A lunchtime visit to the still-packing-them-in Hai Street Kitchen today revealed that the spot has added a new menu item. The Screaming Tuna is yellow fin tuna mixed with kimchi, gochujang sauce, sesame oil, pickled mango, lettuce, carrot, cucumber, red onion and asparagus. And like everything at Hai Street, it is then wrapped in rice and nori.
Though today’s wrap wasn’t the tightest I’ve received from Hai Street, the Screaming Tuna was another boldly flavored winner from Genji’s corporate offspring.
Hai Street Kitchen [Foobooz]
I did not make it to Hai Street Kitchen & Co. yesterday for the free maki rolls. However, occasional Foobooz contributor Fidel Gastro did brave the line. Check out his story on the line and the roll on his own blog.
Today, curiosity was too much to resist, even at 1:10 p.m. when the line stretched beyond the front door. Nineteen minutes later I had my custom roll and headed back to the office to critique and eat.
I went with a custom roll of flank steak (it was pink in the center of the slices and just looked too good to pass up), spicy gochujang sauce, wasabi guacamole sauce, romaine, carrot and red cabbage. It was finished with a shaker shake of fried garlic flakes. The roll was $8.99 for the steak plus another 99¢ for the wasabi guac.
The taste test
Remember when we told you about the free sushi deal to celebrate the day-before-opening of Hai Street Kitchen?
Yeah, well that’s today. And this is what the line looked like at around 1pm. So, you know, maybe you should’ve gotten there a little earlier…
The free maki rolls line has been cut off. Hai Street Kitchen opens for regular pay-for business tomorrow.
Hai Street Kitchen [f8b8z]
A couple months back, we wrote about the former Grillicious location at 18th and Ranstead getting turned into a remodeled and re-branded Japanese fast-casual operation by the crew that used to run Genji in Center City.
Well, now that all the re-thising and re-thating is done, the new Hai Street Kitchen has an opening date: May 22nd. But that is neither the best or the weirdest news…
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Things did not go so well for Grillicious on 18th Street. After just a few months in business, it ended up locked from the outside and stayed dark for a very long time.
But now it looks like there might be new life coming to 32 South 18th Street. The Insider is reporting that the space has been taken over by the team that ran Genji in Center City. They’re re-branding, calling the new operation Hai Street Kitchen & Co., and running it as a fast-casual, counter-service restaurant–kinda like Chipotle. Appropriate since the menu will be heavily slanted in the direction of bowls and seaweed wraps (which, if you squint, might look kinda like a burrito).
But whatever. No matter how it’s presented, more Japanese food in Philly is always good news in my book. I’ll take all the sushi, sashimi and hand rolls I can get.
The Insider has a bunch of history on Genji’s time in Philly and some more details on the new Hai Street.
Genji Returning To Rittenhouse With Hai Street Kitchen [Insider]