Dinner with Dan: Pod

Dan Davis


3636 Sansom Street

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104

Pod. Prim and simple, yet intricate and arcane. As they did with the restaurant I profiled last week, Morimoto, Starr Restaurants provide us with a new look at Asian fusion.

A splendid experience one will not be able to locate near your “second home,” Pod’s neoteric structure in the surroundings of Philadelphia make it stick out like a sore thumb in daylight. Ready to be experienced, Pod spans a lengthy distance, enabling a wide dining space adjoined by several private dining areas. Sub-level windows allow the people on the outside to gawk as they yearn to join the fun inside. Oh, the poor commoners.

The transparent doorway taunts the outside world, displaying an image of fun and excitement that one is not allowed to experience unless one is willing to invest good money into their establishment. An apricot/orange hue illuminates the inside, including futuristic seating arrangements which resemble the furniture from “Mork and Mindy” (where Robin Williams is from another world).

The sparsely placed ivory seating adds a nice ambiance to the eerie radiance of peach surrounding the customers.

If the peculiar environment does not bedazzle you, the acolytes of Pod will. As if they were part of a cult, the waiters in Pod wear an accoutrement of clothing strangely similar to that of Napoleon Dynamite and Kip. A very quiet, yet accommodating staff awaits you at the entrance, followed by a cordial and entertaining chef at the “sushi bar.” And music set? Oh, it is quite hip.

What does Pod have to offer? The menu explores the vast region of eastern Asia’s culture. With a major focus on Asian fusion, Pod incorporates a nice mix of global favorites. The miso soup here edged out its competition at Morimoto, especially considering its “cheaper” pricing (wow, down to $5.50 from $8, what a deal).

The selection of soups and salads is a refreshing, eclectic mix that should entertain the mind and tantalize the taste-buds.

Entrées and appetizers are more expensive but are worth the price tag. Not only will you receive a healthy portion of food, but the taste is absolutely scintillating. After a long perusal, my entrée of choice was the sesame-encrusted tuna accompanied by a sashimi platter (yellowtail). The meal was sensational and texture-filled with above-average service.

Still hungry? Yes, they have dessert, and they sound appealing. Between the chocolate cake napoleon and passion fruit crème brulee, I had to lean toward the one nature would have chosen: be fruitful, multiply.

Arguably the best part of the meal, the generous serving of dessert kept my stomach occupied for the next 14 hours.

The menu has a myriad of flavors and tastes to be experienced, and I would recommend looking at everything several times before making your final selection.

Pod is another top notch restaurant in the Philadelphia area that should provide some satisfaction for those searching for a decadent dinner.