Noda’s Japanese Cuisine—I’m mourning the loss of one of the best Japanese restaurants in the state. Some friends and I were planning a night out and wanted to make reservations for Noda’s omakase dinner—a sumptuous, prix fixe feast prepared in a manner you’d expect from a four-star establishment. Noda’s inventive dishes included top-quality ingredients in distinctive presentations. I once had a dessert consisting of a sweet rice cake shaped like a fig, stuffed with sweet bean paste and partially wrapped with a fragrant, salty/sweet shiso leaf. Alas, Noda’s closed the doors at its Trinity Plaza location in Rio Rancho this winter.
A tale of two Saigons
The process by which restaurants get selected for this column involves equal parts strategy and serendipity. New restaurants, if they’re any good, are no-brainers for coverage. But sometimes a case can be made for older places, especially if the Alibi has never covered them.
National Fiery Foods and Barbecue Show
Let’s make it very clear that the 32nd Annual National Fiery Foods and Barbecue Show is not for the faint of palate. This is a serious food show for heat-seekers, not meek-eaters. Again, this year Sandia Resort and Casino is the place to find the finest in hot stuff from around the country. The festival runs all weekend starting Friday, Feb. 28 at 4pm. Tickets are $16 for adults, $5 for those 11 through 18, and free for those under 10 and under. Be sure to get a picture of your youngster with Chile the Kid instead of letting them burn their face off with some crazy hot salsa. For more information on this all-ages event and advance tickets, see fieryfoodsshow.com.
Get Out There
It’s summer in Burque and myriad patios await your presence. Snap the kids out of their bought air-and-video game trance for an outing that culminates in the joyful consumption of healthful and delicious paletas—no, really!—or invite some colleagues and comrades out to smash the swanky local rooftop bar scene with you. If you’re looking for a more pastoral vibe, get your farm-to-table on in Albuquerque’s resplendent North Valley. Here are a handful of our favorite patios in The Duke City. Don’t neglect to slather on some sunscreen and install a rideshare app (such as Uber, Lyft or zTrip) on your smartphone ... in case you over-hydrate.