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Aug 27, 2010 11:15 AM

One night in Center City: Need dinner suggestion

Visiting from Portland, OR, and will be there one night. Staying in Center City, without a car. Would prefer Japanese or sushi or Asian. Any recommendations?

Thank you!

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  1. Morimoto at Chestnut between 7th and 8th. Best we have for Japanese.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

      Thanks! Are there others? Less high-end is ok, too.

      1. re: loof

        Where are you staying? Our Chinatown (with some other Asian cuisines mixed in) is right near Center City.

        1. re: Philly Ray

          Philly Ray is correct you are very close to china town in most of CC. Try Rangoon on 9th Street between Arch and race for Burmese food!

          1. re: Philly Ray

            Hotel Palomar. Anything within walking distance?

            1. re: loof

              How far are you comfortable walking? Chinatown is about 11 blocks from there. Morimoto is slightly closer. I'll second the Rangoon recommendation, Burmese food is something you don't see a lot of. Living in Portland though, I think you will probably be unimpressed by our Asian/Japanese offerings.

              One place that's near your hotel, Asian-influenced, and great, is Meritage at 20th and Lombard.

              1. re: Buckethead

                Walking is totally fine. Rangoon looks awesome! I've been to Penang when I lived in NYC but that was like ~10 years ago.

                Ironically, I grew up in Bucks County but have not been back in YEARS. A lot different than it was when i grew up! :)

                1. re: loof

                  Rangoon is awesome, I highly recommend it!
                  Spring Ginger Salad, Tea Leaf Salad, potato and Glass noodle salad, calimari salad, Rangoon night market noodles, chicken keema so good.

                  1. re: thehungrything

                    ... and firecracker lentil fritters! that's another place i go and order pretty much the entire appetizer menu, too. the entrees i've had aren't nearly as stand-out as the appetizers! oh, and the desserts... there are a couple of dessert "soups" that are pretty much spectacular. i like the coconut milk one in particular.

                    i'm almost ashamed to admit: i traveled to myanmar last year and i vastly preferred the food at our rangoon restaurant to just about anything i ate there. :)

      2. Two Malaysian restaurants in Chinatown as well. Penang, part of NY chain on 10th north of Race and Banana Leaf on Race west of 10th. While l may be in minority do not like Rangoon.

        2 Replies
          1. re: loof

            I really like both, but if I had to recommend either Banana Leaf or Rangoon, I'd go with Rangoon every time. It's just really different from anything else I've addition to just being generally fantastic.

        1. i'll throw out a rec for aqua at 7th and chestnut - thai/malaysian. BYO, but you'll pass some state stores on your walk. i've been there several times in the past few months, and have a tendency to order a bunch of apps and make it a tapas-style meal. their appetizers i feel are where they really shine. the roti canai and the satay tofu are to die for. it's my favorite asian joint in the city right now, with vietnam cafe (the west philly one) a close second.

          2 Replies
          1. re: rabidog

            I liked Aqua when it first opened but I didnt think the food was as good on a recent visit. They were heavy handed with sauces and with sweetener in sauces. There was not much subtlety to the flavors. They also let the place run down a bit. They used to have this wall of water fountain in the dining room. Now it is broken and still sitting in the same highly conspicuous place in the dining room. We didnt have the two appetizers you mentioned but we werent impressed with the satay or the spring rolls.

            1. re: thehungrything

              yeah i noticed the water wall thing you're talking about... and they should definitely get on that. it's been out of operation for awhile!

              agree there's not much subtlety to the flavors, but i don't usually go for thai for it's subtlety :) it is pretty bold stuff - creamy (some dishes anyway, like the roti canai), spicy, colorful. i didn't think anything was overly sweet, but just perfectly so. i forgot to mention one of my fave dishes earlier: there were also shrimps wrapped in a crispy noodle served with the same sauce as the spring rolls which was damn tasty. spring rolls i agree were just... spring rolls.

          2. If you are tired, 1.5 blocks away from the Palomar is a local favorite- no frills- Japanese sushi place called Jay's (on Sansom Street). It is not quite authentic- run by Chinese guys. I like the Greentree roll- sweet potato with kiwi on top. Really well priced. It is next door to Ladder 15, a sports bar, which just hired an amazing chef - Ansill- he added Korean pork belly tacos to the dinner menu.

            1. there is zama, a sushi joint on 19th and sansom, about four blocks from your hotel. it doesn't seem to get a lot of love here, but i think it's solid and it's probably more reasonably priced than morimoto.