I heard a lot about Sumo Maya restaurant from various people and when restaurant week was announced, I thought, why not go and go all out and see what they got?
Inviting some friends, we went on a very busy night. We reserved on open table and it took us an hour to get our table.
However, I think this was really well worth it. The food was great and we were very satisfied with the mixture of ambiance and variety.
For some background information SumoMaya serves Mexican-Asian cuisine, or more specifically craveable Tapas-style small plates that meet the big, bold ﬂavors of both Latin America and the Far East to create Scottsdale’s most exciting dining destination.
In terms of restaurant week, this is a twice a year event where a variety of Arizona’s most popular restaurants display a full on indulgent course of the best they have to offer.
An excerpt for their website.
“This statewide affair offers foodies a wealth of dining opportunities and the chance to get outside their own neighborhood and try something new. From sizzling Southwestern and soothing comfort foods to five-star dining and international fare – it’s all on the table during Arizona Restaurant Week. So prepare your taste buds and dig in.”
Guacamole and Chips
I’d say this is standard to pretty good guac. It’s more creamier than others and the cottage cheese is a nice touch and tastes relatively limey. What’s unique about these tortilla is that they give you these giant, thick, deep fried tortillas that act as tortilla chips.
We got this for free because we waited about an hour in line after we had a table reserved.
House roll: Spicy tuna
Average with a lot of purity from the fish.
House Roll: Deep fried tuna
Decently fluffy crunchy with a good mixture of fresh tuna and guacamole
Rock Shrimp Tempura
Now we’re getting to the good stuff. This shrimp was a reminiscence of coconut shrimp without the coconut. The crunch and texture was extremely similar. Only problem was that the shrimp they use is pretty tiny compared to the gigantic ones you get at every Chinese restaurant ever.
In terms of your money’s worth, these are a good deal. The plate is surprisingly filling for an appetizer and they come with a lot of squid. The calamari is lightly breaded and lightly fried, so if you like heavily breaded calamari, you’ll be disappointed! However, if you do like thin and crunchy calamari, this combined with a tangy sweet and sour sauce will satisfy.
Ceviche is seafood bathed in a vinegary sauce. I find the flavors to be refreshing but I feel like you don’t get much out of it.
Bacon Wrapped Medal Dates
Out of all of the appetizers for restaurant week, I would say this is the most unique and flavor packed dish on the menu. You have dates stuffed with a starchy root vegetable (I’m assuming potato but I wasn’t 100% sure) and wrapped with devilishly crispy bacon. If you ever wanted to go and eat at restaurant week, I would highly recommend this dish.
We accidentally ordered this but they were actually surprisingly good. Lightly grilled shishito peppers mixed with an irresistible sauce. This sauce had a honey-like essence and paired surprisingly well with the fresh and spicy shishito peppers, which I usually eat overcooked and sprinkled with sea salt.
(I should have tried the tacos)
Vietnamese Style “Shaking” Beef
Succulent pieces of beef doused in a slightly burnt sauce and paired with a mirin/ green tomatillo sauce. This was a satisfying main course as the beef was cooked perfectly. I did taste a slightly unpleasant char but it usually disappears when you dip it into the sauce or pair it with the fried rice.
Kimchee Fried Rice
An inverted bowl of rice with a mayonnaise sauce. The fried rice was good, but nothing really popped out about it. The flavor was nice, not like usual fried rice and had a bit of a cleaner taste than most. What I noticed most about this fried rice was the fact that there were inconsistencies between the pieces in the rice. Some people think “Adam, you’re being picky” and yes, I am but I’m just pointing out the things I noticed.
Miso Chilean Sea Bass
A nicely presented sea bass that is lightly seared and caramelized with a sweet sauce. I recently tried a dried sea bass from the Gladly so I found this to be pleasantly moist, I would say medium rare in terms of a fish steak. This fish was done pretty well with the crunchy, crispy exterior and the nice myriad of textures you get from the flesh of the fish.
Panna Cotta and Mango Sorbet
(Don’t eat the flower)
The panna cotta was very plain and not very sweet if you’re into that. The texture was superb. The sorbet was nicely presented and easy to cut the texture is very smooth for sorbet. Combined, the flavors mesh perfectly well but I do wish the panna cotta could have used some extra unique flavors. Honey comes to mind.
Sumo Maya has a very Scottsdale-esque atmosphere. Flashing lights, hip and modern flair, and the people are wearing dress shirts and short skirts. My group was a little out of place.
The most noticeable thing about Sumo Maya is that they have a giant tree planted right in the middle of their restaurant. I don’t know why they do this, but it surprisingly gives a strange ambiance that makes you feel like you’re outside.
The color scheme for Sumo maya is an obvious orange and pink which makes the place very bright and playful. The mixture of high definition projector screens and in general very good architecture makes this place a sensory gold mind.
It was busy on restaurant week. Even with our open table reservation, we waited an hour before we got seated. I guess it’s just that popular.
So because it was so busy, our waiter was running around quite often. I’ll let it slide.
(the pink menu is for restaurant week only and the bigger one is the regular one)
Restaurant week is set at $33 to $44 dollars per 3 course entree. If you feel like treating yourself, this is a good time to do it. In general, the menu I saw showed kind of pricey food.
Restaurant week has a lot of interesting selections and their regular menu has some really creative Asian fusion dishes with a Mexican flair.
One of the things I wish I ordered were the Asian-fusion tacos because I feel like that would have encompassed the big theme of the restaurant.
If you really want to experience Phoenix’s best cuisine, you should go to Restaurant Week because it really does show you the best of what the best have to offer. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from so definitely choose the one you want to go to.
For that, it was Sumo Maya for me. I heard about its amazing reputational and when this offer came up, I snatched the opportunity to eat good food.
Happy birthday this dude!