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Zengo Weekend Brunch

I remember when Zengo in Santa Monica place first opened it received a good bit of buzz on this board, but I have not seen it mentioned in a while.

A few weeks ago, they started doing a weekend brunch, wherein you get all you can eat and all you can drink brunch cocktails from this menu: http://www.richardsandoval.com/zengos... I know the menu says Sunday only, but its currently both Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 to 4:00. I went yesterday and am happy to report I had a great time with very good food.

Here's what we had:

Beef tenderloin bendict (poached egg / kimchee / hollandaise) - I'm not a big fan of beef, but the flavors were good. My companion, who is both a fan of beef and benedicts, loved this. The eggs were perfectly poached.

Peking duck hash (poached egg / poblanos rajas / caramelized onion

plantain) - My favorite dish of the meal. The appearane of the dish wasn't much, but the flavors were great. I could have done without the sweetness from the plantain, but it didn't detract too much from the dish.

Chipotle yellow fin tuna roll (wasabi tobiko / avocado / sesame chipotle rouille) -Decent. Tasted like pretty much any tuna roll. I didn't get anywasabi flavor from the tobiko, but the roll was served with the requiste sides ginger and wasasbi. The chipotle sauce added some smokiness.

Banh mi sliders (achiote pork / pickled vegetables / citrus aioli) - Didn't really remind me too much of an usual Banh mi. The aioli kind of overpowered the meet, but at least tasted good.

Thai shrimp lettuce wraps (chorizo / peanut / cilantro / tamarind chutney) - Unfortuntely, this was the one dish that we did not like. The combination of chorizo and peanut resulted in a very heavy and unpleasent taste that completely hid the shrimp.

Yuca fries - Interesting flavor and texture. Could have been crisper, but I'm not sure if you can really make yuca crispy.

Pork-mushroom gyoza (black vinegar-soy sauce) - Tasted more of mushroom than pork, but very heatry and delicious.

Pan dulce (mexican sweet bread / cinnamon whipped cream / licor 43 / star anise / orange agave syrup) - The one sweet item on the brunch menu (other than fried plantains), but very worthwile. All of the flavors described were present and in perfect balance.

All of the crocktails were tasty as well.

We only made it through about a third of the menu and I look forward to returning and trying more.

Overall, it was a great meal, especially for only $35 a peron. The four cocktails each my companion and I had would have cost more than that a la carte. I also suggest sitting on the balcony overlooking the promenade on a nice day.

395 Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica, CA 90401

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  1. Sounds like too good a bargain to last. Your link to the menu got corrupted by the period at the end of the URL. This one should work: http://www.richardsandoval.com/zengos...

    1 Reply
    1. re: Servorg

      Peking duck hash no longer on the brunch menu--still good??

    2. We had a wonderful brunch (party of 14) at Zengo yesterday with unlimited small plates and free flowing cocktails. We must have had over 60 plates and uncountable drinks on the lovely balcony! The food and cocktails were delicious and our server was friendly and attentive. And free 3-hour VALET parking is a plus!

      395 Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica, CA 90401

      1. Is this all you can eat brunch on the weekends? So I can just order up Peking duck hash, after Peking duck hash, after Peking duck hash. It sounds pretty fucking awesome, especially if all the mixed cocktails are included too.

        2 Replies
        1. re: kevin

          Yes, all you can order from the weekend brunch menu...and cocktails, too!!

          1. re: fdb

            I just had brunch there today and i have to say that it may be the best brunch in the city especially for the price. all the food was very good. unlimited cocktails is just the clincher. their patio is spectacular as well. just a great brunch. i'm honestly suprised that it's not more crowded. the peking duck hash was good but the bahn me sliders did it for me. headcheese that still had a little bite to it.

        2. wow never knew about this deal, sounds pretty damn awesome!

