Run, don't walk to try this very unique dining experience in Mesa. I chose the words dining experience on purpose, because it was not only the excellent food that my family kept raving about, but it was also the interaction with our own "personal" chef, chef Johnny that really made the experience one of a kind!
Thursday was Julie's birthday and we are always on the lookout for new dining destinations. I had read something on Chowhounds about Bak'd and decided to give it a try. It is a reservation only spot and we made reservations for six. Upon arriving at the restaraunt I was a little worried about the closed sign on the door and no one in the restaraunt, but the door opened and as soon as we stepped in we were greeted by our one man army, chef Johnny. He explained he normally has an assistant, but she was out tonight so he would be handling everything. The nice thing about reservations only is everything is ready to go and our table was all set up.
The first pleasant surprise was the flavored ice tea we were served. It was a hibiscus and tropical fruit infused tea that was awesome. Johnny shared with us the three entrees to choose from; Swordfish, Chicken and Filet. Basically everyone got filet and a choice of one of the others. Johnny explained that we get to choose the entrees, the rest is up to him as he built a 7 course meal around our entrees.
Every time he brought another yummy dish out, he would explain the dish completely, from the style of the preperation to the ingredients to what flavors to be on the look out for. The appetizer plate had six or seven items to share, with the smoked duck flautas being the biggest hit. The salad with feta cheese was exceptional, the shrimp cocktail with the unique chopstick presentation was good. Everyone loved their entree's and for me the swordfish was the best. Light and flaky with a light cream sauce that complemented the flaky fish was perfect. For desserts there was an awesome B-52ish mixture of flavors option and a chocalte/raspberry pyramid of decadence!
As a side note, you can bring in your own alcohol and there is no corkage fee!
I have to rate this as one of my top five dining experiences in the valley. I think the planets aligned for us a bit, having the place to ourselves and no assistant gave us the ultimate personal chef experience. Again, if you want to step out and really give yourself up to a non Japanese Omakase experience, give Bak'd a try!
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