Just how many sushi bars can fit in Old City? One more will come online within the next several weeks. Name is Maru, and it'll fill 206 Market St., which last was Anjou. And not to be confused with Haru around the corner. (Who knew?) This one will feature Japanese cuisine and sushi bars on its two levels -- a 12-seater on the first floor and a smaller one in the lounge downstairs. Beautiful decor includes lots of wood, a slate waterfall, and walls made of smooth riverstones.
Michael Raethong, who's had a hand in assorted Southeast Asian-themers (Cafe de Laos in South Philly, White Elephant in Huntingdon Valley, Thai L'Elephant in Phoenixville), is taking over a pho restaurant in Oregon Market, that huge mall-like place behind the Oregon Diner at 320 W. Oregon Ave. Name is Kavei. (Say it "KAH-vee.") Starting next week, the menu will focus on Cambodian, though Raethong tells me it also will serve Thai and Laotian. Cambodian, as he explains, is similar to the Thai fare served around here but is less sweet and salty.
And this is not Asian, but it's near Kavei and worth noting: The Tony Luke's people are renovating the freestanding restaurant on Oregon Avenue next door to their sports bar and across from their sandwich stand. Once known as Casa di Pasta, it had been operating as a Venuto's Pizza franchise that went belly-up. In the new year sometime, it'll be revived with a similar Italian concept plus pizza (since Venuto's left behind ovens).