          1. My kids took me to the Zengo brunch for Father's Day and it was great. Really good service and the food just keeps on coming. Truly unlimited small plates, we left stuffed. The duck hash was great (we must of had 4 orders of the hash). Also surprisingly good were the house made meatballs with ginger / garlic / tomato / kaffir lime sauce /cilantro / parsley. One of my sons is a vegetarian and there was plenty for him to order. Two thumbs up from me.

            395 Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica, CA 90401

            5 Replies
            1. re: wienermobile

              Damn, damn, damn...I have to find my way there! Thanks for sharing. What did you have to imbibe and how were the drinks in general?

              1. re: Servorg

                Had a few of their mango mimosa with sparkling wine / mango puree / blood orange puree. Really nice flavor but not that strong but you really can have as many as you'd like.

              2. re: wienermobile

                Also really like their yucca fries with miso mustard and lemon sake. The
                roasted sweet plantains with carmel sauce dip was a great way to end the meal.

                1. re: wienermobile

                  I love their yucca fries too. I've never had yucca mashed, seasoned, and then fried. I know some people don't like them, but I order them every time we go to Zengo.

                  Zengo is the star of Santa Monica Place to me. I've enjoyed pretty much everything on the menu, and the drinks too.

                  395 Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica, CA 90401

                  1. re: sushigirlie

                    I think I had just ordered the best things on the menu when I wrote this post. Some of the menu items are lackluster at best. Both ceviches, for instance, are more juice than seafood and are over-fruity to my tastes. The fusion maki are a flimsy mess and seem cliched.

                    Still, Zengo would be my pick of the restaurants in Santa Monica Place.

              3. We treated my visiting parents here to brunch this afternoon and we all left feeling very stuffed and impressed. We almost ordered everything on the menu, and most everything was delicious. Absolutely a great deal when you consider $10 cocktails are included. They even broke the rules and let my son order the burger sliders a la carte, two orders of them, instead of being the brunch price, and let us take them home. They also gave my DH the mango lemonade for free, since it was not included in the brunch price. Definitely a must do place if you are in the area. We had:

                Lychee Bellinis & Mango Mimosas
                Peking duck Hash
                Banh mi sliders
                Smoked Salmon omelet w goat cheese
                Thai chicken empanadas (2 orders)
                Roasted fingerlings
                Asparagus w poached egg & togarashi
                Bacon fried rice
                Thai shrimp lettuce wraps
                Pork-mushroom gyoza
                House made meatballs
                Shrimp-Vegetable potstickers
                Beef Tenderloin Benedict

                We also ordered two desserts, the chocolate mousse cake w peanut butter and banana sorbet, and the winner, strawberry panna cota w strawberry-orange-sake salsa. It was as delicious as it was beautiful. Pics:

                3 Replies
                  1. re: wienermobile

                    You da man.........or, wiener.....;-D)

                    1. re: Phurstluv

                      Interesting this thread came up now as we were just there for dinner Sat. night.
                      The atmosphere is really nice and the best thing for the evening was the service. Our waiter was knowledgeable and attentive. Best service I’ve had in a long time.
                      The menu is very different and it was tough to choose. The main problem we had is the people I was with did not eat meat or shrimp, so that excluded most of the items to share. The food was good, but nothing exceptional. The best (I thought) was the Give ‘N Take Chicken Salad, everything else was not as tasty as I expected, not bad, but not through the roof either.
                      My only objection was the price. We had 3 martinis, one diet coke and the Thai Chicken Empanadas, the salad, a side of Edamame and asparagus. I had the Braised Beef Short ribs and Peking Duck Tacos. The bill came to $ 122, so with tip we were out $145.00. We could go to many nice places and have full dinners for that price. Not that we left hungry, but I just felt the tastes and prices didn’t measure up.
                      I thought that was pretty high for just 4 small plates, 2 sides, 3 drinks (+1 coke). If I ever go back it’ll be with people who eat shrimp as there were several items I wanted to try. I was mostly disappointed in the Peking Duck Tacos. I guess I was expecting something else as the duck was just okay, and the sauce had hardly any flavor.

                      Sounds like the brunch is the best bet if I go again.