If you’re looking for a place to eat that has a good staff, is reasonably priced and most of all, delicious, then go to Sama Zama on Westport Road for lunch or dinner. They’re a new restaurant – so new in fact, that their website isn’t up yet, but don’t let this deter you. Go to Sama Zama, order an appetizer, an entree and a dessert. Don’t forget the tea. I didn’t even like tea before I tried theirs.
This Japanese restaurant first opened on Jan. 17, and you can tell that it’s new, in a good way. The interior is fresh and bright, with Japanese magazines spread across the single shelf that runs the length of a brick wall. The brick wall is the exterior of the building next to Sama Zama and is the second oldest building in Westport. It’s mostly bare, and gives Sama Zama an aged look which compliments the modern feel it has. Potted white orchids can be found in the corners of the small, one room restaurant with a bright orange wall separating the kitchen from the customers.
Sama zama means variety in English, and that one word describes the food there perfectly. Out of the six dishes I ordered, none of them tasted the same. The only dish I did not like was the onigiri, which is a ball of sticky rice with bits to pork in the center. It sounded delicious on the menu and looked amazing on the plate, but after tasting it I found out that I personally don’t like sticky rice. I much preferred the dumplings and the garlic green beans.
Ordering two appetizers, three entrees, one dessert and a pot of tea may seem like a lot, but between my mom and myself (yes, I go to dinner with my mother) we were easily able to clean each plate- except the onigiri. They’re small plates, and each one was roughly five dollars except for the shrimp teriyaki which was $10. Six dishes and one pot of tea roughly evens out to $40, not including the tip.
The service was very good, and our waiter was very well informed with what he was serving us. He also let us in on the Happy Hour, which got us two appetizers for $4 each since we were there before six o’clock. My only complaint was the constant pulsating music that was played in the background, but after a few minutes I could tune it out.
I can’t wait to go back to Sama Zama and order a new round of small plates. There are countless possibilities to choose from, and I could easily eat there 10 times without ordering the same thing twice. I’m really looking forward to eating real Ramen noodles and comparing them to the 25 cent packaged ones from the grocery store. If theirs are half as good as the shrimp teriyaki, then it will be an easy decision.