Sushiwa Japanese Restaurant's sushi rolls set tongues wagging with eclectic ingredients and expert craftsmanship. Signature dishes such as the california, spicy tuna, and cucumber rolls leave a scrawl of notarized flavor across patrons' tongues, whereas specialty rolls such as the hawaiian—spicy tuna topped with avocado, roe, almond, and wasabi sauce—delight taste buds. Non-sushi fare, such as chicken and steak, arrives doused in savory teriyaki sauce.
More than 40 house and specialty maki rolls star at Sima Sushi Cafe. They contain ingredients ranging from pickled radish to spicy salmon. The BYOB restaurant draws diners with fresh salads and pan-fried appetizers such as shrimp shumai. These soon make way for a parade of raw and tempura-battered rolls. Traditional nigiri selections are topped with seafood staples such as octopus, surf clam, and bottled messages.
The penchant for modernity at o-toro recently caught the eye and taste buds of County Lines magazine’s staff, which named it one of Philly’s Best New Ventures of 2013. The restaurant’s track lighting illuminates a contemporary scene marked by wooden fixtures, vibrant splotches of red and orange, and plates of Japanese cuisine with Mexican, Korean, and American influences. Sushi, sashimi, and specialty rolls—such as the signature o-toro roll with fatty tuna tartar, spicy mayo, and jalapeño—are served alongside tapas-style plates of filet mignon dumplings, duck tacos, and skewers of Korean-style fried chicken. At the polished wooden bar, bartenders pour wine, sake, and craft beer.
Shangri-La Inn's chefs execute dexterous cooking maneuvers as they slice, sauté, and sear savory hibachi fare on a tabletop griddle right in front of diners' eyes. The eatery's extensive menu teems with myriad hibachi options from chicken and scallops ($18.95) to new york strip steak and shrimp ($18.95), all served with salad, vegetables, and fried rice. Other dishes include lobster tail ($24.95) and chilean sea bass with shrimp ($26.95), sizzled and then fired from a slingshot into awaiting mouths.
Sannie Japan Chinese Cuisine is all about options—its sprawling menu boasts more than 230 Asian specialties. More than 120 of those options are Chinese, ranging from traditional hot-and-sour soup to the chef's Snow White Princess entree filled with chicken, scallops, and shrimp. The Japanese portion of the menu includes more than 100 items, including unagi don (broiled eel) and sushi rolls stuffed with cream cheese, avocado, and crab. For those watching their weight, the chefs cook up health-conscious entrees that pair seasoned proteins, such as jumbo shrimp, with brown rice and a special diet sauce.
With roots firmly planted in the tradition of the izakaya—Japanese pubs designed for unwinding and socializing with friends over a modest sake and street-food selection—Yakitori Boy focuses its culinary philosophy on interaction above all else. In this spirit, the menu brims with modestly priced tapas-style dishes meant for sharing—sushi comes in miniature four-piece rolls, tempura plates bear only a half-dozen or so of the crispy morsels, and diners order the eatery's signature creation, yakitori, by the single skewer. Of course, guests can still splurge on a full entrée, as head sushi chef Tasaka Yasuhiko calls on his 40 years of experience to craft full 12-piece helpings of specialty caviar- and tempura-topped maki, while chefs in the bustling kitchen whip up traditional don, or creative meat preparations served over a bowl of rice. A floor above the dining room's geometric lines and romantic lighting, a karaoke lounge urges diners to keep the celebration rolling with a public stage and eight private rooms ideal for parties of up to 20 or solo performances of "Where Everybody Knows Your Name" on repeat.