You may feel like you have to go to a place like New York or Los Angeles to eat at the “Best Sushi Restaurant in the US” (Travel & Leisure Magazine), but look no further than your own backyard. Right here in Scottsdale, Roka Akor Sushi Restaurant Scottsdale is here to delight you with unparalleled sushi, sashimi, and Japanese cuisine. Once, in order to enjoy this restaurant, you’d have had to break out your passport to travel to Europe for a taste of Roka. In 2008, the restaurant was opened in Scottsdale under the name Roka Akor by Dr. John N. Kapoor who owns JNK Concepts. Akor was added to the name to show that it is a direct reflection of the East on the Western hemisphere, and nothing has been compromised when jumping across the pond.
Jason Alford is the Executive Chef here, and is very knowledgeable about all the ingredients that go into preparing the dishes. The fish is flown in fresh everyday. Besides traditional sushi making, the style of cooking is “open charcoal” Robatayaki style. Similar to Tepanyaki, the Robata grill is the center of attention at Roka, only the food is prepared on open flame rather than on hot iron plates. Open only for dinner everyday starting at 4:30 p.m., prepare to have the night of your life. Choose from traditional Nigiri or Maki sushi. Dishes you may be familiar with such as spicy tuna rolls are there, as well as their signature creations like the Crispy Chirashi Prawn Roll. Other seafood such as grilled scallops and glazed miso salmon are also available. If seafood doesn’t suit you, there are other options. Roka is, after all, a steakhouse too! Fine cuts of ribeye, filet, and New York strip made with ingredients like chili ginger or black truffle aioli are sure to please. If something different is your wish, lamb, chicken, and rib plates are also served. All dishes at Roka are served a la carte unless you’d like to take advantage of the Kaiseki Menu. This changing seasonal menu offers a preordained five course meal including dessert for a single price. With a taste of almost everything, it is well worth it.
Expect nothing but the best when you enter this Michelin Guide Recommended restaurant. Even if you are just stopping in for happy hour, the small plates are just as fine as the regular ones. Choose from a gourmet burger, hot plate, or cold plate. Butterfish Tataki on the cold plates is a favorite among reviewers on Yelp. While enjoying a cocktail like a Tokyopolitan or Kudachi Cooler in the Sake & Shochu Lounge, don’t be surprised to see that your ice is oddly shaped. Roka makes their own ice by freezing large blocks of purified water over many days with no oxygen. The crystal clear ice is then hand carved into miniature icebergs to make sure that your drink is not only chilled, but that the ice does not taint the flavor of the drink in any way. Try a traditional sake (hot or iced) or shochu tonic. Once thought to be a drink for miners and farmers, shochu has become very popular recently in Japan, even rising above sake.
Special events are held throughout the year at Roka such as wine dinners, and special holiday meals. If you’re having a private party or meeting, just mention it when you are making reservations, and they will book the private dining room for you. Up to 20 guests can gather at the reclaimed elm wood table, or the mud earth-walled room can be partitioned off for parties of 10 or less.
Be sure to be in the know about everything going on by signing up for Roka’s e-newsletter on their site, and buy a gift card for that special someone. As an added perk, if you happen to work in the restaurant, hotel, or tourism industry, sign up for an Industry Card free of charge, and enjoy 41% off your bill every Sunday evening for parties of four or less.
When only the very best Japanese experience will do, step into the contemporary, yet relaxed surroundings at Roka Akor and let this taste of the East take you away for the evening. From the house made ice to the Robata grill fire and the exquisite food Roka Akor is a dining experience not to be overlooked.