By Allison M. at 2016-10-10
4 stars for Korean-Chipotle for their great service, solid food, and bang for your buck.
Service: Of the several times I have come to Zzaam, the place hasn't been super busy and the servers are always more than happy to suggest toppings, sauces, or just be a friendly face. Definitely let them know if it's your first time there!
Food: Not super authentic Korean food, but it can satisfy a pseudo-bibimbap craving. I have gotten the rice bowl everytime I visit which comes with a choice of protein and 6 toppings! The bulgogi is pretty delicious and I don't have any complaints about the toppings. I do wish there wasn't a limit to the topping selection, which is something J-Kogi offers.
$: A small rice bowl is about $5 and a large rice bowl is about $7 and it is definitely filling! For the amount of food you get, it's a pretty good bargain.
By Lisa L. at 2016-09-18
My kind of easy, tasty food place. First, just park right out front, it's for their customers!
I love all vegi/side dishes they have with rice. But I wish it's like the picture showed, lunch box style, instead of a round bowl, didn't affect the taste though.
I'd love to try dumplings, ramen, burrito next time.
By Thiago O. at 2016-07-27
If you love Chipotle this is the place for you! It's just like Chipotle except everything is Korean. I've eaten here over 10 times so let me tell ya, I've got the low down on this place:
1. If you get the traditional Korean toppings on your bowl they will be delicious but you might get terrible farts and a rumbling stomach the next day (although this only happens 50% of the time, odd)
2. Beware the egg it will cost $1, but on the upside it will somehow significantly improve the flavor of the meal.
3. Sake Bombs (rice alcohol) are a fun and inexpensive way to get tipsy with your friends
4. The Korean Burrito is actually surprisingly awesome
It's all priced pretty well so you can eat there often on a budget if you want. Pretty sure this place is going to continue to open new locations in the future.
By Joy B. at 2016-11-13
I was visiting family and honestly did not expect Richmond to have a "Korean Chipotle," as my brother-in-law described it. Upon arriving, I realized this was a "bibimbap" (mixed bowl) place. I am from Ellicott City where Korean food is plentiful and we still do not have a restaurant like this. I was impressed! I love tofu, so I got tofu, vegetables bowl, while the rest of the family got spicy chicken and bulgogi. after inhaling line, I got a chance to taste theirs, and I admit the bulgogi bowl tastes much better than tofum. I hope this place continues to do well so I can get my Korean fix when I visit again.
By Donn V. at 2016-12-09
I have been to the Carytown location and the new Midlothian location. At the Carytown location I had the rice bowl with pork belly. Today at the Midlothian location I had the Korean street ramen with spicy broth and an egg (it came with a side of rice and kimchi). The food is not bad. Just that it seems something is missing after having eaten here twice. I don't think they put enough protein in their food. They need to balance the meat to vegetable ratio. Service was great at both locations. They are efficient enough and are friendly and helpful in explaining any menu items.
By Canon H. at 2016-10-20
I was already addicted, then they threw in "Happy days" which is happy hour from 12-6pm daily. $3 for any draft they have. SOLD!!!
By Mark R. at 2016-05-11
I love this place. It has all the right mixture of a great asian fusion restaurant with fast food concept. Someone said "Korean Chiptole" and that is true. The owner is aiming for that but making it better with Korean style meat, toppings and sauce. This is better than chipotle for the following reasons:
- Korean style pork, kalbi and chicken have more flavor than just hot or grilled or pulled
- Kimchee adds tons of flavor replacing the need for pickles, hot sauce and lettuce and it adds texture into every bite
- Korean inspired sauces are going to have some serious kick and flavor also
- There's beer, wine, sake and soju; what else can you ask for?
It's not your authentic Korean food so don't go expecting that kind of experience here. This is after all asian fusion, fast food style cuisine with local craft beer. There's live band playing at times and outdoor seating with a Parking Lot for your convenience.
They will be expanding their menu to include Korean Style Street Ramen which I was privileged to have experienced in while in town. So what are you waiting for?
