Gut Reaction, Philly Edition: Hai Street Kitchen’s sushi burritos blend best of both worlds


For my best friend’s birthday we decided to head to Philadelphia and spend the day at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, before getting hungry, per usual.

Back home we always go on lunch dates to get sushi, so I took her to the closest sushi joint for her special day.

Hai Street Kitchen in Philadelphia serves Japanese-casual and customized food, like sushi burritos, bowls and salads. You get to pick and choose to your liking what you want in your meal.

The service at the restaurant was very fast and easy. It was my first time there, which the employees picked up on, and didn’t rush me or my friends. I felt cared for here, more than I have at other restaurants. When we walked in, we were immediately welcomed by the male cashier. The employees were extremely friendly overall.

The restaurant is quite small, with only eleven tabletop seats. The atmosphere was very relaxed and welcoming.  While sitting in the restaurant it was pretty quiet, with a soft background of radio music.

The three of us got a variety of eats. I got the Slammin’ Salmon sushi burrito ($10.45), filled to the gills with raw salmon, gochu-jang sauce (which was spicy, savory and sweet all in one), fresh romaine lettuce, crisp cucumber, savory pickled jicama, red cabbage, white rice on the inside of a nori wrap, and I decided to add a little crunch with some carrots.

My burrito was incredibly fresh, crisp and flavorful. I also got the homemade lemonade which I wouldn’t order again. It was too bitter and sour for my liking, since I like my lemonade to be pretty sweet.

One of my two friends got the “Ho-lee Shrimp” sushi burrito ($9.95). It was filled with crunchy-on-the-outside-and-moist-on-the-inside shrimp tempura, spicy mayo, crisp Asian slaw, fresh beets and flavorful avocado salsa.

My other friend got the “Hai Street Chicken” sushi burrito ($9.75), filled with chicken katsu, which is fried chicken. The other fillings included black pepper teriyaki sauce, Asian slaw, pickled red onion, carrots and red cabbage.

Hai Street Kitchen is continually growing and currently has six locations across Philadelphia and New York City. A new location in New York opening on Broadway between 32nd and 33rd Streets is coming soon. Hai Street Kitchen also has a food truck, which travels in the Philadelphia area.

Hai Street Kitchen

125 S. 40th St., Philadelphia, Pa., 19104

Between Walnut and Sansom streets

Phone: 215-349-9482

Cuisine: Japanese

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