I'm from the DC area and last time I was up visiting my friend in philly we went to this new restaurant by his house on south street called Sonam. We had a really good experience there and vowed that the next time I came up to visit that we would go back to try the other menu offerings.
Well, this past weekend I was back up in philly (with the girlfriend) and, in addition to hitting John's Roast Pork to quench my cheesesteak and italian pork cravings, we went back to Sonam as promised. The first time we went to Sonam the restaurant had only been open for about one week so I was unsure how they would be fairing almost 2 and a half months later. Im happy to report that this place now seems to be firing on all cylinders. There are already new menu offerings and the food was even better than I remembered it.
We went to dinner there on Saturday night and the place was pretty busy. The crowd was very eclectic, with 20 something hipsters seated beside a group of women in their 60s, and everything in between. The servers at Sonam are top notch. They know the menu inside and out and are very quick to refill water, clear empty dishes, and offer suggestions. In addition to the great service, the kitchen seems to have the timing pretty much perfect. One of the problems I have with going to tapas style restaurants is the tendency for the kitchen to turn out a crapflood of plates all at the same time, overwhelming you with food. This is definitely not the case at Sonam, where there seems to be a consistent, yet timely arrival of food.
Now onto the food. That night the chef had just started a new special, a falafel pizza. At first I was a little unsure about how that would work out but our server seemed pretty adamant that it was worth getting so we ordered it. Boy am I happy we did. The falafel pizza is a pizza with very thin (we're talking almost cracker thin here) crust made out of "crushed" falafel balls. It was topped with goat cheese, some sort of delicious chicken pieces, microgreens, some other veggies, and this devine balsamic glaze. This dish was so good! I highly recommend that you order it if you go!
Next up was the wild boar. This was served in a cup, marinated in a blood orange sauce with black truffles, some creme fraiche on the side and the most delicious chips ive ever had! The chips were drizzled with a white truffel oil and honestly, i could eat an entire bag without flinching. We were instructed to put some of the creme fraiche onto the chips and then top them with the wild boar mixture. One word: devine. Admittedly, the gf and I were nervous about ordering the boar bc we were expected some "gamey" qualities to the meat. This was definitely not the case... I'm not sure which dish I liked better, this or the falafel pizza... both were fantastic.
Because we had such a good experience with it last time we went we reordered the hamachi nachos. The presentation was a bit different this time around but the nachos were just as good if not better. I think the pico de gallo oil that's drizzled over the nachos packed a bit more punch this time and I think that's what made the dish even better this time around.
We also ordered the smore's, seafood sliders (phenomenal), italian pork egg rolls (tastes just like a tony luke's pork sammich), and the open face ravioli (such a cool presentation). Not one of them failed to please.
For dessert, we had the banana's foster and the strawberry shortcut. both rocked but i definitely preferred the banana's foster. disclaimer: im a sucker for bananas.
Overall I think this experience was even better than the first time around. It's gonna be hard for me to go somewhere else the next time I come up and visit but I think ill have to force myself to do so, if only for the sake of variety. haha. If you haven't been yet I highly suggest you make a reservation this weekend and go. We don't have a place like this in DC (that's serves such an eclectic style of tapas), especially not one that is a byob like Sonam. I brought a 2004 Bodegas Castano Solanera with me and I think it was a perfect compliment to the food. I hope this place stays around for a while.