By Jin K. at 2016-07-19
Came here with a friend today and left very satisfied! Got a small, bulgogi, rice bowl with six different Korean toppings for less than $6! I didn't know what sauce(s) to get so I asked the worker what he recommended. I forgot what he told me they were but he combined two of his favorite sauces and they were delicious! You can add a fried egg for $1 too.
Friendly staff, fresh ingredients, good prices, and lots of seating. Will definitely come again!
By Kayla W. at 2016-04-18
This place is smart. I've been here a few times for lunch and you really can't beat the portions, price and conveinence. They have their own parking lot! In Carytown, this is huge. They've also just finished their patio outdoor which is half covered and looks great. On my trip today I was excited to see a "dog seating" area outside (away from the main patio seating). Again, smart!
The food is good and you get to create your own bowl or burrito so as long as you pick things you like... It's pretty fail proof! I agree with a previous mention that its like a Korean Chipotle. So you might not choose this for a first date but its a cool spot, with beer and wine to boot.
By Laura L. at 2016-05-03
Korean Chipotle... yep, sounds about right.
Rice bowls, noodle soups, baos, and dumplings are all available here. We opted for a build your own rice bowl and to me it was just okay. You have the option for meat, up to 5 veggies/add ons, and a sauce. We got the pork, added a few vegs as well as a fried egg (I would skip this. it is already pre-fried and it was just cold/rubbery) and one of their sauces. Overall it wasn't all that memorable but I did appreciate that they had brown rice available and the meat was nicely seasoned. Towards the bottom of the bowl everything got kinda wet from probably the veggies and it was just not that appetizing anymore. Also got their bao which was standard, nothing too special.
Several beers on tap and a lot of space, probably pretty good for large groups for a get together. The employees were pretty friendly and everything was really clean. I don't know if I would come back in a huge hurry, but I wouldn't cross them off my radar.
By Lauri W. at 2016-03-31
Popped into Zzaam earlier for lunch (pronounced ZOM). I find myself in Carytown very often and instead of going to my tried and true favorites, I decided to try something new today. I'm a huge Chipotle fiend so any fast casual restaurant that's similar to Chipotle, I'm all in.
The service at Zzaam is great. They were patient with me and guided me through the process of choosing my bowl. I chose a small bowl with brown rice and beef. They let me taste the spicy chicken and beef. Although both were good, I went with beef. I was super surprised that we could add in 6 veggies. I actually didn't know where to start. After salivating a bit, I ended up choosing bean sprouts, carrots, lettuce, black beans, and something else that I don't remember. We topped it all off with a mixture of ginger and teriyaki sauce.
I sat down to devour it all on their happenin' outdoor patio. The bowl was good, but next time I think I would add some different ingredients. I wasn't really feeling the teriyaki sauce. It was really sweet and I tend to shy away from mixing sweet with savory in my meals.
Overall, really cool local spot to hang out and grab lunch!
By Ryan P. at 2016-04-02
I have been here a few times this year and so far never subpar. Simple idea but unique take on the fast, casual restaurant trend.
I order the pork belly every single time, it is very good. If you have never had it you are missing out. They have a decent beer selection and patio area.
By Timmy T. at 2016-04-15
If Chipotle had a Korean cousin, this restaurant would be their best friend. It's a fast casual dining experience located right in the heart of Carytown. You first start off by choosing your base, either a rice bowl, a burrito, or a noodle based (I think there were two kinds). We got the brown rice bowl and you can then select your choice of protein: beef, chicken, pork, spicy pork or tofu. We got the spicy pork and then you can pick up to six vegetable ingredients/toppings. We also topped it off with a fried egg which was pre made and looked chewy.. you can definitely skip that. Then after all that, you finally get to pick your sauces and we chose the Zzam sauce of course which has a really nice to kick to it but the flavors didn't really wow me.
The spicy pork was just okay and our overall bowl was also just A-OK. It's pretty on par with the other Korean fast casual restaurant: Gogi BiBimBap. I was hoping for this place to really kick it up a notch as far as Korean food and especially their flavors but it wasn't there for me. We also got two buns but they gave us pork instead of chicken.
