Zengo, an inventive Latin-Asian fusion restaurant, is nothing short of a celebration of flavors, textures and colors. On any given night, there’s a bustling bar scene and every table is packed with well-heeled couples and groups enjoying beautiful shared plates of inventive fare. Chef Richard Sandoval is a genius in the kitchen, and his restaurants across the country are not to be missed – should you find yourself in Washington D.C., El Centro D.F. is just as inspired…
A separate menu is available that clearly details gluten-free and vegan options. Though smaller than the enormous traditional menu, there’s plenty of choices for all taste palettes. We started with the edamame, though we were torn between that and shishito peppers – neither appeared on the GF menu, but they were able to easily accommodate our request. The small plates came out as they’re ready – we ordered four small plates and one large for the two of us – and there was just a few bites left over.
The Grouper Ceviche was as beautifully presented, as it was delicious. Each piece of fish was smooth and fresh, and the flavor was zesty and balanced with a kick of spice. Did I mention that nearly ever dish packs a punch? Different levels of spices are found in every plate. Because a trip to Zengo isn’t complete without one of their incredible sushi rolls, we opted for the Angry Zengo Roll that includes spicy yellow fin tuna, avocado and a delicious chipotle rouille that added a spicy, creamy taste. Because everyone enjoys playing with their food, the Thai Shrimp Lettuce Wraps were a must. Bright green lettuce wraps were piled high next to a delicious pile of (spicy) shrimp mixed with chorizo, but possibly my favorite part were the peanuts.
Saving the best for last… The Vegetarian Arepas were absolutely incredible. Bite size masa cakes were topped with avocado, mushrooms and sweet crema fresca. It’s actually difficult to describe how delicious they were, and I certainly didn’t share, so don’t ask my husband what he thought.
We rounded out our meal with the Chipotle Miso Glazed Black Cod and it was flaky, white fish perfection. Zengo was the first place I had ever tasted Chilean Sea Bass a number of years ago, and their fish dishes never disappoint.
We didn’t get dessert this time around, but if you’d rather drink the calories than dive into a sundae, you can head downstairs to La Biblioteca. Hidden below Zengo, it’s a sexy bar with 400 bottles of tequila and mezcal with a full range of tasting flights offered.