Valley at dusk. The wine room is stunning and a sommelier can help you choose the best bottle.

9800 E. Indian Bend Rd. Reservations: http://www.talkingstickresort.com/orange-sky.aspx

Dress code enforced: see site for details.

shops at esplanade

2 new restaurants opening at Esplanade

Cushman & Wakefield today announced the opening of two new restaurants at The Shops at Esplanade, located on the southeast corner of Camelback Road and 24th Street.  The new tenants are part of Esplanade owner, MetLife, and Cushman & Wakefield’s efforts to revitalize the property’s retail presence.

“We have worked diligently with MetLife to attract an exciting and successful blend of restaurants and retailers at the property that will suit this market,” said Jon Cowen, Senior Director at Cushman & Wakefield.  “The Camelback Corridor provides a fabulous market opportunity for the correct tenants and we’re pleased that ownership’s plan is coming to fruition.”

Pearl Live!, a Scottsdale–based company, will open a sushi restaurant with live entertainment.  Pearl Live! at the Esplanade will be the second sushi/entertainment concept for renowned restaurateur, Jimmy Carlin.  The Esplanade location will feature a large, outdoor patio, an indoor/outdoor bar, and live music.  Situated directly across from the Ritz Carlton, the space was previously occupied by Morton’s Steakhouse. Mr. Carlin plans to cater to the business lunch and happy hour crowds, but also provide an upscale venue at night.  Bob Tam, former corporate chef for PF Chang’s and current Director of Culinary Operations for Maven Hospitality Group (who recently opened The Strand Urban Italian in downtown Phoenix), will be responsible for the creation of Pearl Live!’s menu.  The approximate 7,977 square foot sushi restaurant is slated to open in May.

Solo Trattoria, a new concept from Chicago-based Gemstone Café Group, plans to open their doors at the Esplanade in mid February.  Brittany Harrison of Catalyst Commercial represented the tenant in this transaction, bringing the company’s first location to Arizona.  The Modern Italian restaurant leased approximately 2,555 square feet of space which was previously occupied by Picazzo’s Pizza.  Solo Trattoria, with its cozy and inviting ambiance, will feature fresh tasting Italian food, including Naples style thin crust pizza, authentic pastas, imported cheeses, and wine and beer.

Jon Cowen and Summer Jackson of Cushman & Wakefield serve as exclusive leasing agents for the Shops at Esplanade, while Larry Downey, Jerry Jacobs, and Michael Crystal lease the available office space for property owner MetLife.

GroupTacoHorizontal

The backstory: RA Sushi

What started as a childhood friendship during grade school at a Scottsdale elementary school grew into an enduring business partnership. At the age of 28, Rich Howland and Scott Kilpatrick, along with two of their college friends, founded the now national sushi restaurant chain, RA Sushi Bar Restaurant.

Fresh out of college from The University of Arizona, Rich and Scott began their professional careers separate from one another, but it wasn’t long until the two concocted an idea to start a business together in their hometown of Scottsdale. Another college friend, Todd Belfer, was brought in as a business partner. It started when they purchased an Old Town Scottsdale restaurant called Trappers. With great enthusiasm, they decided to open an upscale Mediterranean restaurant in its place featuring complex entrees and an upscale design. The restaurant fell flat in less than eight months.

Back to the drawing board, longtime sushi fans, Rich and Scott realized there was something missing in the sushi restaurant scene in the Valley. Many traditional sushi restaurants were drawing crowds, but they didn’t have an alluring ambiance to combine with quality sushi.  The pair realized there was a demand for sushi restaurants, but they thought they could improve the concept by combining quality Japanese fusion cuisine, with a hip, stylish decor that would appeal to a younger crowd.

