April 1, 2016 |
The Philadelphia Health Department in March asked dozens of restaurants and other eateries to "discontinue food operations" following less than glowing inspections. In previous months, a failing inspection would have earned a sterner-sounding order to cease-and-desist, a toothless demand that the restaurant was free to ignore. But following an agreement with the city's Department of Licenses and Inspections earlier this year, the health department is now reserving "cease-and-desist" for instances when the establishment refuses to close voluntarily.
April 26, 1995 |
Mr. Fuji takes 25 grams of cooked rice and gently squeezes it into a rectangular mound. A perfectionist, he gives the rice a second shaping, making sure it is the correct consistency for the sushi he is creating. Next, he tops the rice with dab of wasabi, the green horseradish condiment that gives much sushi its familiar kick. An assistant places a thin strip of raw fresh fish atop the preparation, and then Fuji takes over again, gently wrapping the piece in cellophane. Elapsed time . . . three seconds.
November 7, 1988 |
I confess. For years, I have had a secret passion. For reasons of self- protection, however, I have rarely revealed my love affair, not even to my closest friends. Now I'm coming out of the closet: I love sushi. Or at least, I did. In case you are not familiar with it, sushi is a meal of cold, neatly designed raw fish, often sculptured into beautiful packages containing white rice, sea weed, pickles and other tasty morsels. A few spicy sauces usually accompany the dish. Heaven!
September 6, 1998 |
I have often heard these tales of sushi nirvana, where the adventurous diner and master chef exchange a knowing nod, and a spontaneous feast of jewel-like dishes unfurls, bursting with stunning flavors and breathtaking surprise. Don't even look for them on the menu. They are not there. Just sit across that gleaming glass case of fish, announce your generous budget, and say, "Make me something special. " But alas, I had never experienced this scenario with any satisfaction until I walked into the new sushi and sake bar opened by the Genji chain in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, where, in the ornate lobby lounge, chef Toku Naga was more than eager to oblige.
July 27, 2012 |
SINCE SUSHI, by its very name, is all about the rice, that's the bulk of this recipe. Once you have "sushi rice" ready, you can make many varieties, though we'll focus on nori rolls, the most well-known format in this country. Optimally you should use Japanese rice, found at specialty stores, but short-grain rice works, too. Avoid long-grain varieties; they aren't sticky enough. Here's a basic, but versatile, recipe. The vinegar mixture can be adjusted to taste. VEGAN SUSHI 3 cups rice 6 cups water 1/4 cup rice vinegar 1/4 cup sugar 1 teaspoon salt Several sheets of nori (seaweed paper)
May 22, 1987 |
Nobody likes a find more than a restaurant critic. So when you get a hot tip from a colleague, you check it out with all the fervor of the Miami Herald chasing down the rumors of Gary Hart's sexual escapades. Tiny Tokio is easy to miss. There is no sign. The "grand opening" banner had disappeared before my second visit. So, too, had the lone window dressing, a pale blue fish lantern. Inside, the two young Japanese owners, Hashimoto and Bruce, are turning out some excellent food.
November 19, 2009
The elaborately sleek, wood-clad space remains largely untouched from its brief life as Maia. But memories of that short-lived Main Line star are bound for a quick-fade if its replacement, Azie on Main, continues to serve sushi as pristine as this. The raw seafood, emphasized here more than at its sister Azie in Media, is certainly a highlight of the fusion menu. And this hot oil "carpaccio" of kumamotos is a perfect example. Three delicate West Coast oysters are topped with a zippy mince of garlic, ginger and kelp, then drizzled just before leaving the kitchen with a smoking hot glaze of sesame and olive oil. The "searing" effect creates a beguiling contrast of hot and cold, tightening the surface of those oysters with just the right amount of heat and texture, while the rest of the mollusk is still snug and cool in its shell, lending a briny raw bar lusciousness to the finish of every bite.
September 24, 2009
It can't always be a big-ticket splurge at Morimoto when I get that sushi craving, which happens all too often. But Aki proves that sushi value doesn't always come in modest surroundings, either. Owner Tom Lau added a major decor upgrade when he took over (and renamed) the old Aoi space earlier this year, transforming it with a layered stone wall, velveteen booths, and the glowing tile of a sleek fusion lounge. The big draw, though, has been Aki's sushi deals - a pair of rolls (plus soup and salad)
February 25, 2016
Collingswood's Sagami was a sushi pioneer, and after 42 years it remains one of the local gold standards for pristine fish cut with precision and tradition in mind. Of course, that longevity is thanks to master chef-owner Shigeru Fukuyoshi, now 70 and lightly stooped, who brings to mind Tolkien's Gollum as he works behind the sushi bar - albeit with a far brighter sense of humor and a very sharp knife. One of my favorite dishes, however, doesn't involve fish at all, but eggplant.
June 21, 2000 |
Gil Seagraves tackles sushi as if it were a construction project. Lay a strong foundation - in this case, a sheet of nori (dried seaweed), followed by a trowelful of properly sticky rice. And then build layer upon carefully thought-out layer of "mortar" - salmon, avocado, asparagus, carrots, sesame seeds. He can't stop! "I make things for a living," the Havertown resident offers by way of explanation for his skyscraper sushi. Must be a guy thing, 'cause across from Seagraves in the recent "Secrets of Sushi" class at the Learning Studio in Malvern is Mark Scafaria of Wayne, who is also building no-holds-barred sushi.