Sakana Sushi & Grill

6989 N. Hayden Road, 85250

Iron chef

10810 N. Tatum Blvd Ste. 106, 85028


It’s an Arizona summer tradition like no other. Once the temperatures soar into the 110s, we all accept that there are going to be some life changes in order. Wrapping your hand in your shirt before attempting to open the car door after work. Spending part of every single day in a pool. Staying inside all day during the weekends. Trying to gut through the first two minutes of scalding hot air when you first turn on the A/C unit in your vehicle. 

The heat can also change what we’re looking for when we go out to eat. Hot meals are suddenly a lot less appealing, and light, cool and refreshing is in. One food that checks every one of those boxes is sushi. Delicious and flavorful rolls can be the perfect antidote to the oppressive days of July. 

There are several beloved sushi spots in the Arcadia area, including Sushiholics, which was featured in the December 2016 Places We Like column. For this summer, we’re venturing a little farther out, to a couple of affordable spots that are just a short drive away for neighborhood residents. 

Sakana Sushi and Grill, which first opened in 1994, has locations all over the Valley, including one at the crossroads of Hayden and Indian Bend Road.  Guests can head left to sit in the table section of the restaurant, or go straight ahead and grab a seat at the bar. 

The sushi is what people come for, and it’s easy to stuff yourself with hand rolls, as they are offered at a happy hour price all day from Monday to Thursday. If you’d like to go a little fancier, the nigiri sushi offers an interesting selection of choices, including Fresh Quail Egg, Spicy Scallop and Octopus. 

Miso soup is a standard at Japanese restaurants, but you can get a different take on it by ordering the Asari Miso. The soup is filled with clams and seasonal vegetables, all swimming in a broth that offers just the right amount of spice. Sakana also has an extensive Sake selection, which can be paired with a meal. 

Iron Chef is located to the west, at the corner of Shea and Tatum Blvd. You could spend a pretty decent amount of time trying to pick from the large collection of rolls offered. Some standouts include the Love in Oasis Roll, stuffed with eel, shrimp tempura, cream cheese and jalapeño, and the Panda Roll, which has shrimp tempura, cucumber, salmon, tuna and yellowtail. 

The discount menu means visitors can get a real bang for their buck. Iron Chef offers 35% off all day on baked rolls, deep fried rolls and vegetarian rolls. Over 40 of the hand rolls are offered for under $5 for pick up and dine in orders. 

Convivence is one of the biggest assets Iron Chef has going for it. The restaurant offers delivery and pickup options, with an online ordering system that is easy to use. 

If you’re looking to run out on a whim on a summer day and feast on refreshing sushi rolls, two good options are only a short drive away. Just make sure you don’t grab the door handle with your bare hand.