Today I return to two restaurants for second bites: Maxwell’s Speakeasy + Lounge, a St. Helens neighborhood restaurant with a new owner, chef and menu, and Zara Mediterranean Cuisine, a downtown Tacoma restaurant newly opened in August. Read more »
Lucky us, the diners who like to eat out in South Sound. For the last three months, diners have been regaled with the opening of many restaurants with interesting concepts new to Tacoma.
The two most notable openings were the July debut of Social Bar & Grill on the Foss Waterway and the August introduction of Marrow Kitchen Bar on Sixth. Both ambitious restaurants boosted my optimism in Tacoma’s eating landscape and merited favorable praise here and here last month.
Then came the announcement of Zara in the corner space at 15th and Pacific that sat dormant two years too long after Sea Grill closed in 2009.
Zara held promise: It sounded well defined, with a brand-new concept for Tacoma –Eastern Mediterranean cuisine with accents from Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Greece. It also seemed a shining companion to neighboring Pacific Grill, one of Tacoma’s finest restaurants and a personal favorite. Zara seemed perched to invigorate downtown when it officially opened Aug. 19.
But three visits left me wanting more. Here is where Zara faltered during my visits: food execution. Read more »
The sign is up, the health and liquor inspections have passed and Zara Mediterranean Cuisine is ready to open in downtown Tacoma next Friday, Aug. 19, on Pacific Avenue in the space that Sea Grill vacated in March 2009.
The Mediterranean restaurant will serve what sounds to be straightforward interpretations of Eastern Mediterranean cuisine. What I found most interesting is that the restaurants will serve shawarma. What’s that? A rotating tower of meat slowly cooked on a vertical grill. Shawarma is the Arabic name for the vertically roasted meat dish. Read more »