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Tucson news.. including Raz

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Tucson news.. including Raz

Joan Kureczka | Feb 12, 2006 06:33 PM

Did an abbreviated trip this year to Tucson for the Gem and Mineral Show, so didn't get out to as many places as usual. But reports from friends suggest some good new additions, and there was other news on the restaurant front as well.

First... the one new place that we did get to was Raz. And we were unfortunately sorry that we bothered. It wasn't horrible... just not worth the hype that a couple of acquaintances gave it. We shared an appetizer of the calamari to start. The fried squid was well prepared and tender, but then topped with all too much of a sweet, citrus sauce and sprouts that took away from the quality of the shellfish. I then had a very rare -- seared -- marlin that was well peppered and had a more enjoyable, light sauce. It was served on a bed of mashed potatos that was garnished with fried thin strings of another vegetable (perhaps sweet potato). The dish wasn't bad, just not a standout. My husband had a salmon with a light butter-based sauce that had a bit of tomato and meditteranean type seasoning. Again, perfectly edible but not worth going again for. The wine list was reasonably priced but uninspired. Service was attentive and friendly. They bill this place as serving food from the "Rivieras of the World", which really didn't have much meaning. The menu wandered between some Asian influenced dishes and some Mediterranean influenced stuff, without much coherence. An okay place, if it was meant just as a neighborhood restaurant but that isn't the case. I'll take Barrio over Raz any day, frankly.

We enjoyed multiple great breakfasts at Little Cafe Poca Cosa and our annual dinner at their big sister. The news there is that Cafe Poca Cosa is moving -- by next month -- to larger, spiffier digs still downtown. It will be near Scott and Pennington, and there is a parking garage next door. We walked by and it looked pretty nice.

Another new downtown spot that just opened about 2 weeks ago is Central Bistro, in the old train depot across from the Hotel Congress. We didn't have a chance to check it out, but I'd love a report if anyone is going to Tucson soon.

Other newish places that got good reports from food-knowledgable friends include a new Italian place, North, and the Red Sky Cafe.

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