Philly is lacking in Izakayas; the Japanese, tapas-style, non-sushi, drinking encouraged type of place. CoZara, in University City, is helping to fill that gap. Open since late April, lunch service has finally started and I was lucky enough to receive an invite to try the lunch menu items.
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Hai Street Kitchen opened at the end of May and has been busy every since. Philly seems to be responding well to oversized, sushi rolls made to order with traditional and non traditional ingredients. I waited a bit for my chance to try them, the line out the door the first week was too much for a quick lunch break. When I went, the line was contained to the inside and moved fast. Pick a protein, sauce, and vegetables or choose from 6 preset signature rolls. Set up like other build your own style places, you make your way down the counter as your ingredients are added to your roll.
2 summers ago I was very impressed at the quality and bounty of food provided in the bento box from Misora Express, centrally located on 15th and Chestnut Street. The beef negamaki and piles of side dishes made an excellent lunch package for under $10. I revisited Misora to see if the sushi based bentos were similarly appealing.
I remembered hearing about Vic Sushi Bar and how great it was when I moved to Philly. Somehow it has taken me this long to actually try it out. Vic’s is pretty tiny and mostly used for takeout, which is what 2 coworkers and I decided to do.
Philly has numerous sushi spots with identical lunch specials, 3 rolls and a miso soup for around $11 (or 2 rolls for $8). It is a fine lunch; fast, pretty healthy, and salty. The problem is that the rolls they let you choose from are the boring ones. You know, the veggie ones, california rolls, or what I go for- the simple spicy tuna. Sometimes, though, you just to indulge in one of those fully loaded, crazy rolls that are served at dinner, but at a lunch time price.
Chinamoto recently opened by Tashan on Broad Street two months ago. The space has a modern, trendy ambiance. There is a sushi bar, which is a big part of the menu, but Thai and Chinese plates are also available during lunch. And along with the 3 roll for $11 deal, are a few dinner menu style signature sushi rolls. Read more »
I didn’t really get Hiro Ramen, the less than a year old ramen spot on 11th and Chestnut. It almost seems like they are still in soft opening, though the actual soft opening was back in October. The website is virtually blank and there is no updated menu online. But I knew what I needed to know, they serve ramen. And since my goal is to try all of the ramen in Philly (Ramen Bar may be the only spot I haven’t tried yet), I went to check Hiro off my list.
Photo Courtesy of Ramen via Yelp
A bowl of ramen is almost as good as a glass of whiskey to warm you up during the winter. But where should we go to find that perfect bowl? Ramen Boy only lasted about 5 months in Chinatown. I wasn’t crazy about the ramen and the gyoza were awful. When Terakawa Ramen opened in the Ramen Boy location barely a few weeks after its closing, I was hopeful. I had visited the New York location of Terekawa and enjoyed their ramen and appetizers. Would it be any better than its predecessor? Or is the location cursed?