Northshore Magazine

Northshore November 2019

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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NORTHSHOREMAG.COM 16 NOVEMBER 2019 Zuma Boston feels more like an event than a restaurant. From the faux-grass wall at the entrance, inviting the first of many Instagram moments, to the three open kitchens spread throughout the soaring space, there's buzz everywhere. Chairs are padded in jewel tones, columns evoking giant stalks of bamboo march up the walls, and a DJ spins hip music in a booth made of monkeypod wood. But for all the high design, this is a spot that takes service and food very seriously, from pristine seafood to truffles—a lot of truffles. Truffles make an appearance in dishes from all three kitchens, which each handle a different style of Japanese cooking. There's a sushi kitchen, a traditional kitchen, and a robata counter, which employs a Japanese charcoal grill. So you can find truffles on everything from sashimi to steak. It's just one way Zuma wears its luxury with pride. The menu is patterned off a Japanese "izakaya," a pub-style restaurant where people snack on small plates while enjoying drinks. While traditional izakayas are typically casual and inexpensive, Zuma clearly has another idea in mind—even the ice in the Japanese Old Fashioned, which is made with Suntory Toki whisky, is fancy, with the name of the THE MENU Appetizer Maguro no tataki $20 Entrée Ainame no koumi yaki to kousou $39 Dessert Zuma Delux Dessert Platter E AT + D R I N K dressing, and spicy yellowtail sashimi topped with green chili relish, ponzu, and thin slices of pickled garlic. All the portions are gener- ously sized for two; a serving of the delectable soft-shell crab, moist and delicately tempura fried, is a whole good-sized crab, served on a bed of lightly dressed arugula with a bright, spicy wasabi cream sauce. Snacks are followed by a selection of raw dishes, beautifully plated and creatively seasoned. Beef tataki, a sliver of raw meat topped with a truffle slice and wrapped around sticks of pickled daikon radish, is a surprising and delightful mixture of flavors and textures, while an unctuous tuna tartare, served with fried lotus root and rice crackers, is addictively decadent. A pristine platter of sushi and sashimi is served with rare Yukimuro Snow Aged Soy Sauce. Available exclusively at Zuma, which Clockwise from left, sliced seared tuna with chili daikon and ponzu sauce, chawan mushi with exotic fruits, jumbo tiger prawn with yuzu pepper, the interiors are ultra luxe. restaurant frozen into each giant cube. With three kitchens and many different options, it can be hard to choose. So your best bet may be the omakase menu. Omakase means "I trust you" in Japanese, and at Zuma, it represents a 10- to 12-course tasting menu that hopscotches around the cooking styles, showcasing some of the restaurant's most popular dishes. In izakaya style, plates are meant to be shared, so the Premium Omakase is served family style. It starts with a selection of cold dishes and small bites—picture a mound of steamed spinach tossed with a thick sesame PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF ZUMA, BY JAMES SHEARE (INTERIOR)

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