Friday, August 6, 2010

zengo

zengo
781 7th street NW (between G street & H street), washington, DC 20001
tel: 202) 393-2929
hours: monday-thursday 11:30am-2:30pm, 5pm-11pm; friday 11:30am-2:30pm, 5pm-12:30am; saturday 5pm-12:30am, sunday 5pm-11pm
what was consumed: pork belly steamed buns (with grilled pineapple and salsa verde), wakame-hijiki seaweed salad (with cucumber, carrot, daikon, apple, ginger vinaigrette), carnitas rice noodles (with pork shoulder, mushroom, cashew, soft egg, hot 'n sour sauce), roasted scallops al mojo de ajo (with bacon, corn, sushi rice, and yuzu-sriracha)
zengo zengo zengo ...
everytime i pass through chinatown, i see zengo. for the longest time, i wanted to try it out ... and i finally got a chance (thanks tom!).
in the (now) bright and shining area of town, zengo is right outside the chinatown exit of the metro, right on the 7th street strip next to so many other restaurants, bars, and other places to go. in passing on my way to the metro, i was fascinated by their decor and curious about their fare. it has that sort of chic metropolitan and contemporary feel, appropriate for the area (and perhaps the clientele).
tom and i went for a quick dinner before seeing the trans-siberian orchestra at verizon (the show, btw, was AWESOME). we didn't have reservations, though the host asked. luckily, we were there relatively early, so there wasn't too much of a wait. we were shown to our seats and our drink orders were taken. zengo has a pretty extensive cocktail menu. there were quite a few things one the list that i'll have to say i would like to try, but maybe not an entire glass of (primarily because i'm not a huge fan of adult beverages that have pineapple and/or mango juice in them - not that zengo's menu was filled with it, but cocktails often are). their beer menu (which is usually my focus) was unfortunately not as extensive as i am growing accustomed to. does this make me a beer snob? i hope not, especially since i usually end up selecting a pretty light lager - ha!
we started with some pork buns and seaweed salad, the followed up with rice noodles and scallops on rice. while these sound very asian, the accompanying flavors were very latin - carnitas, salsas, etc. i can see how a lot of asian flavors may meld well with latin flavors. i particularly enjoyed the noodle dish. i love rice noodles! the hot 'n sour sauce coupled with the pork was quite delicious and flavorful. i wish the dish had more veggies and peanuts (and maybe even a bit more spiciness), though that's usually what i say about dishes with veggies and peanuts. all in all, yum. the rice the scallops sat on was cooked well in that sort of "fried rice" sort of way, which is good. unfortunately, i felt the scallops were a bit overcooked, making them a little rubbery (i imagine this was an isolated event?). of course, this didn't prevent me from consuming far more than my share. oops. oh, and while i understand and appreciate the role of green onions/scallions (and actually love their flavor), i'm not a fan of consuming them. so, i spent a lot of time picking them out (i know - so un-lady-like. oh well~).
after having had dined here, i don't know if i would regularly go back. then again, i'm not one to protest (i.e., i'd probably go back if someone else wanted to go). maybe it's just that i'm not the biggest fan of asian fusion (except for, maybe, kogi tacos - ha!) or maybe i'm just a pure-ist (i'm really not). thanks for the good time, zengo! perhaps i will see you again~

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