Executive Chef Charles Wiley of ZuZu is known for being passionate about great ingredients and classic food preparation. Get the inside scoop on his favorite restaurants in the Valley:
What’s your favorite Asian restaurant?
Sushi-Ko. They’ve got amazing hamachi and salmon skin rolls, and they’re one of the only places in town that serves ama-ebi. Their mirugi is so tender. Dai-San will just warm it a bit and serve it with a yellow miso sauce. They also have the freshest, sweetest uni.
What about Italian?
I just discovered this little place called Pomo at Scottsdale Road and Doubletree. I haven’t had their pizza yet but I’ve seen it, it looks incredible. I’ve had some of their apps and salads…top-notch ingredients, perfectly seasoned.
Do you have a favorite spot for cocktails?
I’m more of a beer drinker; I like the Dirty Dogg. If I was getting cocktails, there’s only one place I’d go…Crudo. Micah Olson is amazing. I’m also looking forward to Ross Simon’s new place in Downtown Phoenix, Bitter & Twisted.
Where do you go to experience classic Arizona dining?
El Chorro is a great, reinvented spot. They fly in fresh fish from the West Coast every day, and that’s usually what I order.
Any other favorites?
Roka Akor is a very cosmopolitan, sexy restaurant that uses really good ingredients. J&G Steakhouse is beautifully designed; it’s as close to a Manhattan restaurant as you’ll get in Phoenix.