If Cirque Du Soleil was a restaurant, it would be Toca Madera.
When attendees walk out of a Cirque Du Soleil performance, you hear them utter three phrases: “Wow.” “That was amazing.” “I cannot wait to see that again.”
That’s exactly how you will feel when you walk out of Toca Madera after taking in what will undoubtedly be the most incredible meal you will ever experience.
There’s a lot to take in and absorb at Toca Madera.
The creators of Toca Madera have thoughtfully curated all the elements of the restaurant — including its visually stunning design — to elicit an unmatched sensory experience. There’s the bartenders who make Tom Cruise’s character in “Cocktail” look like an amateur. There’s the trumpet player hitting seductive notes as he walks between the tables. There’s the singer with a voice so mesmerizing that you feel like you stepped into a dream instead of a restaurant. And, of course, there are the fire dancers.
But it is a restaurant and when it comes to food, Toca Madera is in a category of its own. The restaurant re-imagines traditional Mexican cuisine by taking a modern approach by pairing locally-sourced ingredients with bold flavors. But to categorize Toca Madera as a Mexican restaurant would be a disservice the the incredible creativity that makes Toca Madera a groundbreaker in Arizona’s culinary scene. Its menu is designed to offer an array of options for every eater — including the most delicious gluten-free options available in Arizona.
The great thing about Toca Madera is that you could close you eyes and point your finger at the menu and you will be served the most amazing dish of your life. Every dish is exceptional. That said, some cannot-miss dishes include:
• The calamari frito ($18), tossed and battered in spicy jalapeño and cilantro and served with citrus avocado sauce, will make you want to order a second round, but save your belly space.
• The baja-style poke ($20) will make you forget every poke bowl you have eaten previously.
• The chef’s enchiladas ($30) with free-range chicken tinga, chipotle-dusted tofu (vegan), or exotic mushrooms (vegan) give vegans the most delicious vegan option in Arizona. And meat-lovers will love the bold flavors packed into the chicken tinga.
• The scallops amarillo ($35), pan-seared diver scallops served with ahi amarillo, salsa, chimichurri, and lime-roasted pepitas will make you think you are on the ocean’s edge. They are perfection.
And then there are the cocktails — which are shows unto themselves. Toca Madera;s signature farm-to-glass cocktails use only fresh, seasonal ingredients and its dynamic bar program offers a vast selection of the finest tequilas and mezcals, as well as a rotating selection of wines from across the globe.
Toca Madera is a marvelous mix of traditional dishes served with a modern twist in a one-of-a-kind environment. This is a cannot-miss culinary experience.
Toca Madera Scottsdale
Location: 4736 N. Goldwater Blvd., in Scottsdale Fashion Square
Reservations: tocamadera.com, opentable.com