Kisso seems like that overlooked - but in a good way - type of restaurant. No website, nothing flashy or trendy with its personality. In fact everyone working there seemed soft spoken. Its a wonderful secret tucked away on 4th & Race streets - north of most of the Old City action. The modest interior is dominated by a sushi bar that takes up one side of the restaurant. Warm wood, flowers and traditional Japanese elements promote a cozy sense of peace which was especially welcomed after walking around the city for hours.

We've patronized some hyped sushi joints around Philly and came away disappointed on many occasions. Kisso, in its understated manner, offers some of the finest sushi in this city. Often, you get a sense of what's to come from observing the sushi chefs behind the bar. You check if they are Japanese, if the stations are clean, and if they operate with a confident attention to detail. Be wary of entertainers. The Kisso chefs were real quiet in their zone, allowing their "performance" to speak volumes and we were wowed by the end product.

The mix and match combination plate was modest in its offering but stressed quality over quantity. A quality which makes you browse the artistry on your plate and savor each bite as you explore. The fish were fresh, the cuts were precise, the ratio of elements were perfect and the overall presentation was unique, artistic and delicate. I especially enjoyed the salmon with salmon roe and the spicy tuna in bean curd bag. The highlight for me was the squid with raw quail egg. It looked like a sunny side up egg with a circular dab of yellow raw quail egg sitting on a fine cut of white squid delicately overlaying the rice. After placing it in my mouth, the egg just gushes over the texture of the squid meat and melts with the rice.

We left happy and refreshed. While exiting the door, I looked back to give a nod of appreciation to the staff and sushi chefs, but they were quietly going about their own business.


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