Khmer Kitchen | South Philadelphia is loaded with Southeast Asian choices, with the cuisines of Laos, Indonesia and Malaysia all well represented. Khmer Kitchen is the new kid on the block, dishing up Cambodian cuisine in a small storefront on the corner of Sixth and Morris. The warm dining room is staffed with friendly folks who are more than happy to walk you through the vegetable-heavy menu. Options range from the familiar spring rolls and papaya salad to prah-hok-kahteeh, a chile-topped, caramelized pork dish simmered with prahok, a fermented fish paste, presented with selection of crisp raw vegetables. Khmer Kitchen is offering a $7.95 lunch sampler to customers hip to the spicy-sour goodness of Cambodian cuisine. Hours: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. daily except Monday. 1700 S. Sixth St., 215-755-2222.
Miss Rachel’s Pantry | Rachel Klein, a.k.a Miss Rachel, has been heading up a vegan catering and meal-delivery service for nearly five years. She’s recently expanded into a downright adorable space (pictured) on West Passyunk that serves as a cafe during the day, but the real excitement here are the Farmhouse Table dinners Miss Rachel hosts Saturdays (and Fridays as well come fall). Limited to a cozy 12 seats around a custom-built table, these $45 prix-fixe meals feature four courses showcasing the gems of the season. Think corn chowder with chanterelles, ricotta-macademia dumplings with summer ragout, and cashew cheesecake with fresh fruit. Reservations are required and BYO cocktailing is encouraged with mixers on hand like ginger-lemon-pear and cucumber-lemon-lime-mint. Hours: Farmhouse Table Dinners 7 p.m. Saturdays. 1732 W. Passyunk Ave., 215-798-0053, missrachelspantry.com.
El Soto Grocery | Setting up shop in a long-neglected storefront on 15th and Morris, this shiny new Mexican grocery is putting out some solid sandwiches, a south-of-the-border-meets-South-Philly menu made up of tortas, hoagies and Italian Market roasted lamb sandwiches served on Sarcones bread. La Colombe coffee is being brewed and served alongside a selection of Jarritos soda, produce and tortillas. 1649 S. 15th St., 215-278-7831.
Taking over the short-lived Sticks and Stones space, Noir (1909 E. Passyunk Ave., 267-319-1678) has opened with an all-over-the-map menu covering everything from Montreal poutine to coconut shrimp and turkey Milanese. … Gordon Dinerman has expanded his South Philly pizza spot Birra to Old City digs with the newly minted Barra (239 Chestnut St.). Housed in the former Rocchino’s, Barra’s menu takes the popular pizzas and antipasti from Birra and throws a few larger plates into the mix. Expect cocktails to sub in for craft beer; it is called Barra, after all.
Photo of Miss Rachel's Pantry by Jason Bleecher