Good Eats: Zama Philadelphia

This weekend we spent some time in Philadelphia and got to try out a Japanese restaurant called Zama just off of Rittenhouse Square in Center City.  Generally, I'm skeptical of non-spanish restaurants offering 'small plates' and Asian restaurants serving fusion dishes, but Zama proved me wrong.  Offering traditional Japanese sushi along with some re-imagined classic dishes, Zama served up deliciousness in a modern atmosphere that would be at home right in here in NYC.

Zama's high ratings for food were what first drew me there, but the minimal, wood-lined, space and ceiling that mimicked a koi pond certainly didn't hurt its appeal.  Zama is the perfect place for people who don't know what they want because of its comprehensive small plate menu from both the kitchen and sushi bar.  We ordered plenty of dishes for the table.  The highlights were the house made tofu, wasabi salted edamame, and the kurobuta dumplings.  Sushi-wise, the fish was fresh and the nigiri and maki were well made, but the pieces were significantly smaller than you'd find at a place like Sushi Yasuda.  Just order more than you usually would.  Dessert too was good for people with indecision issues- 3 small desserts for $10.  The mochi ice cream was wonderful.

I'd certainly recommend Zama for foodies in the Philadelphia area.  The place was very busy (make sure you reserve a table, people were getting turned away), and the service was sometimes absent, but tastiness trumped waiters and I can see myself returning in the future.  Check out their website for more information.


128 S. 19th Street

Center City, Philadelphia