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SEI vs. Zengo?

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Are these two restaurants comparable/similar? I've been to Zengo (which I LOVED) but not SEI. At first glance it looks like they both have sushi and small plates, nice atmosphere, and similar price points...but I'm wondering if they are more different than I think. My sister is in town visiting from LA and we want to go to a fun, delicious dinner. We would probably order both sushi and small plates so I'd be interested in hearing feedback for both food choices and overall atmosphere/experience. Thanks!!

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Zengo Restaurant
781 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

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  1. I haven't been to SEI, but if you haven't had the XO edamame and like pork, it is a definite must get if you go there. I love it.

    1. I think these are both tapas...if you're looking for that, I've heard La Tasca in Clarendon is really good!

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      La Tasca
      722 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

      2 Replies
      1. re: Lamos Blood

        No, please, for the love of god avoid La Tasca. I love Zengo and I haven't been to Sei so I don't have much advice for you. I'd encourage you to try something new and visit Sei, though, as I haven't heard a bad thing about it.

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        La Tasca
        722 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

        Zengo Restaurant
        781 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

        1. re: littlew1ng

          I have to agree that La Tasca is awful, sorry to go off-topic, but I much prefer La Bodega in Georgetown for tapas.

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          La Tasca
          722 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

      2. Thanks all...but any more feedback about sei vs. zengo...which one i should choose?

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        Zengo Restaurant
        781 7th St. NW, Washington, DC 20001

        SEI restaurant & lounge
        444 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

        1. I haven't been to Zengo, but can offer my thoughts on SEI. My date ordered a sort of prix fixe option with the wasabi guacamole, sushi and a dessert wine, and I just got a collection of simpler sushi. The guacamole was quite good, but nothing revolutionary. I love both wasabi and guacamole, I'm not 100% sure i love them together. A lot of their sushi is not to my taste. I'm not big on putting non-traditional things in sushi (e.g. wasabi peas or "fish and chips"), but that's my own hang up. The sushi I ordered was good, fresh etc. I didn't try it, but my date was very unimpressed with the dessert wine (may or may not be a valuable data point...)

          All in all, I thought it was on the expensive side but not bad. The cocktails were hit or miss (cucumber something which I usually love was not very good, wasabi something was quite good). Oh, but the fire alarm went off while we were there (not the siren but the obnoxious flashing light) and they weren't terribly apologetic. It was flashing for a long while and it was pretty annoying.

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          SEI restaurant & lounge
          444 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

          1. I really enjoy both these restaurants. I've only been to SEI foe happy hour and really enjoyed their mini kobe beef burgers (for only $5!). The wasabi guacamole was pretty good as well and I really enjoyed their cocktails (a spicy wasabi one and some cucumber concoction). I've been wanting to go back for a while now and their sister restaurant (OYA) is also pretty good. I've tried mant many of the items at Zengo and am never disappointed. Tough call since I've only been to SEI once and just had a couple small plates.

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            Zengo Restaurant
            781 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001