My favorite sushi place in Duluth and Hermantown. The price is right. The taste is great! I recommend the seafood tempura!
10 - 14 of 36 reviews
Zen House is a super place to have a nice meal. The food is good, presented nicely. I loved that they had Japanese music playing and not American.
What I can recommend to Zen House owner(s)...please do some regular cleaning on the place. The windows have water marks streaming down the sides. The carpet desperately needs cleaning. Make sure the bathroom is sparkling clean.
I like the wooden boards that the sushi is presented on, but I also wonder about cleaning. They probably can't be run through a dishwasher, and is the varnish food safe?
Keeping a place spotlessly clean is not that hard. It will bring people in and will not turn those who will take a look at it and turn away. You have the largest piece of the puzzle completed (the food), now finish it.
Immediately upon entering our Chinese friend Kay said, "This is good; you can tell by the aroma." Her opinion was supported by the eel "rice bowl" dish she and her boyfriend enjoyed. Two others raved about the noodle soup and I thoroughly enjoyed my salmon, avocado roll. We would return.
I've been going here for a fair number of years now but I haven't tried most of the menu. My benchmark dish is katsudon and Zen House makes a very good version of it. Why they call it pork donburi I don't know. The waitress knew what I meant when I ordered katsudon, but when she brought it to the table she said, here's your pork donburi, like perhaps she was correcting me. The miso soup is good as is the garden salad.
The sashimi has always been mediocre. The sushi station is approximately four feet wide. The selection is small. Every time I've gotten it over the past eight years or so, it's always been cut wrong. They cut it way too big and roll it up. On my recent visit it was total amateur hour with the same large cuts of fish that were holding too much water, which diluted the flavor. I'm guessing the fish is wrapped tight while frozen and is then stored at too warm a temperature so more condensation forms. The tuna and salmon were pale in color. The wasabi had too much water in it. I won't bother with it anymore.
The staff on this day were all young and presumably college students. I'd like to know who trained them. My waitress sounded almost a bit condescending, as if she was talking to a little kid, the way she asked several times how the food was, or, here's your _____. I don't need to be told what dish is being set down in front of me, and in general, with all restaurants, I hate it when the wait staff says, enjoy. Please, complete your sentence. Just because you saw it in some movie with a scene in an Italian restaurant doesn't mean you have to repeat it.
That said, the prices are decent and the menu has a good number of choices in most categories. I've never eaten at their downtown location which I'm told is on the skyway level. Perhaps they're doing a better job there.
After hearing years of "it's pretty good!" reviews from friends, we tried it. The prices are reasonable and the menu selection is decent. Our server was friendly and helpful, but clearly overwhelmed (one server for the entire lunch rush? And we were there at 2 pm! She told us they usually schedule one server for lunch and dinner, bumping it up to two on weekend nights). Our appetizers, salads, and entrees were forgotten or delayed by the chefs, and everything was served at once--not what we intended and not what we ordered. The cooked food was fine, and the best dishes we had were the soba noodles cooked with meat and veggies i a cast iron pot, and the broiled tofu with homemade miso. The quality of the steamed and cooked vegetables was mediocre; if you don't start with good raw food, cooking it won't help. The sashimi was nicely presented but not even close to fresh. Oh, and the booth we sat in was cramped and freezing cold. NIice place for a cheap lunch, but I'd rather spend my money at Hanabi.