Last year, The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess answered the burning question— “what food goes great with a world championship golf course?”
Their answer—Toro Latin Restaurant & Rum Bar, another collaboration (they also have La Hacienda,) with acclaimed chef Richard Sandoval ‘featuring a menu of Pan Latin cuisine, which combines the distinct flavors of South and Central America with ingredients rooted in the Japanese and Chinese Peruvian cultures.’
WTF does that mean? is Pan Latin really a thing?
We were curious, to say the least, so we investigated.
Turns out, our timing was great, as they just recently updated their year-old menu.
El Hefe A.K.A. Richard Sandoval, asked his AZ team, to work on the update and then present to him on a recent visit.
Executive Chef, Forest Hamrick, of both La Hacienda and Toro, who just recently took home the guacamole crown in the “1st Annual Rock the Guac” Competition — took up the mantle and worked with his team, including Fernando Fernandez, Toro Chef De Cuisine, and Toro Sous Chef, Fidencio Alatriste, who’s resume includes (Mission, Zinc Bistro, Bootleggers and more,) to answer the call.
Lesser known Alatriste began his culinary career pushing his own Pastor Taco Cart through the streets of his hometown
Huauchinango in Puebla, before working in the Matt Carter kitchens.
As for the bountiful portions, it would take several trips and several guests to eat your way through their delicious menu, but we tried do just, go-for-the-gold and chow down.
Sampling is impossible, like a wine tasting, when it’s good, you just want to throw the whole thing back. To take just a “bite” of their Seared Salmon Sushi roll with Chipotle Aioli, is just not feasible. Chef actually sears the salmon with a torch before serving. That smokiness matched with creamy chipotle aioli is just about as good as smokey flavors can get without visiting Franklin’s BBQ in Texas.
We demolished the other two rolls, Angry Tuna (spicy tuna) and Crunchy Shrimp Roll, before digging into a couple show-stopper ceviches; Sea Bass with aji amarillo, corn and sweet potato and a Ceviche Mixto with sea bass, octopus, shrimp, langostino in a rocoto crema. To quote Action Bronson “Fuck That’s Delicious!”
Like an edible freight train barreling down the tracks to our stomachs, the next stop could have happily been our last, as it was our favorite bite—the Octopus Tostadas with avocado, cucumber, Criollo (what a fine Arabica bean is to coffee, the even finer and rarer Criollo bean is to chocolate,) and bacon….Just go and eat it. We could attempt to describe the sublime octopus cooked to perfection, not gummy, or rubbery, etc…or the flavor balance of the Criollo and bacon, but we wouldn’t do it justice.
Not discounted at all, was the Parmesan Crusted Sea Scallops. Light, flavorful and almost felt like an amuse in comparison. The mojo butter helps it to just slide on down your throat, but if you choose to bite, the parmesan crust creates a great counterpoint to the silky scallop.
Even though we were already approaching a culinary coma, we had to buckle up for the final big protein, which came in the form of a flavorful, fork-tender Braised Short Rib with an edamame wasabi puree, green pea shoots, pickled onions and a Char Siou Sauce —
TORO LATIN RESTAURANT & RUM BAR
7575 E Princess Dr.
Scottsdale, AZ 85255