Jimmy Carlin is a smart man.
At his jade-and-eggplant-colored little bar and eatery, Carlin has endeavored to create a hangout for the image-conscious and food-savvy, with conspicuous interior decor and a menu filled with edgy, innovative rolls and creatively named cocktails to accompany them.
He's particularly proud of the Jell-O Fish.
"It looks like a lava lamp; the girls love it, they just go crazy," he said. "And that was the idea, to create a list for women who want to drink and have a good time. And where the women are, the men will follow."
Which is why it's so heartbreaking to write that, as a woman, I was totally skeezed out by the restaurant and bar.
My server was friendly and the food was fine. The decor, however, made me think about eating elsewhere.
Carlin has chosen to fill his restaurant with oversized black and white photos of parts of women's bodies, with the edge of a pearl thong visible in most shots, along with tight abs, the full underside of a breast, a curving hip, etc.
The women's bodies are gorgeous, and Carlin certainly isn't the first man to confuse black and white photography with good taste.
But it's not the nakedness that bothers me, really.
It's that they're not naked enough.
The pearl thongs are offensive. Aesthetically, intellectually and fashionably.
The last time anyone talked about such a piece of clothing, if one could call them that, was on Sex and the City, and even then the thong was a punch line.
When I was there, plenty of women were eating, so the art is clearly not keeping them out. But I think Scottsdale, and Carlin, can do better than hanging what amounts to oversized sex toy ads on walls.
He's very near the Old Town gallery district, however, so maybe there's hope.
Details: 4252 N. Drinkwater Blvd., Scottsdale. 480 947-3275, pearlsushi.net.