Firecracker might be the only restaurant in Tucson with fire roaring out of its rooftop (intentionally). From the outside, the bright-red façade at Plaza Palomino slightly resembles a ride at Disneyland, but inside, palm-frond ceiling fans are an inviting touch, as is the open kitchen. Belly up to the crowded bar, where professionals of all ages unwind after work, taking advantage of the Asian-inspired half-priced appetizers, like the delicious lettuce wraps and price-reduced drinks. On a temperate evening, snag a table on the coveted see-and-be-seen patio.
2. Pei Wei Asian Diner, 5285 E. Broadway Blvd., 514-7004; 845 E. University Blvd., 884-7413; 635 W. Ina Road, 297-3238; www.peiwei.com
3. Café Pacific, 3607 N. Campbell Ave., 326-5174