Malee’s Thai on Main (7131 E. Main St., 480/947-6042, www.maleesthaibistro.com , 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Mon.–Thurs., 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Fri.–Sat., noon–9 p.m. Sun., $10–18) attracts a devoted following of diners, who praise its comfy atmosphere, warm service, and reasonable prices. The Thai-inspired cuisine ranges from classic spring rolls, satays, and pad Thai to the “Tropical Pineapple,” a spicy mix of shrimp, scallops, and minced chicken in coconut curry sauce. Speaking of which, curry-lovers will find a decent selection of dishes—served as hot as requested.
For a little bit of modern Tokyo on the grassy Scottsdale mall, try Pure Sushi Bar + Dining (7343 E. Scottsdale Mall, 602/903-1124, www.puresushibar.com , 11:30 a.m.–2 a.m. Mon.–Sat., 11 a.m.–7 p.m. Sun., $15–30). The minimalist, all-white decor provides the perfect setting for the best sushi in Scottsdale . This is good stuff. The extensive drink menu features sake from many regions in Japan, but the signature drinks, like the Lychee Lemon Drop, are light and refreshing. While the tuna and yellowtail nigiri shouldn’t be missed, try a few of the house-specialty rolls, like the potato spicy tuna roll. This twist on an old favorite features flash-fried julienne potatoes and a sweet-and-spicy chile sauce.
The lively Stingray Sushi (4302 N. Scottsdale Rd., 480/941-4460, www.stingraysushi.com , 11:30 a.m.–midnight daily) lures the trendy set into its sleek, orange dining room in Old Town . When you walk in the door, be sure to look down and check out the koi pond under the glass floor. Ask to eat in the bar area or head out to the large patio to kick back one of the restaurant’s specialty cocktails. You’ll find classic udon bowls and tempuras on the menu, along with an interesting lobster ceviche and seasoned calamari steak. Dive into the sushi list with wild abandon, as you’re guaranteed a fresh, tasty selection.