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Zama

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barryg Sep 17, 2010 10:08 AM

by Rittenhouse Sq. Laban gave it 3 bells but haven't heard a peep on this board.

How is it?

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    FattyFatMan RE: barryg Sep 17, 2010 11:33 AM

    In my opinion, Zama is good but not great. A notch above most other sushi in Philadelphia. They do a good miso black cod. The sushi rolls are inventive. The fish is pretty high quality. The table top boiling tofu is a nice gimmick. The restaurant has nice decor. All in all, not bad, but also not a place that is going to blow you away.

    5 Replies
    1. re: FattyFatMan
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      barryg RE: FattyFatMan Sep 17, 2010 11:59 AM

      I'm guessing Morimoto is better? Where else has great Sushi downtown or nearby?

      1. re: barryg
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        sylviag RE: barryg Sep 17, 2010 12:51 PM

        We found Zama uneven. Some things were very good; others were not. We're not rushing back.

        On the other hand, Doma, on Callowhill Street, is excellent. Small, attractive, and now very busy. They do take reservations. Really interesting menu that varies according to what is fresh.
        One of the best places around - highly recommended. We're not up to Morimoto prices.

        1. re: barryg
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          cwdonald RE: barryg Sep 17, 2010 01:52 PM

          I have been to Zama twice. Good both times. Try to be inventive. I stick to the sushi and the soups. Avoid the main courses. IMNSHO the best thing about this restaurant is their Japanese micro brew selection, including brands that you cannot get anywhere else in Philadelphia.

          I also like Zento in Old City. Small, BYO, but consistently fresh fish.

          1. re: cwdonald
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            Buckethead RE: cwdonald Sep 17, 2010 06:38 PM

            Zento is my favorite sushi in the city, Uzu around the corner is really good too. So is Izumi. I'd rank Zama on about the same level as Izumi.

          2. re: barryg
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            FattyFatMan RE: barryg Sep 20, 2010 10:28 AM

            @ barryg

            I agree, downtown I don't think that there is anything better than Zama, besides Morimoto. Not that that is saying much (or that Zama is great): downtown Philly is just not great for sushi.

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          PhillyA RE: barryg Sep 17, 2010 01:54 PM

          I've been there once for lunch and once for dinner and LOVED it both times. However, I didn't get sushi either time, so I can't comment on that. I loved the yuzu chicken.

          1. joluvscards RE: barryg Sep 20, 2010 06:04 PM

            Went once, underwhelmed. Never went back. Significantly better sushi at Mikado in Cherry Hill

            1. phillybakingqueen RE: barryg Sep 20, 2010 07:02 PM

              I have eaten at Zama several times. The specialty roles are fantastic. The chef's selection of sushi/sashimi was good, not great -- every one of the maki roles had mayo in it, and the fish was good, but what I consider standard. The service has been a B at best, and at least three waiters know absolutely nothing about sake. I would be inclined to give it two bells, but I'm not CLB!

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                pie22 RE: barryg Sep 28, 2010 07:57 AM

                i have been there twice as well.
                i think the sushi on the whole is all done well. i love the spicy salmon maki roll (they add shallots and something else that makes it pop in your mouth). they don't over do the rice on the sushi so you can actually taste the fish and not just rice.
                both times i've gone without reservation so they force us to sit at the sushi bar and the chefs don't really speak unless spoken to.
                the miso cod is a very tasty dish and the edamame with mixed salts is a nice change of pace, a little overrated but the wasabi salt is a clear winner.
                the wait staff is either really knowledgeable or complete newbs.
                on a side note - the bathroom signs are confusing - its just pictures of 2 people in different hats...i couldn't tell the difference and i am definitely not alone on that one...so for future reference the first one from the steps is male and the one in the back by the wall is female.
                the place isn't morimoto amazing but worth checking out in my opinion.

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