The concept was born, but the owners knew little about sushi operations. In June of 1997, they sought out a longtime acquaintance from their days in college, Tai Obata – a sushi expert and someone they trusted. Tai accepted a proposal to become a partner. To obtain funds to transform the failed Mediterranean restaurant into a trendy, contemporary sushi bar and restaurant, they brought in a number of colleagues who served as part owners. By adding investors, the original owners were able to greatly expand their circle of friends and customers. They credit much of their start-up success to this business decision.

The original team of owners quickly became the construction crew, interior designers and marketing professionals. Tai drew on his expertise as a native of Japan and longtime sushi chef to design the sushi bar and create the menu. Rich, Scott, Tai and the crew rolled up their sleeves and began building the restaurant’s interior all the while touting the new restaurant concept to locals.

In less than six months, the four business partners and a host of local investors opened the first RA Sushi in Old Town Scottsdale in October 1997. The concept took off and the place soon became the hotspot. By mid-1999, RA Sushi opened its second location in Tempe. The concept thrived and although there were some growing pains along the way, Rich and Scott remained at the helm. With a new bank loan and an extremely tight budget, RA opened two more locations in the Phoenix area in 2001 and 2002. In 2002, they were surprised to learn that Benihana Inc., operator of the nation’s largest chain of Japanese theme and sushi restaurants, was interested in purchasing the company.

Benihana purchased RA Sushi in late 2002 and immediately began expansion of the concept. What four young friends started has grown into a successful national restaurant concept with 25 locations throughout the United States. Initially, Scott, Rich and Tai stayed on board to oversee the exciting new adventure. To this day, RA’s corporate office remains in Scottsdale, with Scott as the Vice President and Tai as the Executive Chef. Rich has since moved on to other restaurant ventures.

 

sushi

RA Sushi Celebrates 15-Year Anniversary

Valley-based RA Sushi Bar Restaurant opened their first restaurant in 1997 in Old Town Scottsdale, founded on the premise of great sushi and good times. Fifteen years later, the company has grown to 25 locations nationwide, including five in Greater Metro Phoenix. To celebrate 15 years of successfully combining fresh sushi, Japanese fusion cuisine, and a “RA”ckin’ vibe, RA Sushi is hosting a customer appreciation day and throwing the mother of all parties on Thursday, November 15!

RA’s anniversary celebration will be all about good food, good times and good deeds! As a way of saying “thank you” to the loyal guests who have supported RA over the years, all day long on November 15, receive a 15 percent discount off your tab at any RA Sushi location. RA also feels it’s important to continually give back to the communities in which it does business. During the customer appreciation day on November 15, RA will donate 15 percent of all profits to St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, whose mission is to provide food assistance to those who need it the most in the community.

Time flies when you’re having fun, and RA has made sure this anniversary celebration will be the bomb! On November 15 from 7 p.m. to close, take a trip down memory lane to the 90s and enjoy a variety of slammin’ food and drink deals. A selection of $5 drink specials include: The Usual Suspects (Jack and Cola), Teen Spirit, Baywatch Punch, Pineapple or Grapefruit Gin and Juice, Vanilla Ice Martini, Boombastic Bombers (Kirin & Kirin Light), or go for a $3 Spud’s Suds (Bud or Bud Light). Treat yourself to 90s-inspired sushi, such as the Fresh Prince Roll ($7), Kramer Roll ($8), Show Me the Money Roll ($9), and the “RA”dical Roll ($10).

Visit RA Sushi on November 15 at any one of five Valley locations:

* Ahwatukee: 4921 E. Ray Rd., Phoenix, Ariz., 85044. For more information, call 480-940-1111.

* North Scottsdale at Kierland Commons: 7012 E. Greenway Pkwy., Scottsdale, Ariz., 85254. For more information, call 480-951-5888.

* Downtown Tempe: 411 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, Ariz., 85281. For more information, call 480-303-9800.

* Mesa at Dana Park: 1652 S. Val Vista Dr., Mesa, Ariz., 85204. For more information, call 480-632-9500.

* Old Town Scottsdale: 3815 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, Ariz., 85251. For more information, call 480-990-9256.