Diet & Health

NAMA raw bar is refined, fresh as a coastal breeze – Ashland Tidings

The “mixed six on the fifty percent shell” delivers the chance to flavor many oyster varieties at Ashland’s NAMA. Photo by Sarah Lemon.

Geoduck clam, foreground, is between four kinds of shellfish, as effectively as salmon roe, served in NAMA’s “ice bento box.” Picture by Sarah Lemon.

Mackerel is house-pickled and served with pickled veggies at Ashland’s NAMA. Photograph by Sarah Lemon.

A Hump Island oyster from Alaska is amid the forms recently served at Ashland’s NAMA. Image by Sarah Lemon.

A selection of uncooked oysters are served at Ashland’s new NAMA. Picture by Sarah Lemon.

A split lobster is steamed and chilled for NAMA’s “ice bento box.” Image by Sarah Lemon.

Uncooked sea urchin is served with thinly sliced tomato and shiso leaves, topped with sturgeon roe, on toast at Ashland’s NAMA. Picture by Sarah Lemon.

Any person who’s at any time lamented the scarcity of definitely fresh seafood in the Rogue Valley require glimpse no farther than Ashland’s NAMA.

This new uncooked bar is both as clean as a coastal breeze and as examined and complex as its sister institution, MÄS. Anticipating an antidote to subpar sushi, I tasted household — and an otherworldly realm — in a single chunk at NAMA.

Moon Rock is the signature manufacturer of Clausen Oysters in my hometown of North Bend. Considering the fact that the 40-12 months-previous oyster farm — Oregon’s biggest — was ordered from its founders 4 several years ago by Patrick Glennon and Seth Silverman, extra of these shellfish are served in the region’s dining establishments, instead of delivered abroad. I have loved lots of oysters straight from the resource at Clausen’s retail store and eatery — but never ever raw until finally a latest meal at NAMA.

Explained as sweet and nutty, Moon Rock was the most current addition to NAMA’s oyster lineup which also showcased Washington’s Luna Bella and Shigoku, Alaska’s Hump Island and British Columbia’s famed Kusshi on the evening my companion and I frequented. Simply because the menu improvements weekly, based mostly on freshness and availability, shoppers should not count on certain seafoods. But I hope Moon Rock sticks all over a little bit more time.

Between our “mixed six on the 50 percent shell” ($24), I requested two Moon Rock from the 5 versions — a single apiece for me and my companion. Toasting the initially of so quite a few tantalizing tidbits, we sipped the bivalves from their bowl-shaped shells, chewed, swallowed and breathed sighs of satisfaction.

Sweet, sure briny, indeed impeccably contemporary, indeed! But oysters of this high-quality, dealt with in this way are so much a lot more. Making an attempt to describe them does not actually seize their essence of pure ocean vitality distilled into luscious flesh — with no a trace of grit or stomach.

Refined taste nuances can be discerned among the oyster types, but size and texture element closely into the effects each and every would make on the palate. The smallest specimen, Kusshi, offered a silky swig of saline when the greatest, Hump Island, inundated my mouth in a wave of saltwater, its minerality like sucking on clean, surf-washed pebbles.

Inconceivable, I know. But after you taste it, you get it.

The minerality of Piu Piu dry riesling and Troon’s Pét tanNat, the two semisparkling, beautifully complemented the oysters. As purposeful as its seafood alternatives, NAMA’s wine checklist omits reds that merely wouldn’t increase the cuisine. The heaviest wine we encountered, at the server’s recommendation, was Maloof Picnic Pinot Noir, more carefully resembling a rose with a heady aroma of honey.

Averting flowery language all over their dishes — and considerably verbiage at all — NAMA chefs commonly explain each and every preparation. I necessary only a solitary term — uni — to know that NAMA’s uni toast ($18) was indispensable.

Layered on pillowy white bread were being thinly sliced heirloom tomato and shiso leaves, the latter’s velvety texture underscoring the buttery urchin topped with black and white pearls of sturgeon roe. The composition to begin with looks novel prior to the urchin’s savor — offset by sweet-tart tomato, punctuated by the shiso’s hint of vegetal bitterness — absolutely normally takes influence.

This is the style of summertime, the chef confirmed. We dubbed it a BLT of the sea.

A trio of mollusks — scallop, abalone and geoduck clam — beckoned beneath the menu’s heading “ice bento box.” My associate gravitated to lobster, steamed and split down the middle. But I craved a palate cleanser immediately after the uni, and pickled mackerel ($16) stuffed the invoice.

The chef touted the oily fish as home-fixed — contrary to commercially pickled mackerel in the the greater part of sushi bars — ahead of it’s evenly grilled. Specified the portion of two fillets with a variety of pickled veggies, the dish appeared a superior value. And I was happy that my associate, generally unimpressed with pickles, couldn’t get ample of it. Right after we’d polished off the fish, shaved fennel, carrots, turnips and julienned kombu, he truly drank the juices pooled on the plate.

