Some restaurant designers play with light to achieve a look. Some use color.
Jun Aizaki of Crème Design Collective went with maple -- lots of it -- at Zama, the modern Japanese restaurant opening Saturday (12/19) at 128 S. 19th St. (215-568-1027), just north of Rittenhouse Square.
A forest's worth of wooden slats covers the back-lit walls and the booths.
Even the sushi bar up front is maple, sliced from a tree.
Hanging over the sushi bar is a giant rice-paper fish.
It's light, airy, fresh. You, um, wooden know it's the former Loie. (The ATM in the back is gone.)
Chef-owner Hiroyuki "Zama" Tanaka is a veteran of Pod, Morimoto, and Genji at the Ritz Carlton.
Menu is still not quite ready, but rolls are to include a tempura lobster with uni sauce and teriyaki-truffle; yellowtail with jalapeno and chili-mango; seared Kobe beef on sesame-soy wrapped sushi rice with spicy ponzu; and striped bass with citrus-soy and finished with hot sesame oil.
Entrees (only seven, and priced up to $28) will include Kirin Ichiban braised short ribs served with sauteed udon noodles; roasted free-range chicken with grilled maitake and Tokyo scallions; and black cod misoyaki with pickled root vegetables.