We had out of town friends who were told to go to Noca, since it was rated one of the best restaurants in Phoenix. The location is in a strip mall next to a Safeway, so the street appeal is zero. they even have patio seating, where you can look at the cars driving by 3 feet from you in the parking lot.
The tables are very close to each other, so there's no room or privacy. The music was a weird mix of oldies, opera and other stuff that was noticeably odd but not too loud. The restaurant was FREEZING and the A/C vent was blowing directly on us, so we were all grumbling about the cold all through dinner.
We didn't know that Sunday night is a fixed-price menu and we were not pleased with the selection or the price of the dinner - $35 per person, with $10 more if you wanted some risotto or some tuna tartare. The salad was minimal but edible and the manhattan clam chowder was actually very good. Portions are VERY small. The risotto was the only good dish we ate that night.
The main dish choices were sparse - a Cioppino fish dish that none of us was interested in, a tasting of farm vegetables (who wants to spend $35 for dinner and get a plate of a few vegetables?) and braised short ribs, which was the only acceptable choice on the menu. The short ribs came out and were a small chunk of barely edible meat, about 12 beans, and some slimy green unknown vegetable that barely filled a quarter of the plate. The women couldn't even eat the meat.
The dessert was an apple cobbler - that's it - no other choices! The dessert plate was a rectangular plate almost a foot wide with a piece of cobbler about 2 inches square and a half-inch high. It looked ridiculous on the plate. The cobbler was about two spoonfuls of food.
With soft drinks only, the dinner was over $200 for the four of us. I don't mind spending that kind of money for an excellent dinner and dining experience, but this was the worst case of over-priced, over-indulgent dining I have ever had. Yes, we were disappointed not to be able to order from the regular menu, but that will never happen, as I will never go back to Noca again, ever!
3118 E. Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016
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