Zento is a restaurant that’s semi tucked away in the cute area of Old Town, Alexandria, but after stumbling upon this “hole in the wall” one lucky evening, I have never willingly gone anywhere else for sushi. Based off of some scraps I’ve stolen from my siblings’ entrees, they have some pretty amazing hot plates, as well…
Every time I step into Zento, I always look immediately to the left to scour the specials board. There is always something crazy innovative on here, whether it’s a Sushi Pizza or a Zumba roll with shrimp, cucumber, and cilantro, topped with salmon, guacamole and jalapeño.
Ordering food at a sushi restaurant can be pretty stressful for nobread-ers as gluten can be tucked away in anything from plain old soy sauce to other items like eel and spicy sauces. But I was absolutely stunned to find out that every server at Zento is completely aware of dietary restrictions and allergies. They were even willing to make modifications to some of their special rolls, many laden with spicy sauces and tempuras, just so I could eat them.
Pretty much everything at Zento is incredible, but my go-to roll is the Godzilla roll. The normal roll comes with crunchy spicy tuna, salmon, jalapeño, cucumber, scallion, avocado, potato noodles, and spicy mayo, but my server modified the roll to be completely gluten-free by leaving off the tempura flakes and potato noodles. On Wednesdays, this roll is only $7. For the amount of fish that’s in here, this is incredible.
Next, I hit up their incredible happy hour pricing, by ordering a spicy tuna roll and a yellowtail avocado roll, for only $9.95. No, your eyes are not deceiving you. Two rolls for under $10. It’s a thing here. A beautiful, beautiful thing. Happy hour occurs every single day from 5-7pm. On Monday, happy hour specials go all night. This includes the crazy sushi deal, but also discounted appetizers and drinks. Perfection.
It’s hard for me to make recommendations on what to get here, because everything I’ve ever put in my mouth from this place is absolutely incredible. The fish is fresh, the rice is perfectly sticky with a little bite of acidity, and the rolls are clearly made with love. I would say the whole establishment is made of love. Zento should be your sushi place.