Buddha’s Ritual opens in Scottsdale with fun, vibrant food and drinks

Following the announcement of the restaurant in October, Mac Entertainment Group has been hard at work to launch its latest food endeavor.
Buddha's Ritual in Scottsdale, Arizona
Buddha's Ritual in Scottsdale, Arizona(Jeff Popovich)
Published: Feb. 4, 2022 at 7:06 PM MST
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SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - A new, Asian-American fusion concept has opened its doors in north Scottsdale. Foodies looking for creative, colorful, and pure culinary ingenuity can expect to have their taste buds enlightened at Buddha’s Ritual!

Cocktails at Buddha's Ritual in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Cocktails at Buddha's Ritual in Scottsdale, Arizona.(Jeff Popovich)

Following the announcement of the restaurant in October, Mac Entertainment Group has been hard at work to launch its latest food endeavor. The restaurant is on the ground retail floor space of SOHO Scottsdale. SOHO Scottsdale is a live/work loft and townhome community located off 91st Street and Bell Road, just east of the Loop 101. The restaurant totes a fashionable and casual environment with unique takes on Asian-American cuisine and creatively-crafted boozy drinks! The restaurant serves up brunch, lunch, and dinner, utilizing Asian ingredients in several classics while introducing some twists to appease new experience-seeking foodies. Some new twists and takes include the croffle (a waffle with croissant-style breading), kimchi mac & cheese, a deconstructed Banh Mi plate, chicken Katsu flyer, and tarviche -- a flavorful and colorful take on tuna tartare and ceviche. With such tantalizing creations, I stopped in after the grand opening to check out the vibe and some of the highlighted menu options.

Buddha’s Ritual

Albeit off the beaten path a bit (or, in this case, Bell Road), the drive over to Buddha’s Ritual off the Loop 101 Pima Freeway is relatively quick. After a few turns, you’ll find yourself in a business/residential area, and you’ll know when you’ve found Buddha’s Ritual underneath SOHO, thanks to the bright and vibrant art illustrations. The restaurant has a booming presence on the corner of 92nd Street and Bahia Drive, wrapping around the corner with an open patio and open-door concept to the interior.

Buddha's Ritual in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Buddha's Ritual in Scottsdale, Arizona.(Jeff Popovich)

The interior is flashy and fun, with a modern and casual dining approach. The lengthy bar doubles on the exterior for full service, whether inside or outside. The colors and tones spark a retro/alternative vibe with the consistent use of colors like baby blue, pink, and black. The patio wraps around and features a fire pit, space for lawn games, and a good amount of seating.


Where to begin?! The kitchen is helmed by executive chef Rasco Conneway, who definitely has an eye for presentation and flavor experimentation. Well, let’s start off with some early bird interests - brunch! Served from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, the brunch menu at Buddha’s Ritual is broken down by starters, sweet, savory, more lunch-inspired dishes, and special cocktails.

Food samples at Buddha's Ritual in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Food samples at Buddha's Ritual in Scottsdale, Arizona.(Jeff Popovich)

I checked out the croffles, which are croissant dough-made waffles, and was surprised at how sweet but controlled the flavors turned out. These soft and airy croffles will definitely fill you up, and you’ll enjoy scarfing them down since they’re covered with a razztaff sauce, powdered sugar, fresh berries, and whipped cream. The razztaff sauce was a great addition; it’s essentially a cream sauce of laffy taffy, adding both a sweet and fruity spin to complement the sugar and whipped cream. The raspberry taffy as a sauce is excellent ingenuity, and with the powdered sugar and plating technique, this is just a remarkable brunch choice. And there are other flavors via the taffy sauce you can try! Your eyes (and stomach) will light up when this gets placed down in front of you.

The Croffle at Buddha's Ritual in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The Croffle at Buddha's Ritual in Scottsdale, Arizona.(Jeff Popovich)

The tarviche is for fans of tuna tartare or ceviche; this starter is for you! The tower starts with a good portioning of ahi tuna, with avocado in the middle, then a mango salsa on top. Another example of great presentation style with sliced tomatoes and crème fraîche to finish off the tower’s top level. The tarviche is served along with several rice crackers (made in-house) that get dashes of ‘Buddha seasoning’ and cucumber chips, all of which are perfect vessels for hefty scoops of this distinctive starter!

Other brunch highlights include cinnamon roffles (cinnamon roll dough-turned waffles), stuffed banana nut croissants, loaded berry croissants, FBFT, Buddha’s Benny, and breakfast pizza. The croffle and tarviche are included on the regular menu as well.

The Tarviche at Buddha's Ritual in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The Tarviche at Buddha's Ritual in Scottsdale, Arizona.(Jeff Popovich)

The menu options are just as noteworthy when it comes to the lunch/dinner side of things, with standouts like the chicken katsu flyer, Banh Mi, grilled kimcheese, Buddha burger, and several others like wood-fired pizzas, and shareables like the Saint Bourdain or kimchi mac.

The chicken katsu flyer was one beast of a chicken sandwich! Chef Conneway utilizes a house-recipe blend of panko to bread the chicken breast and nails it when it comes to pulling off this Japanese-style fried chicken. The chicken is crispy, has breading-packed flavor, and is fried to perfection even despite the chicken’s thin composure (a tricky procedure to pull off sometimes). This two-handed contender gets two hefty helpings of katsu chicken, then is loaded with a house slaw, crunchy pickle chips on the bottom layer, and finally doused with a zesty sriracha aioli, all between two brioche buns. I got the kimchi mac & cheese as the side, and this side definitely encapsulates the WOW-factor. The sesame panko adds a flavorful crunch to this creamy classic, while the kimchi adds the tangy and pungent kick you’d expect! The kimchi Mac & cheese is a perfect side or standalone order as an entrée!

The Chicken Katsu Flyer at Buddha's Ritual in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The Chicken Katsu Flyer at Buddha's Ritual in Scottsdale, Arizona.(Jeff Popovich)

And last but not least, the pizza-de-resistance! The wood-fired pies at Buddha’s Ritual shouldn’t be overlooked, because let me tell you, I sampled the Trang Pie and was completely blown away. This pie from heaven has it going on when it comes to cheese, with copious amounts of fresh mozzarella, ricotta, and pecorino spread across, supported by globs of roasted garlic. The range of flavors on this pizza was insane, from cheesy and creamy to earthy and hints of sweet and sour. The pizza gets truffle oil and arugula aioli spread across it before finally being covered with lemon zest. You’ll notice the pizza also comes served with a charred lemon, which you can use to squeeze around the pizza to help bring out even more flavor as the lemon’s acid helps balance everything out. This is one BOMB pizza!

For more information on the menu and hours of operation, visit Buddha’s Ritual website.