Sunday, November 05, 2006

Zen Zoo
Sunset Blvd in Hollywood

The morning after the art show, a few friends were in town (LAUREN!!) so we met up with them at Zen Zoo, after trying to go to Budda's Belly (which was closed.) The atmosphere here was really relaxing and pleasant - really did the whole "asian atmosphere" tastefully but not over the top. Nice.
Here's my green tea latte, gracefully presented by Lauren's hands. This was actually really good - flavorful, not too sweet, blended ice. Refreshingly milky. I thought it was a good choice for the morning.
Owen was craving miso soup so we got a big bowl of it. By the looks of this bowl it looks amazing, and at first, it really was - good hearty stock, big green onion slices, shiitake mushrooms. However, the bad part was how much ginger they put in here. This is not ginger soup, it's supposed to be miso soup. All I tasted was ginger the more I drank it, and there was also big chunks of ginger that I had to avoid (I HATE biting into ginger, I like it as a flavoring or I can tolerate little bits of it but big old chunks? A world of no.) This would have been much improved if they put more tofu or seaweed in here.
This was our order of chicken curry, chinese style. I liked this more than Owen did, because he's used to the Indian curries or Japanese curry. Chinese curry is not so in your face as the other curries - more watery, less punch/richness. They were generous with the ingredients - big pieces of potato, white chicken meat, carrots and onions. I liked the sprigs of clover looking rabbit food on top and the black sesame seeds. White rice lined the bottom of this bowl. It was decent, but not necessarily something I'd order again.
These baos were part of the combo set that we ordered. Chicken, BBQ pork and vegetable. These were delicious. The bready part in the bao was extremely light and fluffy - and not gross and soggy like some dimsum places have it (the condensation from the steaming drips all over the baos and makes the dough all nasty and gooey). This version was awesome. I could have had like 3 more BBQ pork ones and like 2 more of the chicken ones - the vegetable was alright but not my bag.
This is the dumpling part of our combo - the wheel o' dumplings. " All of our dumplings are made with a thicker rice flour wrapper." They don't lie. I don't mind the thicker wrapper, it was all about the fillings, which were excellent. I don't know what everything was, except for a mix of shui mais and har gaos (meat and shrimp dumplings.) The triangle dumpling in the middle was filled with veggies. Not bad. Everything was good, and everything was eaten.

Zen Zoo was a great thumbs up from all of us. It wasn't one of those "authentic" places but it was a good rendition of it, and really relaxing.

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