The Clever Koi
Arizona’s Downtown scenes are thriving with new restaurant concepts, one in particular – The Clever Koi. This chic and modern eatery features a genuine yet intriguing Asian twist on their array of cleverly created dishes; including anything from comfort foods to intricate cuisines, you will be truly impressed by each unique flavor throughout every satisfying bite.
– The Koi Experience –
The owners, Nick and Josh, wanted to bring something untapped and untouched into the culinary world from their past travels – therefore creating the comestible diversity that is The Clever Koi. These dishes range from the flavors of Vietnam, Thailand, Indo-China, Japan and Korea.
WHAT TO ORDER:
Here are my Top 5 dinner recommendations for a first time visitor or returning guest at The Clever Koi;
– SMALL PLATES –
- *Tuna Chips – a bed of large rice paper chips gently hold freshly cut and seasoned ahi crudo. Atop is a dollop of wasabi guacamole and drizzled with Clever Koi’s own delectable creamy bonito aioli sauce.
TIP: wrap up the rice paper chips like a taco – it is easier to eat and packed with flavor!
- *Beef Pho – a bowl of braised tripe noodles sit neatly beneath crunchy bean sprouts, pickled chilies and bits of savory, crispy oxtail.
– DUMPLINGS –
- *Pig Face – kimchi and pickled peppers are layered beneath four delicious doughy pastries which are filled with finely shredded pork (to be more precise; pig cheek) then drizzled with Clever Koi’s house made Sriracha sauce.
MY #1 CHOICE: DO NOT be intimidated. The name Pig Face had me questioning the dish as well – though as it turns out this was my favorite dish on the menu!
– STEAMED BUNS –
- *Pork Belly – full-flavored, butchered in house pork belly is piled inside a fluffy steamed bun then smothered with hoisin sauce and topped with crushed peanuts and cilantro.
- *Chicken & Waffle – a satisfying fusion between a kimchi waffle and scallion chicken come together with a glaze of chili maple syrup.
As you can see The Clever Koi stays true to their creative style of Pan-Asian comfort food. In fact, their menu changes every two months which allows for thrilling new dishes to be at your very fingertips with nearly every visit.
– Clever Libations –
Quickly becoming known for their lavish and cultural culinary scene The Clever Koi continues to exceed while adding their own ‘clever’ twist on an already intricate cocktail. Take for instance, The Enabler; with a creative play on an Old Fashioned this cocktail is infused with a smooth smoked whiskey, grilled lemon juice, grade B maple syrup, hibiscus bitters and smoked sea salt.
While creating phenomenal cocktails, The Clever Koi is known best for their Tiki libations. This includes their Scorpion Bowl; a two person drink blended with rum, gin, brandy, orange juice, passion fruit syrup and a splash of lime. Bring an Uber or bring a friend, you choose!
Along with their crafty cocktails, The Clever Koi holds a large selection of draft local beers. Find your favorites on tap including That Strawberry Blonde from THAT Brewery, Dragoon IPA from Dragoon Brewing Company and a rotating tap which is sure to catch your attention.
– In the Know –
- Awarded “Best Happy Hour” by the Phoenix New Times, The Clever Koi offers Happy Hour DAILY from 11AM-6PM. Enjoy specially priced signature dishes like Kung Pao Chicken Wings, Pork Ramen, and Koi Burgers. $4 draft beer, $7 wine by the glass, and $7-$10 classic cocktails.
- “IT TAKES TWO” HAPPY HOUR – Happening at both locations, ‘grab your best bud or significant other and dig into the best food & beverage pairing in town! Choose any two (2) rice or noodle dishes and pair it with four (4) draft beers for $40. Or substitute any four (4) beers for the cocktails on our “classic” list, or a bottle of wine from our BTG list for an additional $10.’
Downtown Phoenix – CLOSED SUNDAYS
Downtown Gilbert – CLOSED MONDAYS
Prepare yourself for “a Chinese-American comfort food head trip” – Phoenix New Times.
xoxo ♥ AB