Kona Grill – Island Delectables

by Mike Hunter

Kona Grill has added a new Valley location, opening in the urban streetscape of Scottsdale Quarter. The vibe inside is perfectly suited to its environment: It’s very much a lounge feel throughout under the high ceiling with its contemporary design of exposed duct work. The restaurant concept’s signature water feature in this case is a floor-to-ceiling “aquarium” of bubbles that sets off one corner of the dining area. Making the most of its street-corner presence, the restaurant is open on two sides to the bustling sidewalk of the popular outdoor mall, while the muted tones of its décor offer patrons a relaxing reprieve.

The wait staff is eager to help patrons through the menu’s Asian and American selection of sushi, salads, sandwiches and more (and signature drinks, for that extended lunch hour). Yellowtail sashimi takes on an extra bite being served with thin jalapeno slices. The pan-seared Ahi tuna is a feast not only for the palate but for the eyes, the color in vivid contrast to the bok-choy pyramid formed over a mound of white rice and all drizzled with a sweet-chili sauce. Looking for something not from the sea? Choices include the ultra-tender, almond-crusted pork tenderloin served with Kona Grill’s tasty version of mashed potatoes, and the macadamia-nut chicken accented with pineapple-papaya marmalade. And the Big Kahuna Cheeseburger cannot be overlooked — a jaw-dropping 12 ounces of ground beef served with caramelized onions, tomato, lettuce and cheddar cheese on a brioche bun.

Finish off with a serving of the Snickers Ice Cream Pie — Oreo crust with Snickers and vanilla bean ice cream topped with chocolate and caramel sauce and whipped cream — before heading back to the office.

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