Skip To Content

Solomonov’s ‘Laser Wolf’ Restaurant Opens In Philadelphia

Interior of 'Laser Wolf'

Interior of ‘Laser Wolf’ Image by Michael Persico

In Fiddler on the Roof, Lazar Wolf was into Tzeitel.

In Philadelphia, we’re into Laser Wolf.

Named for the wealthy butcher in Fiddler, the newest Israeli eatery from James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Solomonov and partner Steve Cook is serving up charcoal-grilled meats and a rotating menu of salatim – the staple salads of Israel and the Middle East – in their shipudia, Hebrew for a restaurant which serves meat cooked on skewers.

The restaurant, which opened this week in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood, is the eighth restaurant concept from Solomonov and Cook’s CooknSolo group. The pair’s “Israeli village”, as Solomonov has called it, includes the iconic Zahav, hip Federal Donuts, and pitaria Merkaz, which opened in 2019. Andrew Henshaw, Zahav’s longtime chef de cuisine, is overseeing Laser Wolf’s menu.

“This concept actually preceded Zahav,” Cook said. “Back then, we couldn’t have pulled something like this off. I was actually struck the most when we were in Israel for our research trip for our most recent book, Israeli Soul. We ate at so many different shipudiyas. Each one was ultimately all about salads and charcoal, but all were unique with their execution. I remember Mike and I were both so struck by that. That moment was when we felt it was finally the right time to open our own shipudiya in Philly.”

Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook in Israel

Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook in Israel. Image by Michael Persico

Solomonov agreed. “Steve and I wanted to open a shipudiya a long time ago, even before Zahav. Laser Wolf feels like we’re coming full circle. We finally have the confidence to execute such a stripped down concept,” he said.

Meat items at Laser Wolf include Romanian beef kebab, lamb merguez, and chicken shashlik; salatim, served with hummus and pita, might include dill and lentil tabbouleh; the Lybian staple pumpkin chershi; and “not-so-traditional” kale babaganoush.

Drinks focus on citrus-forward cocktails jazzed with Israeli flavors, like the “Salty Lion” with gin, arak, grapefruit, mint and salt, or a “Passion Fruit Cooler” with passion fruit, lime, fresh orange juice and cilantro. Israeli vintages will highlight the wine list.

Veal chops at Laser Wolf.

Veal chops at Laser Wolf. Image by Michael Persico

It’s a good year for lovers of salatim; in June, Breads Bakery owner Gadi Peleg opened Lamalo in New York, where traditional and remixed salatim drive the menu.

For now, Laser Wolf will serve dinner only. Bonus points for the restaurant: In its logo, which features a vulpine head, “Laser Wolf” is rendered in Hebrew characters.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.