Schulson To Open Sushi and Robata Concept

Photo by Steve Legato

Photo by Steve Legato

Adam Erace plucks a nugget from an interview with Michael Schulson regarding his Independence Beer Garden. Schulson, who also owns Sampan and Atlantic City’s Izakaya is planning to open another Midtown Village restaurant. No name has been revealed but it will be a sushi and robata (grilled meats on sticks) concept and will have current Izakaya chef, Kevin Yanaga in the kitchen.

Schulson planning second Midtown Village restaurant [Meal Ticket]

Two Bell Review for CoZara

Photo by Kyle Born

Photo by Kyle Born

Craig LaBan reviews Hiroyuki “Zama” Tanaka’s CoZara in University City. LaBan finds some misses in the izakaya’s very large menu but he finds a bunch of hits as well.

CoZara excels in those simple Japanese comforts done right – a griddled rice ball lacquered in teriyaki, a hearty braised beef and potato Niku Jaga stew (which I’d return for – in winter), the thick chunks of velvety white salt-braised pork belly posed over dark ponzu. And there was something so soul-satisfying about the purity of the ochazuke, a chunk of broiled salmon over rice that almost turned to congee when the server poured dashi broth from a teapot overtop, that I could understand that taste of home Tanaka is going for here.

Two Bells – Very Good

At CoZara, chef puts sushi aside and turns up the heat [Philadelphia Inquirer]

CoZara [Foobooz]

Summer Happy Hour at coZara

Bar at CoZara | Photo by Kyle Born

Bar at CoZara | Photo by Kyle Born

After Trey Popp’s review of CoZara, where the happy hour garnered the most compliments,  we wanted to check it out for ourselves. And oh yes, it is happy.

Not only does CoZara offer up a wide range of beer, wine, cocktails and sake for just $2, you can get $2 deals on their Japanese small plates as well.

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Restaurant Review: CoZara

MO-August-Cozara-Credit-Courtney-Apple940

Photos by Courtney Apple

We here at Philadelphia magazine decided last month to start debuting restaurant reviews early on Foobooz. We had reasons. And we discussed them here. Welcome to the new world.

If restaurants are like fishermen, constantly angling for customers, CoZara is that guy at the end of the pier who keeps changing his bait as fast as he can reel in the line.Hiroyuki “Zama” Tanaka’s sophomore effort (following his eponymous sushi den in Rittenhouse Square) opened with a 60-item menu patterned after a Japanese izakaya. Small plates were grouped into nine categories, with sushi notable for its absence. A few weeks later, CoZara added lunch: rice bowls, ramen, and gluey alt-burritos whose delicate soy-paper wrappers struggled to contain heavy cargoes of soggy rice entombing the likes of teriyaki salmon or BBQ eel. Then the dinner menu, which had already been tweaked, changed again, shrinking by about half in response to what chef de cuisine Chris Paulikas called the “deer-in-the-headlights look” of customers who found the original one “ominous.”

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Ramen Week at CoZara

CRISPY RAMEN MAKI

Thursday, June 26th is National Ramen Day and CoZara is celebrating all week. Every day this week, the University City izakaya is bringing you a new ramen  and from 4:30 to 6 p.m. a half-serving is $4.

And on Thursday, CoZara is debuting their new Crispy Ramen Maki, a dish that will be a play on two of the restaurants soups, the Shoyu and Paitan. The Shoyu Ramen Maki includes egg noodles, chicken thighs and scallions in a spring roll wrapper that is served with Shoyu soup.  The Paitan Ramen Maki includes tonkatsu noodles, pork belly and scallions wrapped in a spring roll wrapper and served with a Paitan soup.

The other dishes served will be Paitan ramen (Monday), Shoyu ramen (Tuesday), Cold ramen (Wednesday) and Mazemen (Friday).

But what’s for dessert, you ask? Well the restaurant will hold a Kujibiki, a Japanese-style lottery, on Thursday and the winner will receive a complimentary dessert.

Now go grab a fork and get ready to dive into Ramen Week.

coZara [Foobooz]

 

Free Sushi At Hai Street Kitchen Today

hai-street-kitchen-free-sushi-line-940x540

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]

CoZara Is Now Open for Lunch

Photo by Kyle Born

Photo by Kyle Born

Hiroyuki “Zama” Tanaka’s recently opened coZara at 33rd and Chestnut Streets is now open for lunch. The 140-seat restaurant is offering Japanese izakaya dishes like:

  • Maki wraps – Burrito sized wraps of soy paper and rice filled with spicy shrimp and Eel, salmon teriyaki and a mushroom with soy butter
  • Ramen – Shoyu (chicken thigh, shoyu egg, bok choy) and Paitan (pork belly, shoyu egg, black garlic oil)
  • Plates - Complete meal with entree choice of miso glazed salmon, chicken yakitoriand more, all served with rice, house salad with ginger dressing, edamame, pickled vegetable and miso soup.
  • Rice Bowls - Una Don (barbecue eel), Hawaiian Poke Don (Dashi-soy braised chicken) and Katsu Don (Dashi-soy braised Panko crusted pork)

coZara Lunch Menu (PDF)

coZara [Foobooz]

TONIGHT: Japanese Pop-Up at the Four Seasons

four-seasons-philadelphia-lounge

Tonight from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., The Cafe at the Four Seasons (next to The Lounge) is hosting a global pop-up. Japan will be the locale featured this month and there will be a selection of Japanese small plates and sushi created by The Lounge chef Joe Liberatore. Tuna Tataki and Vinegared Crab start at $10. Japanese beers and sake will also be available as well as Sakerinha, a Japanese-Brazilian fusion cocktail.

Call 215-963-1500 for reservations.

Four Seasons Philadelphia [Official]

coZara Officially Opens on Friday

Hamachi Kama cozaraThis Friday, Hiroyuki “Zama” Tanaka will officially open his University City izakaya, coZara. The Japanese pub is a bi-level space in the same Chestnut Square complex that includes Shake ShackJoe Coffee and Zavino. It’s a big space, with 140 seats including a 10-seat open kitchen bar, nine seat downstairs bar as well as “the geisha room,” an upstairs private room. A 30-seat outdoor terrace will open this summer.

One thing you won’t find in the space though, sushi. The extensive menu  at coZara, which means small plates, will include everything from gyoza to soba to ramen but no raw fish. There will also be Marugoto, a whole chicken yakitori that is served with coZara spicy sauce and Zama spicy mayo. Only a limited number will be available daily and the whole bird is $39, by far the priciest item on the menu.

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