We were recently invited to check out J’s Kaiyo Sushi menu in Scottsdale and of course we said yes.
Chef Jason McGrath and Sushi Chef Todd Register were wonderful hosts bringing us dishes that tasted as good as they looked and they didn’t even say anything like, “wow those girls can really put it away,” as we finished everything.
We started with the Shishito Peppers. This dish combines the blistered shishitos with shallots + garlic + lemongrass + ginger + sesame vinaigrette + scallions + sesame seeds. If you have never had a shishito pepper, we aren’t one to judge, but also, what are you doing with your life. You’re missing out on these sometimes sweet, sometimes spicy peppers that pair so well with a hint of citrus and umami. This starter is perfect for sharing and spicy enough to feel the burn but not enough to make you stop eating them. Plus, they say spicy food burns calories or whatever, so consider this dish healthy for you. It’s not, but like, pretend.
Everything they brought out was as delicious as it was beautiful. And, bonus, if you order Colleen’s Dream, a roll with tuna + mango + avocado + fresno + kaiware + jalapeno vinaigrette, money from your purchase goes towards Colleen Drury’s ovarian cancer nonprofit. We LOVE eating for a good cause. Also, just regular eating, too.
GOOP would be proud. We were SO Zen after their Zen Garden cocktail. And by zen, we mean buzzed. But what can you expect with a mix of Hendricks gin, Bols elderflower, lemon juice, ginger, cucumber, and shiso leaf? It was refreshing and fruity without being saccharine. The perfect palate cleanser for sushi. Or Tuesday.
We ate Tom Cruise while we were there. Well, not really. Well, in sushi roll form (and PS it was our favorite). spicy salmon + tempura shrimp + cucumber + kaiware topped with spicy tuna + scallion + eel sauce is a God damn dream, you guys, real Vanilla Sky moment.
You may think, I’m going to a sushi place. Let’s skip anything that’s not sushi-sushi.
Hello, you’re wrong.
With delicious items like lamb ribs on the menu, feel free to poke around and mix things up. Chef never disappoints with his inspired and flavorful dishes. Each one is more gorgeous than the last! It’s great if you’re that girl who holds up the table to take a photo of the plate (No hate. That’s pretty much our WHOLE deal).
While still technically fish, but not sushi, we do recommend ordering the smoked salmon. First of all, it’s basically a Georges Seurat painting, the plate is so colorful and pretty and as a nice bonus, it comes not only speckled with edible flowers, but also a quail egg and roe. It’s a briny and fresh combination that we could eat all day.
J’s Kaiyo Sushi is full of great surprises, the biggest one perhaps being that it’s tucked in a part of Old Town you wouldn’t expect. It’s a new hidden treasure soon to become a local favorite because you don’t have to fight for parking, the food is flavorful, and we saw nary a drunk sorority girl crying about a guy who didn’t text nor one creepy dude looking to turn us into people who use the hashtag “#metoo.”
(You guys, we love Phoenix but don’t pretend like 90 percent of Old Town Scottsdale isn’t made up of Harvey Weinstein undertones. And if you think it isn’t then we have news for you: Harvey Weinstein moved to Old Town Scottsdale. We swear. Sure, it was for rehab, but no for realsies he did. Some lady even slapped him about it.)
But enough about H.W.! Go eat! You can find more about J’s Kaiyo Sushi here.
Oh, also, slight side-note, we did get dinner for free, but that didn’t change our opinion. We’re bitches for a reason. You’ll know when we don’t like something.
4412 N. Miller Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(Happy Hour Tuesday – Saturday 3:30 – 6:30pm woo!)