Finally made it to Za, which opened this week on Mass Ave in East Arlington. It's next to the Arlington Town Diner; if you're coming from Cambridge on Mass Ave and you see Flora or the Capitol Theater, you've gone too far. This is the new restaurant from the chefs who brought you EVOO in Inman Square.
Menu is short and simple. There were three house specialty pizzas, as well as a make-your-own option with a good list of toppings. $6 for tomato/mozzarella, most toppings were $1. There were also four salads on the menu, one special pizza & special salad for the day, and a good list of wine & beer, as well as freshly brewed iced tea.
I had a simple pizza - tom, mozz, green peppers, mushrooms, and caramelized onions. Everything tasted very fresh. I thought the pizza had too much sauce, and the crust was thicker than I liked it (I love Napolitano-style thin crusts, like at Figs). I also had an iced tea, which did indeed taste freshly brewed. Total for one was $10.25 plus tip.
I didn't try the salads, but saw several go by. The portions seemed generous and everything passed the visual test (e.g., looked fresh).
Service was very good, and the manager (I assume) came by twice to ask how everything was. When I mentioned that there was a lot of sauce on the pizza, enough for the toppings to slide around a little, he said to just ask for my pizza 'lightly sauced' next time and they'd be happy to oblige.
He also mentioned that they hope to start weekend lunch hours very soon, and they'll decide on weekday lunch after that.
All in all I'd definitely recommend the place; it's one of the best pizza options I've found north of the Charles, and they're very eager to please. I want to go try a salad and to try one of their recommended pizzas (chanterelles, caramelized onions, goat cheese, & one other ingredient that escapes me; $10.50).
I think that's all I have to say. Any questions? :)
ps Za's phone # is 781 316 2334.
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