21 Ten Thousand Waves Way I 505-982-9304 I tenthousandwaves.com/food

The signature restaurant of award-winning Ten Thousand Waves spa and inn in the foothills, Izanami is styled after an izakaya — a Japanese bar serving drinks and snacks. It specializes in small plates, making it an ideal appetizer stop before a performance. Izanami features a fascinating menu of traditional East Asian dishes, such as kimchi, and riffs on pub favorites, such as a Wagyu beef burger, conveniently cut in four bites for sharing. Like the spa’s thermal baths, the restaurant’s vibe is elevated and serene, like a flight-free trip to the Land of the Rising Sun. It’s well worth the lantern-lit, 91-stair huff to reach the restaurant. Standouts include the Kurobuta pork belly tacos, sushi specials with fish direct from Tokyo (available at dinner Wednesday through Saturday), and grilled avocado with fresh wasabi. Pair your appetizers with sake; Deborah Fleig, one of the world’s few female sake sommeliers, curates the selection.


2010 Cerrillos Rd. I 505-473-1269 I jambocafe.net

Featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Jambo Café has more accolades for chef Ahmed Obo’s African-Caribbean food than it has wall space to hang them. A buzzy spot that locals love to gush over, Jambo — “hello” in Swahili — specializes in sweet and savory pairings, like jerk chicken wings with a pineapple curry sauce and coconut shrimp with a lime cilantro mango sauce. Other favorite appetizers include the savory stuffed phyllo, a pastry filled with red peppers, feta, spinach, and olives and topped with a pomegranate sauce, and the cinnamon-dusted plantains. Because the flavors are so robust, it may be tempting to stay for dinner. But that’s the adventure of a progressive dinner; you can always return for the legendary Caribbean goat stew.

Eat & Drink





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