723 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia , PA 19106
Neighborhood: Old City
Parking: Valet parking ($12).
Cuisine type: Japanese
Meals Served: Lunch - Mon., Tue., Wed., Thu., Fri. Dinner - Mon. thru Sun.
Style: Don’t expect to find the Iron Chef himself very often in his Philadelphia namesake anymore, but this contemporary room with wavy walls and color-shifting booths nonetheless remains the city’s premier top-line Japanese dining experience. From the extraordinary sushi atop house-polished rice to the informed service and well-executed and creative cooked menu, a meal here is an adventure. The omakase tasting menu is a treat for first-timers, while repeat diners need to push a bit for variation – but it’s an effort worth making.
Specialties: All sushi: oh-toro; unagi; kanpachi; amadai; aji; sawara; suzuki; hotate; mirugai; uni; king crab; kumamoto oysters Toro tartare; tuna pizza; Morimoto sashimi; carpaccio; miso scallops in tea dashi; 10-hour pork ‘kakuni’; yosedofu; cha-soba; chicken ramen soup; dobin mushi; ishi yaki bop; black cod miso; duck duck duck; matcha tres leches; salted white chocolate mousse torte with peppermint gelees. Dinner entrees, $24-$39; Omakase tastings, $60 at lunch; $80-$120 at dinner.
Alcohol: The medium-size cellar has an excellent international selection with many bottles under $50, including a strong group of crisp, aromatic whites, such as a Spanish Albariýo from Morgadio ($47), that are a good match to the cuisine. Very good house sakes.
Hours: Lunch Monday through Friday, 11:30-2 p.m. Dinner Sunday through Wednesday, 5-10 p.m.; Thursday, until 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, until midnight.