Brennan Foxman waited tables while studying economics at Tulane University.
For six months, he lived in Amsterdam, where he fell in love with Asian food hot off a wok.
Back in the States, "I hate to be blunt, but I've found either poor-quality Asian from a takeout or high-quality restaurant food," he said.
At age 22, he wants to meld the two - quality food done fast - at WokWorks (1935 Chestnut St., 215-644-9127), where Pure Tacos was.
Foxman is no chef. He hired Allen Susser, who won the James Beard Award for best chef, Southeast, in 1994, to develop the menu.
Wokworks' cook-to-order setup is much like the nearby hits Agno Grill and honeygrow: You join the queue, choose a noodle/rice/quinoa (carrots, cabbage, bean sprout, onion and free-range egg make up the base), pick a protein, add vegetable, if desired, and finish with one of eight sauces.
A small dining area contains a green wall.
The menu also includes buns, dumplings, sides (my own favorite is the maple caramelized squash), house-made pickles, miso soup and a crunchy Thai salad.
Foxman said he is aiming to some extent at the $10 luncher, though prices add up. Figure on $6 for the base noodles or rice, plus $2 or $3 for a nonetheless generous portion of protein, and $1 for each vegetable.
It's open from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily Monday to Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.