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Restaurant of the Week: Kaizen

Known as The Larry during the day, Kaizen takes over for the night shift and brings unexpected tastes inspired by Japanese and Latin cultures into the heart of Downtown Phoenix. From its tuna poke cones to the ceviche mixto, Kaizen serves up an assortment of eccentric dishes with palette-teasing flavors.

“Kaizen” is a Japanese concept that focuses on continuous change and improvement, an ethos the restaurant has adopted and applies into its approach to crafting food with an innovative, modern attitude. 

With a menu driven by executive chef Gustavo Muñoz, Kaizen brings the finest quality ingredients and idiosyncratic flavors to its menu. Muñoz utilizes his years of experience and refined techniques to meticulously craft each dish and provide an elevated cuisine that will not only appeal to the most developed palette but will lead novice diners through a heightened sensory experience. 

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Hotate Aguachile

The Alaskan King roll is a staple to the menu, with lump King crab, King salmon, tempura-style asparagus and créme fraîche with a hint of lemon. Other must-try dishes include the hotate aguachile complete with fresh Hokkaido scallops, serrano, yuzu kosho and chiltepin dust, and a refreshing, not-so-traditional strawberry tiramisu.

The spot’s drink menu features handcrafted cocktails, like Seicho, a refreshing raspberry vodka-based cocktail inspired by Japanese cherry blossoms, and the Kuruzu, curated with aged Puerto Rican rum and ripe prickly pear to make you feel like you’re cruising down the Hozugawa River in Kyoto. In addition to the cocktails, the bar houses craft beers, wine and sake, including options brewed locally in Holbrook. Each drink carries the fusion of Latin and Japanese culture in each sip and is also available during Kaizen’s happy hour, Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 4 to 6 p.m.

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Each dish and beverage is available for dine in, take out and delivery. Learn more about Kaizen in Downtown Phoenix at www.kaizenphx.com.

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