Eat This Now: Royal Sushi and Izakaya’s “Industry” Chirashi


You know what’s cool about Royal Sushi and Izakaya? Like we told you last week, pretty much everything, from the shumai to the sushi to the space robots. But when a restaurant like this surprise-opens on you (mind you, nearly six years after it was first announced), the smaller details reveal themselves over time, on the fly, something new for every visit.

Like, say, Royal chef Jesse Ito’s off-the-menu “industry” chirashi.

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A Whole Lot More Of The Same Old Thing: Aqimero Reviewed

Photo by Emily Teel

Photo by Emily Teel

Look, I’m not pissed off about my meals at Aqimero. To be pissed—for my experiences to rise to the level of actually making me angry beyond a kind of vacant, low-boil frustration—would presume that I was at all surprised by my experiences.

I’m sad, a little bit. It’s depressing to see what could have been a great restaurant space (what should have been a great restaurant space) so terribly misused, and the liveried staff lingering expectantly around the host’s station, waiting for customers who are never going to arrive. To look at those soaring ceilings and sky-reaching pillars, the marble, the vastness of it all, and to know beyond any shadow of a doubt that Aqimero will be (or, again, should be) experienced solely by visitors staying at the Ritz who are afraid to leave the shelter of its luxurious walls, incapable of walking a couple blocks, or just so careless about the price of things that $17 for a (small) plate of fried shrimp seems perfectly reasonable, is just dismal. I didn’t love 10 Arts, which lived here before big-time international restaurateur Richard Sandoval brought Aqimero to the Ritz-Carlton a few months back. I had great meals there, and ones that were merely so-so. A bit of its luster rubbed off after it lost Eric Ripert’s oversight and Jennifer Carroll in the kitchen. But 10 Arts still undeniably fit into the vaulted lobby of the Ritz. It belonged there in a way that Aqimero just … can’t.

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Free Sushi at Ai Ramen


If you’re someone, like me, who will do just about anything for sushi, Ai Ramen is helping you out this week. For the next two days, today, July 21st and Friday the 22nd, the new Asian spot in the Shops of Liberty Place will be giving out free California rolls with a purchase of any of their ramen bowls.  BUT, this only applies to the first 100 people that stop by, so maybe take an early lunch break.

Ai Ramen, which is part of the rapidly expanding Hai Street Kitchen Co., focuses on quick-serve ramen, bao buns, and sushi. And for $10 a bowl, it’s not the worst place to grab a pretty great lunch.

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Update: Royal Sushi and Izakaya Opening This Summer (Allegedly)

Karaage chicken wings at Royal Izakaya

Karaage chicken wings at Royal Izakaya

The long awaited and very, VERY (almost five years) delayed Royal Sushi and Izakaya may finally be opening soon.

Jesse Ito told us that they will be opening “sometime in July.”

Jesse and his father Masaharu “Matt” Ito will be heading up the kitchen at Royal Izakaya. Ito has been active on Instagram peppering our feeds with teases of menu items.

Check out some of the photos »

What Lies Beneath: Double Knot Reviewed

In the basement of Double Knot | Photo via Double Knot

In the basement of Double Knot | Photo via Double Knot

Breakfast, 9:30 a.m. // Like Garfield and 10,000 novelty t-shirts, I don’t do mornings. Particularly not ones that haven’t snuck up on me accidentally—the sun rising while I’m still out doing whatever it is that insomniac food editors do—and caught me still in last night’s clothes.

One of the reasons I became a writer was so I’d never have to get up before noon. Sadly, somewhere in my youth I missed an important distinction. Some writers get to sleep the mornings away, sure. They’re generally the ones who own more than zero berets and have strong opinions about pencils. And then there are the ones who actually have to make a living.

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Hai Street Kitchen Is Expanding in Philly and Beyond


The Hai Street Kitchen line isn’t this long anymore, but it does still reach the sidewalk. (Photo from May, 2014)

Expect to see more from Hai Street Kitchen & Co. in the near future: this spring, they are opening their third location at The Shops at Liberty Place at 17th and Chestnut Street, just down the block from their original shop. Then in the summer, they’re opening at the King of Prussia Mall, alongside Nicolette Pizzeria, Melt Shop, Shake Shack and the Fat Ham.

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Hai Street Kitchen Is in Expansion Mode

Hai Street Kitchen gets wheels

Hai Street Kitchen team (left to right: Patrick Hughes, Christa Vigilante, Nick Muzyczka, Rachel Knable, Craig Williams, Sun Joon Kim)poses with their new wheels

Hai Street Kitchen is revving it up as the weather warms up. The sushi burrito fast-casual brand is going mobile with a food truck that will be hitting the streets. This week the truck will be at the following locations:

  • Wednesday between 33rd and 34th on Market Street from 11 am to 2 pm.
  • Thursday at Almac Pharma Group in Souderton, PA from 10:30 am to 2 pm.
  • Friday between 33rd and 34th on Market Street from 11 am to 1:30 pm.
  • Friday Evening at Free Will Brewery in Perkasie, PA from 4 pm to  9pm.
  • Saturday at 8 Oaks Distillery in New Tripoli, PA from 10:30 am to 6 pm.

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The Checkup: How to Order Sushi Like a Nutrition Pro



• In my book, Friday evenings are for sushi delivery and binge-watching Law & Order: SVU. (Hey, a girl needs a minute to regroup after a long week, don’t judge.) But this week, I know what I won’t be ordering in my sushi (bye, salmon) and what I will be ordering (hi, arctic char nigiri). Here, tips from health experts to help you order sushi like a nutrition pro, too. [TIME]

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Summer School: Learn To Make Sushi At Pod


Stephen Starr’s Pod will teach you how to make sushi this summer. Every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from June 22 through August 12, eight diners per night will learn the art from in-house master sushi chef, Tomoyuki Takasu. With an up-close view of the conveyor belt sushi bar, you’ll make several types of sushi, study butchering techniques, and learn more about Pod’s signature offerings.

But wait, there’s more!

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