The Clever Koi: Urban Asian

by Mike Hunter

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Opening in December of last year, The Clever Koi is quickly becoming the single most-talked-about restaurant in the Valley. Its unique style and unmatched concept only add to the incredible flavor and creative dishes.

The brainchild of chef/owners Jared Porter and Joe Absolor and owners Joshua James and Nick Campisano, this modern take on Asian food is tempting palates with local ingredients culminating to flavorful dishes known in Asian regions from Japan to China to Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.

Lunch is light and flavorful with three distinct salads. The Green Tea Soba is made with green tea noodles, snow peas, carrots, mushrooms, bean sprouts and pickled peppers tossed in a sweet chili dressing. The Thai Kale is a combination of green papaya, citrus, carrots and crispy won tons mixed with black kale and tossed in a hot and sour dressing. And the Beet Salad comes together with beets, Mizuna, shaved cucumber, pickled ginger and tempura bean curd with a lemongrass vinaigrette drizzled over the top.

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Main dishes for lunch include the Lemongrass Chicken, which is wood-grilled and accompanied by Daikon radish coleslaw and Sriracha aioli. Choice of sides includes the Togarashi Fries or Hot and Sour Soup, among others. Noodle dishes include the Pork Ramen bowl with bacon, mustard greens, Shiitake and a soft egg. The Vegetable Chow Mein is so flavorful and includes a choice of Lemongrass Grilled Chicken, House Pork, shrimp or duck versions. Sides and occasional specials will entice diners to come back for their favorites and tempt their tastes for new and exciting flavors.

The setting is modern urban with a tinge of the eclectic. The partners wanted to truly reflect their character by creating a location that is unique and memorable. No matter the time of day, tables and bar are usually filled with patrons. Craft beers and house-made cocktails will delight (perhaps later in the day or during happy hour). The high-quality foods and inventive takes on Asian cuisine are what is making this place a true hot spot, with service that is quick and to the point — very much like the partnership of owners who created The Clever Koi.

The Clever Koi
4236 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
(602) 222-3474

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