Mike Berman’s Washington Watch

June 29, 2013 8:55 AM

Restaurant: Zengo


781 7th Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
Debbie and I went to Zengo with Virginia and Tom. The restaurant is a two story affair. On the main floor, as you enter, there is a reception desk near the front door. Proceed into the restaurant and there is a bar with high stools and a number of small, tall tables. The principal dining area is up a long flight of stairs. Happily, there is an elevator.

The second floor seats up to 178 people. There is a bar with a dozen high stools, a 12-person communal table, and a private glass-walled dining room that seats up to 20 people. Along one wall are half circle banquets with tables that seat up to six people. On the far opposite wall, there is a long banquette with tables and opposing chairs. On the front wall, there are two half circle indentations each of which holds a table for four people. The rest of the second floor is filled with 2, 4 and 5-person tables.

The menu is described as Latin-Asian cuisine. The 42 item menu is broken down into Cerviches & Tiraditos, Sushi Rolls, Dim Sum & Antojitos, Soups and Salads, Main Dishes, and Sides.

A person could easily make a complete dinner without ever getting to the Main Dish category.

We shared a Lobster Roll, Shrimp Vegetable Potstickers, Salt and Pepper Shrimp Tacos, and two orders of Thai Shrimp Lettuce Wraps. Debbie and Tom shared Tagalog Style Churrasco Steak. Virginia ordered Cedar Paper Salmon. I opted for the Chipotle Miso Glazed Black Cod.

The two people working the reception desk were particularly welcoming and friendly. The serving staff was attentive and helpful. When we completed our order our server let us know that, because the kitchen is relatively small, each dish which is part of our total order would come to the table when it was ready without any effort to deliver all of the starters or all of the entrees at the same time.

The crowd is relatively young and it is pretty noisy throughout the restaurant.

The rest rooms are located at the far end of the restaurant. The entry to the men’s room does not have a door. Instead, at the opening there are a series of thin metal chains which hang from the ceiling to the floor which you simply push through. There are three walled areas that are completely enclosed except at the top of the doors. In one area there is a white, ceramic wall-hanging urinal. In the second there is a standard white ceramic commode. The third is a particularly well- appointed area for those who may need special assistance in the form of railings. In addition to the white ceramic commode, there is a white, ceramic square wash basin.

In the rest of the room there are two round, pedestal, ceramic wash basins, accompanied by relevant mirrors, and a particularly attractive round ceramic waste basket.

The floor and the walls, up to about four feet high, are covered with large black tiles. The balance of the walls are painted a kind of dull orange.

There is valet parking.

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