Jonesinforfood


A Night Out – Azia
April 3, 2009, 2:40 pm
Filed under: Beer, Wine & Cocktails, restaurants | Tags: , ,

A couple of years ago when I was still freelancing for a local magazine, I had the opportunity to meet restaurateur Thom Pham and interview him for my column.  At the time, his swanky restaurant Temple was still open and I entered heaven on earth as I sat at the bar and relished every bite of the fantastic tasting plates he brought out for me.

If I remember the article correctly, I made some correlations between the red decor of Temple and the surges of love that coursed through me as I savored every morsel of the food, also drinking in the divine atmosphere at the same time.

Last night I met friends at Pham’s hot spot Azia in the heart of Nicollet’s Eat Street.  I still love everything Pham.  Have you ever had their Cranberry Puffs?  Seriously.  I mean, you can hardly go wrong with any cream cheese puffs, right?  Not exactly a delicacy but boy, there’s something about those little bundles of deep-fried goodness, and Azia takes ’em to a whole ‘nuther level…believe me.

But, I’m not here to really write much about the food.  We enjoyed some appetizers at the table and they were great…as always.  What I’m here to say is that the happy hour at Azia is not to be missed and in true Pham fashion, the service is a notch above.

I remember that after I had written up Temple I received a hand-written thank you card from Mr. Pham himself.  Not something that would normally occur after reviewing a restaurant.  I thought to myself “now that’s class” and Azia’s waitstaff reflects the same.  They are friendly, on top of things, knowledgeable and attentive without hovering. 

The happy hour prices are killer so if you’re looking for a little time out with friends or a significant other…go!  We’re all trying to pinch a few pennies nowadays and the happy hour at Azia goes a long way to help.  With specials from 3-6 pm and 10-2 a.m., it’s not to be missed.  Offering half-price appetizers, half-priced specialty cocktails, half-priced sakes and bottles of wine (including a few sparkling wines), you can find just about anything you’d like to quench your thirst for just a few bucks.

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I met three friends out last night and we started with a few specialty cocktails.  The Sake Cosmo is fabulous, by the way, and then moved on to a bottle of sparkling wine for the table.  The bottle was half-price at $18 and perfect for 4 to split…does it get any better than that?

After sitting in the main Azia bar, we moved over to the Caterpillar Lounge.  With a dj in the corner, some light incense burning, red candles and Buddha statues, it was the perfect place to unwind with a marvelous chocolat martini and just soak in the ambiance.

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You just can’t go wrong at Azia, the Caterpillar Lounge and the Anemoni Sushi bar…there’s clearly something for everyone and if you go at the right time, you can even do it on the cheap.

Cheers!

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[…] *For more on Azia feel free to check out my food blog here. […]

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