781 7th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
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Zengo

Neighborhoods: Downtown
Cuisine: Vegetarian, Mexican, Private Parties

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Gayot
Rating:
13 / 20
Price:
$$$$$
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Megster11187 photo

Megster11187

 Pittsburgh, PA
 

Excellent choice for fusion dining

Zengo is a relatively new addition to the Gallery Place area in downtown DC, and it has done very well, in large part to its delicious menu. It is one of my favorites in the city! The atmosphere is lively and exciting, the food fresh and innovative, and the service has always been fantastic.

The restaurant has two floors – the bottom floor is the lounge area geared toward the happy hour/appetizer-and-drink crowd. It is beautifully decorated with chic, comfortable furniture and candles. The upstairs is a more typical restaurant, with some VERY modern decorations – there are lots of random shapes hanging from the ceiling and the walls that look somewhat like potatoes, but trust me, it looks really cool! It can be hard to get a table, so reservations are highly recommended – weekends and event nights at the neighboring Verizon Center bring heavy crowds. However, if you arrive before 6pm, you should be fine.

The food is eclectic, with Japanese and Mexican flares. There is an entire vegetarian menu, and also a gluten-free one, so be sure to ask if you are interested.

The appetizers are moderately sized and shareable, and I would recommend getting a couple! There is a wide range, including crispy wonton tacos (with either meat or shiitake mushrooms), sushi, lettuce wraps with either shrimp or chicken, short ribs, and a variety of ceviches. Be warned – the food is expensive – so be prepared to spend quite a bit of money if you are looking for a full meal. It’s worth it, so start saving ;)

I highly recommend any of the sushi options (in particular, the Angry Zengo or Volcano Roll) or the lobster-crab pot-stickers (PHENOMENAL! Ask for extra dipping wasabi sauce, they don’t give nearly enough!) For those meat-eaters, my dad loves the short ribs and the kobe beef (really pricey, but I’m sure it’s good! Dad has good taste).

As a main course, the Crispy Tofu is by far my favorite – three thick rectangular pieces lightly fried, served over bok choy. You can’t go wrong with any of the fish options, such as the Wok Roasted Scallops and the Black Cod. Although…stick with the tofu :) Meat-eaters have many options as well, including Tandoori Chicken, Lamb, and Beef.

Leave room for dessert! Or don’t, and go crazy! The ginger ice cream is great, as are the sorbets. My favorite dessert is the chocolate-chai mousse, served with 4 warm churros. I’ve also tried the sesame cake, which was good but I wasn’t crazy about it – although, if that’s your thing, it won’t be a letdown!

Zengo is a really great dining experience. I really wish I could better explain just how interesting all the flavors are; all the dishes I’ve had have a distinct taste. Highly highly highly recommended!

(Random yet hopefully helpful side note: Zengo is one of Richard Sandoval’s many restaurants located throughout the US, and even Dubai and Mexico! Zengo has another location in Denver, although the menu is slightly different).

Crispy Tofu

Can’t really put into words – I’ve never had anything like it before! Lightly fried, deliciously flavored, a very light but filling meal.

MiriamM photo

MiriamM

 Washington, DC
 

Better for drinks and appetizers than for...

Better for drinks and appetizers than for dinner. The entrees seem a bit overpriced, but I enjoyed the drinks and the small plates.

iPhone dining journal
 

Great service. Would definitely go back. Great...

Great service. Would definitely go back. Great location near Verizon Center and Shakespeare Theatre. Meal was $220/couple with tip. $12 valet.

Angry Zengo Roll

Good tuna roll, cucumber was nice touch

Volcano

Awesome salmon, could have just gotten 2-3 orders of these.

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Pros
it was a nice place. I usually ordered a club sandwich. I last went there in a bitter cold April 2007, the night before Easter Sunday.
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I did not like the burgers
Comments
I missed the place and the bartender. I never knew the bartender's name. He never called me or visited me.
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Tags
Downtown Vegetarian Mexican
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Bethesda, MD
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Washington, DC
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Zengo  Restaurant Reviews

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Zengo is located near the cities of National Harbor, Naval Anacost Annex, Washington D C, Fort Lesley J Mcnair, and Rosslyn.
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