Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Mexican (Mariscos Playa Hermosa), Vietnamese (Pho Avina), and Italian (Andrea Bocelli)

Back to some food!

Two Friday ago, I had a bit of a cultural world tour.

For lunch, I met up w/ Jay at Mariscos Playa Hermosa. I ordered a breaded fish platter and Jay got camarones culichi (shrimp in a green tomatillo sauce).

Before our dishes arrived, our server brought us each a complimentary appetizer (in addition to a basket of tortilla chips). The appetizer was a salmon ceviche on top of a large tortilla chip. It was very tasty - here's a pic:
Mariscos Playa Hermosa - complimentary salmon ceviche
My fish platter was awesome. (I think I've ordered this on my two previous visits to MPH.) It consisted of a large breaded fillet of fish, rice, beans, and warm tortillas. Here's a somewhat dark picture:
Mariscos Playa Hermosa - fried fish platter
I also tried a bit of Jay dish. It was also very good...
Mariscos Playa Hermosa - camarones culichi
For dinner, Patty and I went to one of our favorites, Pho Avina. We had bun rieu (crabmeat stew) and rice vermicelli w/ salad (w/ grilled pork and eggroll). As usual, everything was excellent. Here are the pics:

Pho Avina - Rice vermicelli w/ salad w/ grilled pork and eggroll
Pho Avina - bun rieu
After dinner, we went to the Andrea Bocelli concert at the arena. Even though I had ordered tickets the first day they went sale, our seats were in the second row...from the top! (in the cheapest price level available - $75) BTW, I hate Ticketmaster! Here's a breakdown of the ticket fees:

Face value of tickets: $75 x 2 = $150.00
Facility charge: 10.30
Convenience charge: 22.00
Order processing: 4.05
Total: $186.35

24% of the ticket prices in additional fees!!!

The seating in the arena is terrible. Both Patty and I are pretty small (I'm 5'7" and she's 5'5"), but we both had no forward legroom. Without stretching our legs at all, our toes touched the seats in the forward row. I'm guessing when they designed the place, they tried to maximize profits by squeezing in as many seats as possible. Looking around the arena, I noticed that the spacing is consistent throughout the arena. It was very uncomfortable!!!

On to the concert...roughly a third of the selections were operatic (the remaining quarter consisted of Bocelli's more "poppy/crossover" stuff that I prefer). It was still a great concert though. It would have been even better if our program hadn't "mysteriously" disappeared. During the intermission, I left our program in between our seats. When we returned, it was gone! I noticed that our neighbors now had two a coincidence?!? I waited and waited to see if they would return our program...but no luck. I was very tempted to ask them if I could "borrow" one of their programs. Whoever you were sitting in Section 218, Row G, Seats 6 and 7...

Places mentioned:
Mariscos Playa Hermosa
1605 E. Garfield St.
Phoenix, AZ 85006

Pho Avina
4920 W. Thunderbird Rd, Suite 110
Glendale, AZ 85306

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