My husband and I moved to New Orleans five years ago from Southern California. We have found that we miss the west a lot, and will probably eventually move back in that direction. We have also discovered that we like big cities, as opposed to New Orleans which is a small city without the ethnic diversity and variety of international foods that we loved in the LA area.
I lived in Tucson years ago and love the city but I don't think that's the answer to our ethnic diversity issue. How diverse is Phoenix? Is there a significant Asian population? (We've found that Houston has an Asian population, with wonderful Chinese noodle shops, etc., almost as vast as that in Los Angeles.) Is there "real" dim sum in Phoenix? How about other immigrant groups? It goes without saying, of course, Phoenix has a huge Latino population, with accompanying food options. And what about grocery shopping -- are there really good sources of fresh produce (also another sore spot for New Orleans)? Farmers' markets? I know there are Trader Joe's stores and that's a big plus!