3636 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA | Directions 1910439.953981 -75.195415
Monday To Thursday From 11:30 AM To 11:00 PM Friday From 11:30 AM To 12:00 AM Saturday From 04:00 PM To 12:00 AM Sunday From 04:00 PM To 10:00 PM
Neighborhoods: West Philadelphia, University City
extremely fun place to dine – this was my first time at pod and i absolutely loved it! it was the best dining experience ive ever had! i would deff recomend pod to anyone looking for a unique and fun enviroment with excelent food. the lettuce wraps are amazing and the menu selection is fantasic! also the staff was very nice!
A Nod for Pod – I called at 7 for a 9 reservation on a Saturday and got it. My date and I showed up 15 minutes early and were seated immediately. The place was packed. There was a real energetic vibe with people toasting and noshing everywhere. The crowd was mostly mid-20's sprinkled with their well-dressed parents who might have been afraid to take off their coats. The menu was simple with catchy names and good descriptions. The pear sake martini was great. Then the kobe beef app, definitely try that to add some sizzle to your date dining exp. The scallops app was average due to flat-ish scallops of which 50% were overseasoned. On to entrees: the duck was super succulent and accompanied by delicious greens as well as two duck filled puff pastries, which I was not as fond of but when dipped in their spicy dipping sauce (have to ask for it), were much better. The creme brulee dessert offers a trio of tasty ramicans sure to delight any fan of the french favorite. The chocolate dessert was good as well--perfect to pair with their ice wine selection, which is pricey at $14 for about 2 ounces. The music was hip, Steven Starr was making rounds, which might have had something to do with the impeccible service I received. All in all, I would go again. Special note: don't reserve one of the color changing rooms--just watching people eat in there made me nauseous. A side table (built into the wall) is a perfect pod for any intimate dining duo.
Awesome service, delish duck – POD restaurant may seem kind of hypey being a Stephen Starr restaurant that touts vinyl menus and party rooms with Kubrick-style changing lights, but at its core is a really great restuarant. My boyfriend and I were pleasantly surprised then at the level of service we received from the very beginning, getting a late reservation, arriving 15 minutes early and getting sat immediately at a table that was kind of carved into the wall (don't lean back too fast!) We ordered the Kobe beef on a hot rock appetizer which was both fun, deliciously simple and reasonable ($15) and the scallop appetizer on seaweed salad which was topped with little roe also super delish. The duck entre was killer, super moist and well-seasoned though it came with what two puffs made from a sweet dough with duck inside that I think could have used a dipping sauce. The service was super fast and very efficient, and though we had two glass issues (sticky margarita glass+dirty wine glass) our waitress covered for it by bringing us a comped glass of the Norweigan Ice Wine claiming ours was a "little short". Try the creme brulee trio for dessert-- the passion fruit brulee was to die for!
Extremely over-hyped, Bad food. – My wife and I decided to try Pod in 01/2008, after reading reviews on the web. After parking, we were an hour early for our reservation, but were offered to sit at the sushi bar, which was fine.
The sushi bar has a conveyor belt that's constantly in motion. We've eaten at places like this before, in London and NY. It's fun, and you can order anything that might not be making it's way around. This was the first problem we encountered. At Pod, even on a Saturday night, with a full bar, there were only a few tired offerings going around. The sushi we special ordered was good, which I chalk up to the turnover, given the crowd at Pod.
We ordered two appetizers, recommended in some of the reviews. This was where we encountered the second problem. Make that TWO REALLY BIG PROBLEMS.
We tried the Asian Braised Short Ribs. I expected something like what you might get at a Korean restaurant, sliced beef short rib. What I got was a four-inch cube of corned beef soaked in soy sauce. I am not exaggerating. Irish corned beef soaked in soy sauce. This is what it tastes like.
Let me speak of the four-inch cube. The woman sitting next to me ordered some kind of fish dish and it was in the same four-inch cube format. I have no idea why they would do this. Why not improve the taste before making this questionable presentation? I saw other cube blocks in other dishes as well.
The other dish we tried was the Sweet and Sour Pork Dumplings. One word: INEDIBLE. They were neither sweet, nor sour. The taste was quite foul. Think of the greasiest, bulletproof glass covered, slum Chinese takeout place you can: better dumplings.
Our waitress left a lot to be desired, but the other servers seemed to be doing a good job, especially considering how crowded it was.
If it weren't so highly praised, we might have been less disappointed. However, given the disparity between expectations and actual performance, this is THE WORST DINING EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE.
Excellent food and very trendy – I highly recommend Pod. The Chilean Sea Bass was excellent!! The duck was dry compared to others I've had. The house salad was very good and very big, can be shared with several people. Beautiful presentation of all the food. Its all served family style so everyone can get a taste of everything. The pork dumpling appetizer was wonderful, I didn't want to share them! Chocolate, chocolate chocolate dessert was good. Creme brulee was recommended, not bad, but I would try something else next time. Very trendy crowd of people, very busy bar eariler in the night. Didn't try the sushi but the conveyor belt sushi is surely fantastic since the guys were there making it all night. Overall great food and hip modern atmosphere, the restaurant of the future.
