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Restaurants & Bars 7

Zen Grill in Westwood

Ernie | Jan 23, 2004 04:39 PM

Last night had dinner at Zen Grill in Westwood. Hip soundtrack, very cool space with a moody ambience in a modernist pan-Asian loft setting looking like they spent a fortune on it.

Unfortunately they seem to have focused too much on hip ambience and too little in the kitchen. I started with their small house salad, then garlic grilled rib eye served with green beans, ending with bananas flambe for dessert.

The house salad was very light and refreshing in a nice shoyu-sesame dressing with good quality greens and radish sprouts for a little spicy accent.

According to the somewhat snotty and unhelpful server, the seabass and rib eye were the best things on the menu. The rib eye was just so-so — strips of a somewhat gamey tasting rib eye in a watery soy-garlic sauce with toasted onion garnish and served with a stir fried garlicy green beans. Very forgettable for the $22 price tag. Strange thing is they provide chopsticks and a steak knife. Since I am not ambidexterous, it was very difficult to eat the rib eye this way. We had to ask 3 different people for water and of course eventually got the bottled vs. tap question.

I predicted dessert would be a tiny plop of ice cream on a big plate, and sure enough the bananas flambe our group shared was little more than sliced not-to-ripe bananas barely cooked with 1 Sanrio-sized scoop of nondescript ice (vanilla?) cream and the inevitable chocolate squiggles decoration.

With green tea for my beverage, my meal was $40 including tip. With all the great Asian food available in SGV I have no plans on returning.

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