I like the vibe and decor though as it's very Richmond and you'll see when you come. Great location and the prices are fair but I probably won't be in any rush to come back here.
By Paul M. at 2016-05-31
I ordered some Zzaam the other night. The taste was fresh, and the service was quick for delivery to my neighborhood. Everything in the chicken bowl was nicely portioned, and flavors in the bowl went together nicely. The flavors subsided when it came to the soup, unfortunately. I'm a huge soup lover, so this may be me being picky. I have heard the comparison to Chipotle, which I can understand. I am just glad some fast casual Asian places keep popping up around town. I would like to give some other bowl combinations a try- hard to judge a place like this off one visit.
By Allison I. at 2016-03-02
Came to grab quick dinner with my boyfriend and ordered two bowls: one noodle bowl, one rice bowl. Their prices are fair but 'you get what you pay for' so don't expect overflowing chipotle bowls despite the similar concept. Ordering food is straight forward and exactly the same as chipotle but this time you can get seafood pancakes and runny eggs. They also serve alcohol which is actually really cool.
Cons: They are quite reluctant to give more than a small portion of any protien and have itty-bitty tongs to grab meat and sides, so I was pretty dissapointed there. Overall, I'd come back but JKogi is still better.
By Richie W. at 2016-01-22
This is like a Korean Chipotle!
You walk down the line picking rice or noodles, then meat, 6 veggies and sauce. All for a reasonable $7 or so.
I had a rice bowl with spicy pork which was good. My co-worker had a beef noodle bowl with broth, which actually looked better than mine.
They also serve beer. I am not sure what time close, but it seems a good place to stop late at night after a few drinks in Carytown.
Downside is the parking lot. Not many spaces and they are really tight. But I guess it is nice they have any off-street spaces considering the location (Carytown).
By Tommy B. at 2016-01-18
Zzaam is pretty good. A fair comparison I've heard is that it's sort of like an Asian Chipotle, minus the salmonella and basic white girls.
They are a Korean fast casual dining spot in Carytown that replaced the once longstanding Carytown Cleaners. They offer a variety of hot bowl options, but my favorite being the dolsot, or "hot bibimbap" dish. It comes with your choice of white or brown rice, meat, five vegetables and sauce. You can make it as mild or spicy as you like.
The price is pretty fair, and the have a Coca Cola Freestyle machine so that's pretty rad. Personally, I like Gogi Bibimbap better, but I digress. B+
By Andy G. at 2016-01-08
I really liked it! The service was very quick and the food was very very inexpensive!
It works in the same way as Chipotle/Qdoba/Subway.
I had the bowl with the bulgogi, rice, cilantro, beans, corn, carrots, zucchini, and teriyaki sauce. This was all under $8.00.
I took one star off because I was hoping the people who worked here would be a bit more helpful. (I had no idea what I was doing and it would have been helpful to have had some input from the employees.)
The place was packed also, which was a good sign. Sometimes, if I go to a place and it's completely empty, it's a bad sign.
By Aubriel R. at 2015-12-19
S-D-I-Y (somewhat doing it yourself) restaurants either make it or break it for me.
Make it if it's easy, helps my indecision, and any ingredient combo tastes good.
Break it if it gives me more anxiety from too many choices and not all ingredient combos taste very well.
It was a break it for me at Zzaam for those very reasons.
The atmosphere also killed it for me. Is it a Korean restaurant? Is it Paula Deen's Kitchen? IDK, the decor didn't match the food being served. Does anyone else get peeved about that? Not that I'm expecting K-Pop to play in the backroom or calligraphy on the walls. I just wasn't expecting rustic wood plank tables and antique, Americana signage everywhere. Anyone else feel that way?
I hope this establishment makes it. Carytown is an A-location. But I will curb my Korean food cravings at JKogi & Gogi Bibimbap.
By John M. at 2016-01-19
It's the Korean version of Chipotle. While it was a Saturday night and busy the wait was not that long.
I had the noodles with broth then got to select my toppings. I was informed that a fried egg was a must so I included it. The noodles were properly prepared, there was an abundance of broth bit was good. A nice array of toppings to choose from.
Very reasonably priced and they do have an ABC license.