The Other Critics

‘Prone to Sogginess’ Crusts Undermine Birra’s Best Pizza Efforts; Zento Puts Forth a ‘Serious Menu’ of Sushi

• In a rather fruitless, one-bell review, Craig LaBan gives Birra’s Gordon Dinerman “plenty of credit for vision” for bringing his “pizzeria remake” to the “thirsty masses of tattooed hipsters” that congregate on “trendy East Passyunk,” but not much else. “Giant head-on prawns… bathed in anchovy butter” were “promising,” but not so much to offset the “limited success of the menu.” LaBan blames quick-rise dough for the pizzeria’s “one-dimensionally crunchy” and “prone to sogginess” crusts. Though the kitchen is “perfectly capable,” the core of the problem, he writes, are “recipes in need of serious tweaking.” [Inquirer]

• At the “slick little sushi/sake bar” Zento, Adam Erace learns that the ramen isn’t ready yet, but a bowl of miso soup “upgraded with hunks of succulent king crab” not only turned out to be the “next best thing,” it “did not disappoint.” Steamed dumplings “did their appetite-whetting duty,” but the ceviche he “wasn’t so crazy about.” A “serious menu of sushi, sashimi and maki” made up for the other missteps. [Courier-Post]

‘Prone to Sogginess’ Crusts Undermine Birra’s Best Pizza