Inside a Mobil gas station on the corner of Baseline and Burk St. in Gilbert is a hidden gem.
Past the chips and other convenience items, is a little eatery known as Tempura Takeover. The location is modest, a walk up window with their menu proudly displayed overhead. The menu was developed by Donna, the owner. She’s been making this type food for her friends and family for years, a little over a year and a half ago she decided to bring her love for food to the public.
Donna originally got her start at the farmers markets and the food festival scene. Through those avenues, and her beautiful and vibrant Instagram account, she’s developed a large following of Phoenicians that seek out the flavors of her food. She’s even had people make the drive from Surprise. That’s a 60 mile drive ONE WAY!
Today I was lucky enough to score an invite to her pop-up and try some of her delicious food.
First up, the Sloppy Lobster Loaded Fries- The fries were crispy and well seasoned, but the star of the dish is definitely the lobster. I don’t know what kind of magic Donna weaves behind the counter, but the lobster was well seasoned, juicy and had just the right amount of spice. Add on the “white sauce” and the “takeover sauce” and you have perfection.
Up next was the Shrimp Fried Rice- Let me tell you… I didn’t think that the following act would be as good as the opener, but the fried rice dish exceeded my expectations. I could eat the rice all on it’s own, (as someone that doesn’t care for rice… that’s a bold statement) but once you add the tempura shrimp, and the magical takeover sauce, the dish is pushed to the limit. The flavors are amazing and the food is totally instagram worthy.
To recap, go to Tempura Takeover RIGHT NOW. Well not exactly now, they are open 6 days a week from 2pm – 8pm, which means they are closed on Sunday.
Pro Tip: You can always call the Mobil station and order ahead to avoid the wait, but I think that being there and waiting with the other Tempura Takeover fans adds to the experience. Chat it up with your neighbor, because I think that Donna wants to bring the community together with her food. So, let’s pull up a red chair, sit and get to know each other over some delicious tempura.