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Desert Companion

Eat this now: From the sea

Charlie Tuna

Charlie Tuna Oink Cheddar at Balboa Pizza Company

I’m on a quest for the most mouth-watering, tear-inducing, pleasure-sense-peaking tuna sandwich ever created. (Hey, we all have dreams.) And I came pretty close to finding it at Balboa Pizza Company. Theirs might not be the end of my holy tuna pilgrimage, but this sandwich certainly satiates and satisfies. First of all, it’s got pepper bacon, a key ingredient that shifts any sandwich into flavor overdrive. Second, the mayo doesn’t overpower the tuna, meaning it’s not a gooey mess but actually a tasteful texture of sauce (garlic-tomato mayo) and fish. Finally, the thin, doughy pizza bread pulls it all together — none of that thick sourdough crust that out-machos the fleshy goodness of the tuna salad. It also comes with homemade chips, which truly hold their own against this catch of a sandwich. — Danielle McCrea

Balboa Pizza Company In the District at Green Valley Ranch, 2265 Village Walk Drive, balboapizza.com

Seafood inaniwa

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Seafood inaniwa pasta at Mizumi

There’s more than a touch of metaphorical significance to Mizumi taking over the space formerly occupied by Okada in the Wynn — something about sweeping away bad vibes from that whole Steve Wynn-Kazuo Okada mogul bromance gone sour. Mizumi aims to cover up that era with a décor that calls to mind the boudoir of a glam geisha, equal parts fantasia and restraint. That’s also an apt description of this standout dish on Executive Chef Devin Hashimoto’s menu. The seafood elements (scallops, king crab, octopus) and uni butter sauce scream pure decadence, but the light touch and delicate inaniwa noodles — offset by lime and the tonic of shiso — make this pasta dish a Zen study in savory balance. — Andrew Kiraly

Mizumi Inside the Wynn, 770-3463

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