If you’ve never been, Ezra’s Place is the absurdly delicious, Dennis Apodaca joint (see Sophia’s Place) inside of Lucky 66 Bowl on Fourth Street. A trip to Ezra’s is well worth it just for the gourmet diner fare and interesting atmosphere, but tonight there’s an even bigger incentive to stop by. Musekiwa Chingodza and Cosmas Magaya, Zimbabwean masters of the mbira—that’s a thumb piano to folks who can’t pronounce mbira—will be performing from 6:30 to 9 p.m. The duo plays for tips tonight before heading up north for other events. Admission is free, but you’d be a fool not to fork over some cash for a Kobe burger and prickly pear margarita (and tip the musicians).
There’s nothing average about this Jo
If you had to pick a single Albuquerque street on which to dine for the rest of your life, you could do worse than Fourth. The diversity of restaurants on this North Valley artery is matched by a uniform unpretentiousness, as if by some silent but Spanglish-speaking truce. Dennis Apodaca has built a restaurant empire on a single half-mile stretch of that pavement. First came Sophia’s Place, named after his daughter. Then came Ezra’s Place, named after his son. And finally Jo’s Place, named after his mom, joined the block party in March.
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.