My husband and I moved to Mesa a month ago, and most of our kitchen stuff hasn't been delivered yet... or at least, that's our excuse for eating out many nights. We've tried several restaurants in Mesa (and a few in Scottsdale and Phoenix). Sometimes we went because of a mention in Phoenix magazine (Blue Adobe Grill, Sekai Sushi), sometimes from convenience (Mongolian Grill, Mimi's Cafe), and sometimes because of a review here on Chowhound (Sushi Mishima).
Red, White, and Brew
This looked like a chain (but apparently isn't), and was VERY noisy, but the food and service were both excellent, and they have two kinds of Heffewiesen on tap. The calamari appetizer, olive-crusted steak standard entree, and fish special, the name of which I can't remember, were uniformly good. Return visits? Probably
Zocalo Spanish Fusion
Also looks like a chain (but apparently isn't), and again, it was noisy with good food and service. We went for lunch, and ordered sangria, guacamole, tacos de pescado, and tacos de camaron. They were out of sangria, and the water tasted like Mesa tap water (ugh), but their iced tea was good. The guacamole was full of little bits of red pepper, and I hate peppers, but I should have read the description more carefully. My husband likes peppers, and he liked it. The tacos were both wonderful... flavorful and perfectly cooked. Return visits? Definitely
We've been here twice already. The sushi is a great value... very fresh and mostly delicious, but the service is slow and indifferent, and I can't fully recommend any sushi resturant that has no dessert. Return visits? Yes
Sushi Mishima (Phoenix)
Wow. I thought I posted my mini-review of this place in the Mishima thread, but it didn't show up. We had the some of the worst sushi ever at this place. The service was incredibly prompt and friendly, but the restaurant was dirty and noisy, the bathrooms were actively scary, and most importantly, the fish was terrible. The cooked food was fine, even good, but the raw fish was just all wrong in every conceivable way besides flat-out rotten. Return visits? Not if you paid me
Arizona's Mongolian Grill
This would be a great value for anyone who excels at all-you-can-eat. It's sort of cafeteria-style, and they make stir-fries from the ingredients of your choice. They have a decent selection, and the results are really tasty, but I don't think I'm capable of eating $10 worth of stir fried chicken and veggies. Return visits? Not a good value for me.
Blue Adobe Grill
This place doesn't seem to be able to decide what it wants to be. The decor is halfway to hip, the menu interesting, the margaritas really excellent... but there's a big blaring TV at the bar. It's half-trendy, half-ultra casual, and the two aren't blended very well. The food was ok... I've already forgotten it. It think we had a chicken/sausage/pasta thing and, um, steak something? The service was ok. Return visits? Probably not.
Hey, you know, it's a chain, but their grilled vegetable focaccia sandwich was pretty darned good, the service was fine, and it was a perfectly pleasant experience. Return visits? Maybe, if we're in the area.