Mariscos in the desert: How Phoenix does seafood
Mexican-style seafood might be “the perfect food for a triple-digit summer,” said Patricia Escárcega in Phoenix New Times. Usually spicy, often served cold, and always featuring the freshest catch possible, mariscos have recently caught on in California and turned landlocked Phoenix—because of its proximity to mariscos-mad northwestern Mexico—into a hot spot for Mexican coastal cuisine.
Mariscos Playa Hermosa This central Phoenix mainstay is “one of the city’s best marisquerías for marisquería newbies,” thanks to its comprehensive menu and kitschily charming dining room. It’s a great place to try classics like camarones a la diabla—shrimp bathed in chipotle sauce. “And as with any decent marisquería,” there’s a full bar that on weekends pumps out margaritas and Bloody Mary–like micheladas. 1605 E. Garfield St., (602) 462-1563
Restaurant Sinaloa The menu is even longer here, so where to begin? How about the torre de mariscos, “a glistening, edible tower composed of various types of seafood: cooked shrimp, grilled octopus, and buttery scallops and snails.” It’s also a great place to try your first seafood cocktail, such as the house special—“a tangy medley of octopus, oysters, and sea snail, garnished with head-on shrimp.” 2601 E. Bell Rd., (602) 953-0430
Sr. Ozzy’s Tacos y Mariscos This South Phoenix strip-mall joint is quieter and more casual than most marisquerías, and it serves its mariscos with a modern twist. “Don’t miss the crispy, beer-battered shrimp tacos.” And have your camera phone ready for the popular cevichelada, a shrimp ceviche served in a tall Styrofoam cup and garnished with tamarindo candy and Japanese peanuts. 1717 W. Southern Ave, (602) 677-0284 ■