100 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ, #172
This is a first for me. I posted my Chula Seafood review on Saturday the 9th, and then, much to my surprise, on the 11th they opened the Uptown Plaza location. I made the decision to split it into 2 blogs for a couple of reasons. Length is the first, the second is while this is Chula Seafood through and through, it’s still a separate and different location. Click here to go to the original blog.
There hasn’t been very much fanfare around the opening of the Uptown Plaza location just yet, as their soft opening goes through the weekend of 2/17. The outside looks pretty awesome.
This visit may be the only time I don’t have to stand in line.
The inside is spacious. The customer seating and ordering area is around 5 to 6 times the size of the Scottsdale location, maybe larger. There’s a huge space in front of the counter; presumably for a line and for those waiting for their food to go. The rest of the interior is half Uptown Plaza and half Scottsdale, bricks on one side and white walls with black paneling on the other, but all Chula Seafood. It feels familiar, and even though the space is larger, it still retains some of the cozy feel.
Big Spill Pils from Wren House, and a pretty sweet view.
They carry a small selection of beers for now, but they have some good ones to choose from. I chose Big Spill Pils for a couple of reasons, the main one was to celebrate the gold medal win at Craft Beer Awards for Wren House. Also, it pairs with seafood really, really well.
This was ridiculously amazing.
I got the Chula Po’boy with a side of clam chowder. It’s hard to find good clam chowder in Arizona, for some strange reason. This sits towards the top of my list, as it’s perfectly seasoned, delicious, not too runny, not too greasy. It reminded me of chowder I had at a restaurant in San Francisco; the only thing that was missing was a sourdough bread bowl.
The Chula Po’boy is a Nobel Bread baguette stuffed with happiness in the form of fried calamari topped with green goddess aioli and peperonata. The heat, the flavor, the texture was absolutely perfect. This dish will be hard to top, but I’m going to keep going back and trying.
To top everything off, the customer service is impeccable. Every single person who worked there was genuine, knowledgeable, and absolutely made the visit so much better than it already was. I have no doubt that even when the line goes out the door (and it will, very soon), you will still enjoy your visit beyond just the food.
The mark of a great restaurant and staff is being able to taste not just the flavor of what you’re eating and drinking, but the passion and love they put into the dishes, the atmosphere and the way they treat their customers.
Chula Seafood absolutely does that, and absolutely has a bright future. I look forward to my next visit, and hope to see you there!