The fifty percent lobster ($35) afforded a different prospect for enthusiastic consumption. Diners pry morsels from the crustacean’s tail, body and claw without the need of the advantage of specialized resources — except if you depend chopsticks — for the task. A strategically put crack in the claw would greatly assist the typical diner.

Sensing my partner’s uncertainty, I allowed him to tackle the straightforward pickings. But when his hesitation over the claw grew to become obvious, I unceremoniously twisted the appendage off the human body, clenched it involving our cloth napkins and compressed the shell in my fist tricky enough to weaken the joints, where by I could excise the contents. I will have to have been a sea otter in an additional daily life, I explained to him, eyebrows elevated at the prize portions I’d extracted prior to dredging them in herbed mayonnaise and cocktail sauce.

My individual plate, by contrast, was a examine in refinement. Precision knife operate reworked scallop, abalone and geoduck into toothsome ruffles and ribbons. Accompaniments included golden beets, cucumber, Roma tomatoes, herbs and edible blossoms. But the dish ($35) emphasized intriguing texture above rigorous flavor.

The most uncomplicated and recognizable element was at the plate’s centre: a dish of salmon roe — sweet, peachy-pink beads on a cushion of creme fraiche garnished with dill. This sort of a straightforward vintage, these an elemental delicacy stands on its personal innate deserves.

Bringing the meal whole circle, my bento contained two oyster shooters in ponzu. Getting eaten much more heartily than we predicted, my partner and I languidly clinked glasses and leisurely lapped up these last oysters, self-confident they would not be our very last at NAMA.

A 50 {57f679433bdda16678ea619f315c9bc28ff40af1ef9e9f7b6fe14a3c8b72c25f} dozen oysters fees just $6 for the duration of NAMA’s “happy hour,” 4-5 and 9-10 p.m. Restrict a person get per particular person. Reserve on the web at Positioned at 140 Lithia Way, NAMA is open up 4-10 p.m. Wednesday via Sunday.

Tempo Tidbits

Purchase a discounted burger or particular bratwurst in Ashland to help youthful actors.

Sammich has pledged to donate 25{57f679433bdda16678ea619f315c9bc28ff40af1ef9e9f7b6fe14a3c8b72c25f} of its burger and brat earnings Friday, Oct. 8, to the Southern Oregon University Actors Club. The fundraising celebration is established for 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the cafe, 424 Bridge St., which also will host a donation box.

Priced at $8 for the fundraiser, Sammich’s “Da Burg” has been heralded in numerous foods publications as just one of the ideal burgers in the condition and nationwide. With a brick-and-mortar spot, as well as a foods truck, in the Portland location, Sammich was co-founded in 2013 by Melissa McMillan, who has appeared on numerous Meals Network sequence.

A basic formulation with lettuce, onion, special sauce and two styles of cheese, the burger’s common price is $11. Bratwursts charge $7 at the fundraiser.

Open up from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, Sammich expanded and improved out of doors eating lodging in August. Online purchasing and shipping and delivery with DoorDash is out there at


A downtown Medford cafe known for boba tea and Bangkok-model road foodstuff a short while ago extra breakfast dishes — with a Southeast Asian twist.

Noonie’s Boba Tea unveiled its weekday morning menu in mid-September with conventional Thai-type pork and rice soup, pork sticky rice and $5 bowls of rice porridge. Also priced at $5 are breakfast burritos with bacon, sausage or chorizo spiced with Noonie’s chile oil, readily available right until 11 a.m.

Modest bites, including bagels and muffins, complement Noonie’s French push espresso. The comprehensive smoothie and boba tea menu also is available weekdays, commencing at 7 a.m., 149 Central Ave., in close proximity to the Medford library.

With a sister restaurant in Grants Move, 543 N.E. E St., Noonie’s in September shuttered its primary area inside Medford’s Heroes American Cafe. Comply with @nooniesboba on Instagram for hrs, specials and updates.


The next places to eat in August obtained great scores of 100 on their semiannual inspections by Jackson County Environmental Public Wellness:

Luigi’s Italian Sandwiches, Medford Northwest Pizza & Pasta Co., Ashland Osteria La Briccola, Ashland Pizza Hut No. 738201, Central Position The Rocky Tonk Saloon, Medford Rogue Valley Roasting Co., Ashland Simple Cafe, Ashland Sonic Generate-In, Medford Star Catering, Medford Yola’s Bakery, Medford.

The county’s searchable database of restaurant and foodstuff provider inspections is at


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Sarah Lemon has relished the Rogue Valley’s dining scene for nearly two a long time as a person of the authentic contributors to Tempo’s eating column. Her palate has helped to judge some of the region’s culinary competitions and festivals. The former editor of A la Carte, the Mail Tribune’s weekly foods section, she writes a biweekly column, The Complete Dish, and weblogs and podcasts under the exact same identify. Hear at and go through much more at style/the-complete-dish. Observe on Instagram, @thewholedish on Twitter or see

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