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THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Desert Fire Restaurant Review

: Don’t be mislead by the location. Hidden in a mall, Desert Fire is an absolute gem. The interior is embellished by pale ponderosa pine, colorful tile-work and beautiful artisan handicrafts. Your meal begins with soft breadsticks elegantly presented in a pottery vase, along with, perhaps, a frozen Margarita---the list of specialty cocktails here is far longer than the wine list. We particularly liked the unlikely sounding tumblewheat chicken (nuggets rolled in wheat and parmesan, then deep-fried for dipping into a salsa-laced ranch dressing), as well as grilled button mushrooms in a mild, chili-based adobo sauce topped by salsa and Monterey Jack. Abundant grilled seasonal vegetables accompany most entrées. The chicken-fried tuna is also curiously wonderful: creamy jalapeño gravy and chili mashed potatoes lend oomph to the thick rare fish nestled inside golden brown breading. Chipotle adds complexity to both the flame-grilled, chili-rubbed salmon and the juicy roasted chicken. Heat levels are mild to moderate, aimed for the mainstream palate. Quench any smoldering fires with a deep-fried buñuelo filled with vanilla ice cream for dessert.

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