Will travel to Philly from NYC just to eat at Pod – I came to Pod for my friend's 30th birthday dinner the other week and I was impressed beyond belief. Living in NY, of course I have access to some of the best restaurants in the country. My standards are high. Pod was able to surpass all expectations. I'm surprised Starr hasn't opened one in NY. The design is modern and evocative of trendy Japanese culture. The food is stellar. The only thing that isn't like most NY restaurants is that the service is impeccable. I don't travel to Philly much because of my work schedule in NY, but I am going to have to find time at least once a month to come down just to eat here.
Consistently amazing food – I first went to Pod about 3 years ago when I decided that I wanted to eat every restaurant of the Starr Restaurant Organization. Since then, I go about twice a month, every month. I can't get enough of it! I used to think that all sushi tasted the same until I came to Pod. The fish that they get is the freshest fish I have ever tasted. I've been to other places and have had some dishes that smell fishy, but never at Pod. The staff is always attentive and from the first visit, nothing has ever skipped a beat. Consistently amazing sushi is always a staple. I always get salmon skin hand rolls. The skin is crispy and warm, wrapped with fresh vegetables and in nori. I'm salivating just thinking about it. Another constant favorite is the chilean sea bass. Now this is my favorite fish, and nobody, and I mean nobody, prepares it as perfectly as the chef at Pod. The filet mignon is perfect for meat lovers. The meat just falls apart. You don't need a knife at all. Every time I go there, I am blown away with how perfect everything tastes. Usually, you go somewhere and a couple of months later, things start to taste like there is a little less care taken with everything. Not with Pod. It only gets better.
Incredible restaurant! – I enjoy dining out, and frequently like to try out new places. After fully exploring all that Center City has to offer, I ventured out to West Philly to try Pod. I arrived a half an hour before my reservation and the hostess greeted me with a beautiful smile. I said that I was 15 minutes early for my reservation, and she said that she would be able to accommodate seating me early. She guided me to my table, and my server showed up within a minute to introduce me to the restaurant and the cuisine and to take my drink order. I then went on to have one of the most incredible meals that I have had the pleasure of tasting since I moved here from New York! The crab spring rolls were a perfect combination of a crispy outside with a creamy center, with large lumps of crab meat. The sauce was sweet and tangy, and complimented all of the flavors perfectly. Next it was on to the sesame crusted tuna. It was prepared perfectly. Seared lightly on the outside, and perfectly red on the inside. The tuna tasted as if it were caught within 15 minutes of them serving it to me. The asparagus tempura and brown sushi rice with wasabi were perfect. I do not have a large stomach, but I could not help but finish every single bite! Then on to desert. The chocolate, chocolate, chocolate drove me wild! Three different textures, all perfectly balanced, just made me want to move in to one of the pods and dine here for every meal of every day. My server was perfect with service. Everything was timed out so that I had time to digest slightly between courses, but not so that I was wondering where my food was. I also was greeted by a manager at my table, asking if I was enjoying my dining experience. He was delighted when I shared my passion for the incredible food and ambiance with him. If you are looking for amazing food, a colorful atmosphere, incredibly friendly and prompt service, and one of the best meals you will ever had, then go to Pod right now!
Sushi Better than Morimoto! – I was skeptical after reading two of the most recent posts, but have to say that, having been to Vancouver, Tokyo, and some of the best sushi restaurants in these cities (you really have to go to Vancouver--my little tip) I was not prepared to enjoy some of the best ala carte, as well as sushi combinations that the wonderful, humble Chef (I believe Taka was his name) prepared for me at Pod. BIG TIP: Ask to sit behind the sushi chef facing out to the rest of the restaurant. My wife doesn't enjoy sushi as much, so she was left to the deft service of our server, Scott, who recommended the Short Rib Appetizer with Udon noodles, as well as the Sake Marinated Sea Bass. She rolled her eyes back in her head to both. The short rib was tender, with a drizzle of asian mustard, and in balance with the udon noodles. The Sea Bass was served with a puree of Japanese Sweet Potatoes--pure heaven. I recommend going a balance of Sushi Alacarte -be careful to ask your server about portion sizes with the sushi combinations, family style is the name of the game at Pod.
As for decor, there's a postmodern Kubrick meets 70's meet Speed Racer meets Samurai Jack thing going on, expect wonder. The bathrooms scream "mile high" club. You'll know what I mean when you go. Overall, one of the refreshing spots in the city. If you don't want to pay Morimoto prices, and you want good food with unpretentious friendly service in an environment that welcomes you, Pod seems to still be doing something right.
Too much hype and not enough competence – Having dined at two of the Starr restaurants (Morimoto & Buddakan), my husband and I felt confident that Pod would be another pleasant dining experience. I must agree with the posts by 5fordinner and delicatessecritic. While our service was okay, the food was anything but memorable. In fact, the sushi was absolutely some of the worst I have ever had. The much touted decor must definitely lose something in the light of day. Our reservations were for 5:00 pm, and with the sun pouring through the restaurant, it looked grimy and cheap.
Will not go again and definitely cannot recommend. And for those of you that will accuse us of knowing nothing about food, we have traveled the world and dined in some of the best restaurants on several continents. I also did graduate studies at two of the most prestigious hospitality management schools in Europe as well as a course at Cordon Bleu in London.
My parting words to potential diners at Pod - caveat emptor!
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