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“Not so perfect the second time”
Review of Zengo - Santa Monica - CLOSED

Zengo - Santa Monica
Price range: US$ 30 - US$ 50
Cuisines: Asian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Groups
Dining options: Dinner, After-hours, Lunch, Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighbourhood: Santa Monica
Cross street: Broadway
Transit: The Big Blue Bus and Rapid line both have drop offs in front of the Santa Monica Place at the corner of 4th Street and Broadway.
Reviewed 24 October 2014 via mobile

First time I visited this restaurant, I fell in love with it! Loved the decor and the really unique and tasty food. We sat on the patio overlooking Third Street and it was a very nice atmosphere. Service was excellent. Well, the second time I dined here was a big disappointment. I returned for a birthday celebration for myself and my out of town friend. I did specify this on my reservation as well as a request for a patio table. The gum chewing, bubble blowing hostess said no outside tables were available and made no attempt to accommodate us. Once we saw that a large party had left from the patio, only a few minutes after we had been seated, we asked to be moved. She said that was not possible since we had already started ordering with our server. We decided to make the best of it since we had two birthdays to celebrate.

The food was good but some of the dishes that we ordered this time were quite bland, specifically the mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts. At the end of the meal, there was no acknowledgement of our birthdays. We were a little disappointed in that. Not sure if I will return after this experience.

Thank choosey1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (125)
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8 - 12 of 125 reviews

Reviewed 10 October 2014

We stopped by here for lunch. We shared a few plates. The atmosphere was fantastic, there was a really nice feel to the place. The interior is an ultra modern rooftop restaurant. When we were there they did a special deal for $39 you can eat and drink all you like. When we were there one Saturday afternoon, there was a really cool DJ playing. I loved her tunes! I would definitely encourage people to go there.

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Thank Nicole A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 October 2014

We did not enjoy the latin-asian fusion food at all. Very strange flavor combinations that just didn't work. Food is a one star, but here's an extra one for the beautiful open air decor and setting.

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Thank Angela L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 September 2014

Enjoyed a nice dinner with friends here based on taking the unlimited small plate option with drinks for $49 ahead. This was a really nice way to go enabling us to try nearly all the dishes with unlimited good beers, wines a fun cocktails to boot. Some good dishes but nothing out of the ordinary compared to a wagamamas or similar in the uk. Rated it 3 stars and average as a good fun restaurant worth checking out.

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Thank KCB1980
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 September 2014

Zengo is an urban-sophisticated Latin-Asian restaurant with mid-range price points. It specializes in tapas meant for the table to taste and share, with its weekend brunch special offering unlimited small plates + bottomless mimosas for $40/person.

Any desire I could want for from a Sunday brunch was appeased with my visit here.

An assortment of palatable menu options and plenty of champagne. Outdoor seating overlooking a beautiful and bustling area on my favorite side of town. A vivacious atmosphere, complete with upbeat music spun by a live DJ, cool & quick servers, and plenty of sunshine pouring in. The icing on the cake: having 5 of my gals there to indulge in all the exquisiteness.

Zengo’s California location is situated on the corner of the third story rooftop at Santa Monica Place, the beautiful outdoor mall that lives only steps away from the beach. SoCal’s nearly flawless weather makes almost any day a great day to dine here. Our partially shaded table in the back right corner allowed us to enjoy the sun, the afternoon’s cool breeze, and the kaleidoscopic view of the Promenade below. Table parties are given a two hour limit to enjoy its brunch menu without limits, which was the perfect amount of time for us to fill up on food and drinks with no shortage of chatter or laughter.

We definitely took advantage of the bottomless, trying just about everything offered on the menu. I taste-tested the aromatic, well-presented cuisine, appreciating all of the zesty flavor that Zengo’s renowned chef is known for. My favorite plates were definitely the Grilled Achiote Salmon, Housemade Meatballs, and Pan Dulce. Yo. So, so good!

Our server was on the ball. He kept our glasses filled, he brought our plates out within a few minutes, he remained patient with the 6 of us and our multiplied requests. I mean, we really went for it -- our table stayed loaded. I started off with a couple glasses of traditional OJ mimosas, but then I switched it up by deciding to try out the restaurant’s lychee bellini. This was a very new spin on the brunch staple for me, but I enjoyed it! It tasted like a lighter, less sweet version. Mango mimosas were also offered on the cocktail list. We cheerily kept the refills flowing.

It was truly a feel good brunch from start to finish. No, it actually felt fantastic. Maybe it was the rooftop -- I have an affinity for those. Maybe it was the mimosas. Maybe it was the beauty of the day, or of having both my long time best friends and a couple of my new friends vibing wonderfully all together in my new homebase. Well, I’m positive it was all of the above. I want my friends back so we can do it all over again.

Zengo is a great place to combine a brunch+beach day on the west side of LA. I’d most definitely recommend checking it out!


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Thank Kristen N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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