Move over Brooklyn! Laser Wolf has roots in Philly’s Olde Kensington neighborhood. The Michael Solomanov restaurant has become destination dining for vegetarians and meat lovers alike.
Imagine Zahav simplified and you have Laser Wolf, Chef Michael Solomonov’s super popular restaurant in Olde Kensington. If you’re not familiar with the neighborhood, it’s right next to Fishtown on the other side of the “El” tracks that run on Front Street.
Solomonov originally gained fame for Zahav, for which he’s won numerous James Beard awards including Outstanding Chef, before opening restaurants including Abe Fisher, Dizengoff, Federal Donuts, and Goldie. He opened the original Laser Wolf in 2020 and a Brooklyn location two years later.
As with his other restaurants, Solomonov channeled his Israeli roots when he conceptualized Laser Wolf as an Israeli-style grill. Having been regulars at Zahav when it was new as well as at now-closed Percy Street Barbecue, we were curious to give it a try. Plus, we like meat.
Dining at Laser Wolf
It’s difficult not to compare Laser Wolf to Zahav. Similar Israeli-inspired elements are here albeit in a bare bones casual space. After all, Laser Wolf’s menu, with its salatim starters, hummus, fresh pita and a variety of grilled meats and veggies, isn’t entirely different from Zahav’s. We can’t say the same about the dining experience.
Meals at Laser Wolf, a play on the butcher’s name in Fiddler on the Roof, begin the minute diners sit down in the restaurant’s vaulted warehouse space. That’s when a circular silver array of 10 ever-changing salatim (Israeli for salad) magically appear along with excellent freshly baked pita as one would expect at a CookNSolo run kitchen.
Our Meal at Laser Wolf
Dining with friends, we started our Laser Wolf meal with pita and hummus plus bowls topped with colorful items that included pickled green tomatoes with fennel, mushrooms with swiss chard and sour cherry, kale babaganoush and cucumbers with harissa. Tasting them all was the highlight of our meal.
The grilled second course felt almost anticlimactic after our initial Israeli smorgasbord. But, to be fair, the flavorful skewers of meat and fish cooked over a humble, charcoal grill still satisfied us. We especially enjoyed the charred and flavorful whole trout and the barbecued sirloin shislik.
We consider our first Laser Wolf dinner to be practice. When we we return, we’ll probably splurge on bigger ticket items like 50-day dry aged ribeye and Iraqi BBQ short ribs.
Laser Wolf, which manages to satisfy herbivores, carnivores and general fans of Middle Eastern cuisine equally, gets a big thumbs up from us. It’s a fun place to gather, eat good food and enjoy the company of friends.
Laser Wolf is located at 1301 N Howard Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122, USA.
Laser Wolf FAQs
Making an online reservation is the easiest option and can be done via the restaurant’s website or Resy. Reservations open at 11am on the 1st of the month for the following month.
Grilled items include pita, salatim and dessert. Current prices range from $37 (veggie dishes) to $150 (dry-aged porterhouse for two). As always, prices are subject to change.
No. This restaurant automatically adds a 20% service charge to the final bill.
Laser Wolf doesn’t have a dress code. We recommend smart casual attire.
Taking a SEPTA train to the Girard station is the easiest option since parking is challenging in both Fishtown and Kensington. You can also drive or take an Uber to Laser Wolf. If you decide to drive, the neighborhood has free street parking. However, be sure to check the signs for potential parking restrictions.
Hungry for More in Philadelphia?
Check out our guides to Philadelphia restaurants, Philadelphia coffee shops and Philadelphia food favorites. Then check out our reviews of Kalaya and Pizzeria Beddia.
About the Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.
Original Publication Date: April 18, 2023