JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge & Spa Opens New Signature Restaurant

Kembara, the new signature restaurant by acclaimed Chef Angelo Sosa, is now open at JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Kembara is the latest project from Chef Sosa and long-time partner and restaurant developer Mark Stone. The restaurant embraces the rich tapestry of Asian street food culture through time-honored recipes, while also incorporating innovative and playful twists on familiar flavors and techniques. 

Drawing inspiration from regions such as ​​Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan and beyond, Chef Sosa and Stone have utilized their culinary odysseys of traveling, cooking and tasting across Asia throughout their careers to create a menu that offers fresh interpretation on beloved recipes and honors the lineage and legacies of generational dishes. 

Kembara’s menu embodies Chef Sosa’s concept of a “trinity of flavors,” giving each dish a delicious balance of sweet, sour and salty elements to create the perfect harmony in every bite. Menu items include the Wagyu Beef Rendang, a Malaysian comfort food staple braised in chili sambal; Banana Leaf Halibut, smothered in a sambal made with Chile de árbol, Fresno chiles and Thai chilis; Fish Head Curry braised in a mixture of spices and coconut milk served on a banana leaf; and Crab Fried Rice that is stir-fried with lump crab, oyster sauce, sugar snap peas and other veggies.

Kembara also offers a complete vegetarian menu with dishes like the Silken Chili Tofu or the Massaman Vegetable Curry, as well as a dessert menu featuring Vietnamese Coffee Donuts tossed in a Vietnamese cinnamon and sugar mixture and served with Len’s Vietnamese Coffee and condensed milk dipping sauce; Buckwheat Taiyaki with matcha cream and strawberry jam with mustard seeds; and Thai Ice Tea Shaved Ice with Thai iced tea pound cake, Italian meringue and pickled blueberries. Guests can also enjoy an exquisite beverage program featuring Asian-inspired cocktails and a premier sake list curated by revered sake sommelier Eduardo Dingler.

LA-based designer Thomas Schoos, whose projects include Tía Carmen in Phoenix, created a modern, energetic space for diners. The restaurant boasts a vibrant color palette, along with elements inspired by Asia’s night markets, including hand-painted murals, vibrant hand-blown glass and bent neon rope lights. Kembara also features a grand bar and open kitchen layout in the main dining space, two private dining rooms and outdoor garden seating. 

Kembara is open Wednesday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday through Monday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. To learn more and book a reservation, visit kembaradesertridge.com

Photos courtesy Kembara

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