Hawaiian Butterfish from Trader Vic's

HawaiianButterfish.jpg
Trader Vic's
Last year we marked the hundred day countdown to Best of Phoenix by sharing our 100 Favorite Dishes with you. Now we're back - with the 2011 edition. Have a suggestion for a dish you'd like us to try? Leave it in the comments section or email laura.hahnefeld@newtimes.com.

65: Hawaiian Butterfish from Trader Vic's

We couldn't get to Trader Vic's fast enough when we saw this scrumptious photo of their Hawaiian Butterfish entree posted on Facebook. One of their most popular dishes, the chic, tiki-fied eatery of Polynesian fare at the Valley Ho in Scottsdale slowly cooks the butterfish, or escolar, a species of fish found in deep, tropical, and temperate waters, suspended from hooks from their wood fired oven -- a mammoth stove surrounded by glass in the dining area and whose origin, it's said, can be traced back to the Han Dynasty.

Hey, you had us at, "butterfish," Trader Vic -- rumored side effects of the swimmer be damned.

Yeah, we know, escolar (butterfish) is a bit of a controversial fellow, but hey, potential danger never tasted so good. Especially since each bite of the firm, white-fleshed swimmer was rich and succulent -- like a fattier swordfish.

Plus, there's the accompaniments of Jasmine rice, crunchy Daikon slaw featuring white daikon radishes and red and green peppers, and a delicate nest of sprouts.

The best part? The Hawaiian butterfish's plate lake of truffled yuzu vinaigrette, which tasted like a savory key lime pie sauce and elevated the flavor of everything that touched it.

A pretty dish packed with flavor. Color us smitten.

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Stomach full? Get some eye candy for dessert over on Jackalope Ranch with our Imagine PHX series.

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