100 Best Restaurants 2008: Zengo
No. 100: Zengo
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Cynthia Hacinli, Dave McIntyre
Comments () | Published January 1, 2008
Happy Hour

Zengo
Address: 781 Seventh St., NW, Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-393-2929
Neighborhood: Penn Quarter/Chinatown, Downtown
Cuisines: South American, Sushi, Pan-Asian, Nuevo Latino, Fusion/Eclectic
Opening Hours: Open for lunch Monday through Friday 11:30 to 2:30. Open for dinner Sunday through Thursday 5 to 10, Friday and Saturday 5 to 11:30.
Nearby Metro Stops: Metro Center, Gallery Place-Chinatown
Price Range: Moderate
Dress: Upscale Casual
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Recommended

Cuisine: Flashy Latino and pan-Asian flavors sit side by side—and sometimes collide (chipotle miso soup, curried empanadas, sake sangría)—on a sharing-friendly menu that includes everything from sushi and dim sum to tacos and tiraditos.

Mood: With its kumquat-orange walls, swooping banquettes, and quirky design touches—the brown orbs hanging from the ceiling are clay renditions of jícama—the dining room is a chic backdrop for slickly turned-out guys and gals downing $11 mojitos.

Best for: Groups out on the town, first dates, posttheater small plates, and cocktails.

Best dishes: XO-style edamame, pungent with dried shrimp; wonton tacos filled with ahi tuna; the Angry Zengo roll with yellowfin tuna and fiery wasabi tobiko; pork arepas; pork ribs with kimchee; ancho-grilled shrimp with cabbage slaw and flour mini-tortillas; sweet, buttery black cod with lemon aïoli; a crumbly lemon-yuzu cake with ginger ice cream; churros with chai custard.

Insider tips: Flavors are bright and bold—sometimes too bold. By the end of a traditional three-course meal, your taste buds are likely to be zonked. Instead, make a meal of appetizers and small plates. But stay away from the ceviches, skimpy on the fish and heavy on the sauce.

Service: •

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 01/01/2008 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews