Had a dinner rendezvous in Harvard Sq last night and on an impulse decided to try Z Square. It was incredibly busy around 8pm and I can tell it's already pretty popular. But I'm at a loss to figure out what the concept is here and whether it's trying to be a "serious" restaurant or just a casual quick lunch/dinner place like so many others around the Square. The decor makes it look like it's shooting for somewhat more upscale but the clientele (lots of college kids in sweats, families with kids running around, etc.) makes it feel more like eating at a downscale cafe.
The food was mediocre, at best - my swordfish kebabs were badly in need of some flavor, with greasy onion rings scattered on top. DC's skirt steak was a pretty straightforward dish but not very exciting, served on a bed of plain rice. For a $20 entree I would have expected a bit more. In fact the food here is no better (and possibly worse than) places like John Harvard's where entrees are half the price. Grafton Street (as much as I loathe the place) has far better food in about the same price range. On the plus side the cocktails are somewhat interesting, though the martinis we tried were awfully sweet.
Hard to tell what this place is aiming for and whether they are going to last with weak food that's just on the high end of a student budget. Though it is Harvard Sq we're talking about - quality of the food is hardly the most important thing there.