PHLReview

Our review for this Israeli grill could probably take a similar form to an Oscar speech where the actor lists off every important moment in their career. Except, in this case, we would just be rattling off everything we love about this restaurant. But we're sure that somewhere between "and thank you to the sizzling chicken, babganoush, and buttery pita," we'd start hearing the music to play us off. Simply, there are just too many things we love about this open-air spot. The most important thing we want to relay to you is this: a meal at Laser Wolf will be one of the most memorable you can have in Philly.

This Kensington restaurant comes from the same team behind Zahav, so it’s no surprise you’ll start your night here with about a dozen vegetable-based mezze like stewed beets and sweet pears, pickled celery root, and bright green gigante bean piyaz all tossed into some small metallic cups. It’s pretty much the best paint palette ever, but instead of a bunch of acrylics, you get vegetables served to you in a way that makes you feel like you’re tasting them for the first time. And like Zahav, they have the fluffiest pita and best hummus in town. 

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Outside of the tray of starters, there are a few other things you should order, or you’ll have deep regrets watching other tables dive in. One of them is the tuna shishlik, which consists of thick juicy cubes of fish with perfect grill lines—all smothered in a peppery chile-based sauce. When you come with a bunch of your friends or a handful of strangers you bribed because switching your preference to six guests got you an earlier reservation, go for the large branzino filled with ginger and tomatoes for $112. And always end your meal with the creamy brown sugar soft serve that’s so creamy that we’d eat even it when the temperature dips below freezing. 

Outside of the servers rocking Hawaiian-style shirts, you can tell from the paper lanterns dangling from the ceiling and neon signs on the wall that this is a place where you can hang out with some friends and not take things too seriously. That being said, you should save it for a birthday or a special occasion where nobody cares too much about having to pay $50 for mains. 

It’s also a great spot for vegetarians because, thanks to the excellent salatim, you can come here and not have to worry about getting that sad broccoli dish or a dry veggie burger that looks like it’s made out of sponge. That's just another reason why we love Laser Wolf, and why our speech keeps getting longer by the day. 

Food Rundown

Salatim

This tray of veggies comes with things like Turkish celery root, Yemenite potato salad, and pears and beets. It’s so good that, if this was the only thing they sold, we’d still want to come back weekly. You’ll snack on them throughout the entire meal all the way up to plopping them in takeout squares (if you have any leftovers).

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Date-Harissa Wings

Like every form of meat here, these wings have spent some time on the grill. They’re coated in a syrupy harissa peppery sauce that’s flavorful enough to make you forget about the accompanying tehina ranch. Since they give you a good amount of salatim, only order these if you have a burning desire to eat wings.

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Tuna Shishlik

This thick hunk of tuna comes coated in peppery green chili sauce. And these ruby-bellied chunks of fish are the best thing to come off the grill here.

Sunrise Sunset Cocktail

If you’re looking to drink a cocktail, any of their juice-based drinks would work—including their Sunrise Sunset. It’s an amped-up tequila sunrise that uses salted beets and beet grenadine to give it a refreshingly earthy kick. If they froze this beverage, we’re sure they could sell it as water ice and put Rita’s out of business.

Brown Sugar Soft Serve

This vanilla soft serve is smooth, creamy, and comes topped with pistachio rice puffs that give it a little crunch. The only problem with the sour cherries floating around is that we’d like a jar full of them, please.

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