Quality ingredients deliver amazing meals. Case in point: sushi. With fish so fresh and flavorful as your main ingredient, you don’t even have to cook this stuff. That’s not to say mastering maki is simple; the flavors you add are what take it from simple to sensational. The spicy tuna roll, one of the most popular, is the perfect example. Philly is lucky to have everything from take-out sushi stands to world-class Japanese restaurants to quench sushi cravings, but the next time your chopsticks are itching, head to one of these haute spots for a fiery fish dish that gets our top marks.
1 Vic Sushi
It's hard not to get slightly sidetracked when you settle in with the menu at Vic -- the long, lovely list of specialty maki makes you want to beg the waiter for one of everything. Try away, but spicy tuna lovers should include the Volcano Roll, as well. The classic combination of chopped fatty tuna and creamy hot sauce is joined by the always welcome avocado, then the entire roll is drizzled with an extra helping of spicy sauce to ensure a real, magma-like kick.
2035 Sansom St
Old City's Haru is just downright pretty. Warm woods, airy ceilings and boat-loads of sunlight will have you feeling zen before you even settle into your seat. The food, though, will help take you to that next level. Select the Kamikaze Roll, a spicy tuna maki that gets extra pow from a roll in crispy tempura flakes and salty tobikko. The blend of flavor and texture will win you over.
241-243 Chestnut St
3 Blue Fin
Suburbanites swear by this nondescript MontCo restaurant. Tucked into an unglamorous shopping mall, the above neon its largest advertisement, its not where one would assume they would find quality, gourmet sushi. Take a chance, friends, for the fish here is believed to be some of the best quality in the area, and the chefs know how to use it. Spicy tuna lovers will be smitten with their popular appetizer, the Spicy Tuna Sundae. Yes, sundae. The nori and rice are gone, replaced with a martini glass filled with ruby slices of tuna, two creamy sauces and three types of colorful roe. Dig in.
Outside the city but require more a more A-grade atmosphere with your meal? Head to one of the three outposts of Ooka, where the decor is as divine as the dinners. The restaurants offer a full Japanese menu of hibachi and sushi bar plates, but spicy tuna fans should check out the Spicy Tuna Tempura. All the things you love about the spicy tuna roll, deep fried in happiness and topped with a zesty ponzu sauce to cut through the fat. Melt-in-your-mouth maki.
764 Bethlehem Pike
110 Veteran's Lane
1109 Easton Road
Izumi has infiltrated the Italian stomping ground of South Philly with traditional, tasty Japanese cuisine. Referred to as a sushi "lounge," it's casual, but produces serious quality. Our suggestion here: the basic spicy tuna. That's right -- no add-ons, no tricks. Sometimes, you just want the original, wonderful blend that you fell in love with, and there's no better place to relax with some tea and enjoy the fabulous flavors.
1601 East Passyunk Ave