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Zento

gina | | Mar 18, 2007 02:20 AM

Three of us had dinner at Zento tonight, our newest sushi joint in Old City (that is, if the spot on the 100 block of Market hasn't opened yet). Our overall impression was, we are very lucky to have such great sushi less than a block away from where I live. My friend from DC kept saying, "Wow."

We had apps of fried calamari with spicy sauce and seared scallops--tasty, though not really an indication of what was to come (the scallops were on the tough side, though the asparagus they came with was very nice.)

As for the sushi, from what I remember, we ordered: Tuna square roll, Center City roll, dragon roll, lobster roll, soft shell crab roll, crunchy spicy tuna roll, yellowtail, unagi, octopus, squid, and flying fish roe. The only two I was not totally thrilled with were the yellowtail (not as tender and flavorful as I would expect, though we were advised later of the baby yellowtail), and the flying fish roe (not assembled well). The tuna square roll was simply beautiful just on aesthetics alone. In fact, all of the rolls were very well crafted. The ingredients were so balanced that each fishes' flavor was apparent and created a lovely sort of harmony. I found myself forgoing the soy sauce and wasabi paste--I thought they'd just get in the way. One remark about the squid--I liked how it was presented over the rice as a sort of fibrous/lacy tangle.

It was not as expensive as I thought it would be--we just ordered willy-nilly, so I was left to wonder about the final outcome. But without tip, the bill came to about $125 for three (it's BYO, so no alcohol included).

Edit: I forgot to mention the service, which deserves a note. It felt very personalized, and well-timed, especially for how busy they were. The third in our party was running late, and two of us ordered extras to eat and to go--all handled very courteously.

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