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Go Far East Downtown

August 31, 2011 by R.J. Price

Dining in Downtown Phoenix is hotter than Sriracha sauce and in no food genre is Downtown’s upward trending more apparent than Asian dining.

In the last year alone Downtown Phoenix has added five (!) Asian dining spots, with a sixth (Jimmy Carlin’s Asian chop house concept Silk Sushi) coming soon to the Kimpton Palomar hotel at CityScape.

Here’s a quick rundown of Asian dining options in Downtown Phoenix:

Sing High Chop Suey House

The elder statesman of Downtown Phoenix restaurants, Sing High Chop Suey House has been serving up classic Chinese dishes–from orange chicken and chow mein to the namesake chop suey–for over 80 years. History, delicious food, wallet-friendly prices, and free on-site parking.  Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.

Urban Wok

Located in Phoenix Convention Center’s Metro Marche, Urban Wok’s menu offers basic food court-style Asian fare, including Beef & Broccoli, General Tso or Sesame Chicken, and Sweet & Sour Pork. Hours are dependent on Convention Center events.

Yasda Bento

Open for lunch Monday-Friday, Yasda Bento is the place to go when you want a fast, filling and inexpensive meal. Located on Adams Street between First Avenue and Central, Yasda Bento is mostly known for Japanese-style rice bowls but also offers plates, soups, and salads.

Thai-ElephantThai Elephant

Just a few steps from Yasda Bento you’ll find Thai Elephant, consistently one of the best-reviewed restaurants in Downtown. Open for lunch and dinner Monday-Saturday, Thai Elephant’s menu includes over 100 dishes including everything from curry and noodles to grilled proteins and fried rice. Favorites include Hawaiian Lover, Pad Thai, Siamese Basil and Panang.

Hsin Cafe

Perfectly situated next to Taylor Place on ASU’s Downtown Phoenix, Hsin Cafe warms the bellies of students and workers alike with its healthy family recipes, including Beef & Mushrooms, Chow Mein, Beef Stew, and Curry Bowls. Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.

Nobuo at Teeter House

Located in historic Heritage Square, James Beard Award-winning chef Nobuo Fukudu encourages patrons to leave behind familiar thoughts and expectations of sushi rolls or teriyaki to prepare for a entirely new Japanese cuisine experience. Notable: Nobuo received a rare five-star review from longtime Arizona Republic food critic Howard Seftel. Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday-Sunday.

Viet Kitchen

Part of the formidable cluster of Asian restaurants located between First Avenue and Central and Adams and Monroe, Viet Kitchen has incredible Pho noodle dishes, barbecued chicken, pork sandwiches, and some of the tastiest spring rolls you’ll find anywhere.

Thai Basil

A couple doors down from Viet Kitchen is Thai Basil, the favorite Asian dining brand known throughout the Valley and former winner of the Phoenix New Times’ “Best Thai Restaurant” award. Thai Basil offers flavorful curry and noodle dishes, as well as grilled and stir fry plates. Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.

Thai’d Up

Located on Central and Adams, Thai’d Up brings the heat with its lunch and dinner specials, which include Drunken Noodles, Spicy Eggplant, Moo Dang, Spicy Green Bean, Pad Thai, Ginger Angel, plus Pho and curry dishes. Be sure to try the Coconut Soup, which will blow your mind and taste buds. Open for lunch and dinner Monday-Saturday.

Kokoro Sushi & Noodle Bar

Located in Arizona Center, Kokoro is the place to go to get your sushi fix. What Kokoro lacks in square footage (it’s cozy) it more than makes up for with taste and value. Beyond classic sushi rolls, Kokoro’s menu features noodle dishes, salads and can’t miss lunch specials like chicken or beef and rice, alad, 4-piece California roll and 3-piece tempura all for $8.50. Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.

Hopefully this list has made you extremely hungry and you’ll take your appetite to one of these excellent restaurants. Better yet, try them all!