Roka Akor Voted 100 Best Steakhouses in America by Lynette Carrington Roka Akor Voted 100 Best Steakhouses in AmericaFeaturing the Finest in Wagyu BeefRecently, Scottsdale.com set out to discover the business, science and psychology of exceptional steak during a media dinner at Roka Akor in Scottsdale. In addition to serving distinctive seafood and sushi, the restaurant is known for the finest steak in Arizona.We set out to learn more delicious details at Roka Akor, which was named as one of the “100 Best Steakhouses in America,” as voted by OpenTable diners!Executive chef at the Scottsdale Roka Akor is Jason Alford, who was on hand to present three different “steak flights” that reflected the finest steaks in Arizona. With the help of film, “Steak Revolution,” he explained that there is a difference in typical “commodity” meat that is available in most steakhouses and the exceptional beef that is found at Roka Akor. In Japan, beef is valued for its equal distribution of “marbling” a.k.a. fatty deposits, as ultimately, this is what imparts the beef’s unique flavor throughout the meat. In watching the film, one of the things that was surprising to learn was the difference of how beef is raised. In a typical setting in the U.S., commodity beef is raised as fast as possible and can be fed things such as candy to fatten them up quickly and get them to slaughter. In Japan, cattle are treated with more respect. Cows listen to classical music, are fed higher quality food and even receive massages.Where’s the Beef?We sampled three flights of beef:Wagyu, Prime and Grass Fed. The Prime flight featured a filet, strip-loin and rib-eye samplings from Niman Ranch out of Oakland, CA.Each one of the samples was flavorful and tender, with the rib-eye being my personal favorite, for its tenderness and wonderful flavor. Next was the Grass Fed beef duo featuring beef from a ranch in Prescott, AZ. Both the filet and strip loin were noticeably chewier than the Prime flight and carried a different flavor, but were certainly delicious. Finally, it was time to try the best-of-the-best, the Wagyu flight. Wagyu can be graded on a scale of up to A5-12. Wagyu served at Roka Akor is of the highest quality grading segment. In fact, Roka Akor routinely serves A5-10 and A5-11 Wagyu beef. Once per year, and because of its unique relationships, Roka Akor will procure beef of the A5-12 grade, something that is rarely seen outside of Japan! If there is a word that surpasses tender, that would describe the trio of Miyazaki Japanese Wagyu Strip-Loin, the Konzatsu Wagyu and the Imperial Wagyu Rib-eye. Outstanding, tender and flavorful, just don’t do the beef justice. Out of the three outstanding flight samples, the Miyazake Japanese Wagyu Strip-Loin was far and away our favorite. We were even thinking that perhaps this might even be some other type of newly discovered animal all together! It was the finest beef we have ever tasted, hands down, and bravo to Roka Akor for presenting such an outstanding opportunity for Valley diners.Tempting SidesEvery side dish at Roka Akor is something delicious to discover, and quality shines through in every bite. Here’s a look at the side dishes we enjoyed during the media dinner:Steamed EdamameTuna Tataki with Pickled Onions and Sweet Potato ChipsBone Marrow Gnocchi with Parsnip Puree and MicrogreensHot Pot Risotto with Shitake Mushrooms, Leeks, Green Beans and TofuBrussels Sprouts with Bonito Flakes and PonzuShishito PeppersNew DessertsOur group was treated to three desserts that are brand new at Roka Akor:Pistachio Frozen Souffle with Pistachio MacaronsCaramelized Banana Almond Torte with Brie Ice CreamJapanese Cranberry Panna Cotta, Pear and Mini-MeringuesEach dessert is a small work of art and perfect for two people to share. There was no clear favorite in the dessert category, as each dessert was a beautiful orchestration of taste, texture and design. Of special note, the brie ice cream is truly something wonderful, and is made in house. Be sure not to miss it!Quality and attention to detail abound at Roka Akor. From food, beverages, and staff talent, to décor and accessories, the restaurant simply doesn’t miss a beat. Look for handmade bowls from Blue Door Ceramics in Scottsdale and earthenware from Japan. Thoughtful touches such as these create a memorable experience at Roka Akor.January is National Meat Month and Roka Akor is celebrating with three different beef flights:Wagyu Flight at $300, Prime Flight at $98 and the Grass-fed Beef Duo $58. Roka Akor is located at 7299 N. Scottsdale Rd. Visit www.rokaakor.com or call (480) 306-8800 for additional information or to book a private dining or corporate event.