In the brand-new Santa Monica Place mall, up in the high-end restaurant section, there is Zengo. Don’t worry about the setting, because “Zengo will transcend any and all shopping mall misgivings,” says Jeryy.

It’s our representative from a high-end chain by Richard Sandoval, a crazy chef type with restaurants in New York, DC, and Denver, among other places. It’s Asian-Latin fusion, and, despite your fears about Asian-Latin fusion, the place is amazing, says Jeryy. “Four of us had what we all considered one of the greatest meals of our lives. Considering that the chain’s major investor is tenor and conductor Placido Domingo, I can’t resist calling the sublime mixture of tastes and textures utterly symphonic in its power and elucidation.”

There’s Peking duck tacos and carnitas pad thai. Black cod is pure Asian, and silky and mesmerizing. “It was quite honestly the best piece of fish I’ve ever eaten in my life – after ordering one, we simply HAD to order another,” says Jeryy.

Sandoval’s imagination is prodigious, and actually succeeds. “Hot and Sour Egg Drop soup with Foie Gras filled wontons could have been sheer idiocy in other hands. Instead, it was sheer delight – the lightest, most feathery wontons ever in a broth that only nodded to its namesakes, yet was nonetheless delicious,” says Jeryy.

Zengo [Westside – Beaches]
395 Santa Monica Boulevard, Santa Monica

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