Every once in a while, the Boyfriend and I revisit Zenkichi for some quality food and great ambiance. After several times at Zenkichi, I have to admit that the second floor booths are my favorite. The second floor has two kinds of booths for parties of two – a bigger booth that can fit up to four and a smaller corner booth that fits two snugly. The second floor booths are more private and provide a more intimate feel.
Usually, if you’re a repeat customer, they give you a little dish to nibble on compliments of the chef. We’ve had different types of fish given to us before – this time we were presented with steamed eggplant in broth. I love how they do this – it’s often not much but it’s a great way to show appreciation to repeat customers.
As always, we started off with their Cold Fresh Tofu in a light dashi sauce ($7.95). We’ve tried many cold tofus at many Japanese restaurants but we both think that Zenkichi’s tofu is the best. It’s very smooth and light. I love how we get to assemble it ourselves – adjusting the amount of each topping we want with our tofu.
They had a special March 2014 menu so we opted to try a few items off of that list instead of continuing our progress on their regular menu. First up was the Fluke Fin Sashimi ($6.95), served with monkfish liver and yuzu sauce for dipping. The fluke fin was very fresh and sweet but the best part was definitely the dipping sauce. We’re both a big fan of monkfish liver so we really enjoyed the sauce. It was really creamy and saltiness really contradicted the sweetness of the sashimi.
Next up was the Steamed Red Snapper ($8.95), served with a traditional broth that had a hint of plum and rice cracker. The snapper was so sweet and tasted super fresh. You can just taste the sea! The traditional broth was also very good – it was very flavorful but also very light at the same time. I ended up drinking the rest of the broth after we finished the snapper!
Since one of the items on the new menu wasn’t available that day, we opted to try something new on the old menu before went back to the oldie-but-goodies. We’re heard a lot about their Grilled Black Cod ($17.95) with a Kyoto miso marinade. Their Black Cod is probably one of their most expensive items on the menu but it’s definitely worth it. The portion size is pretty big – you get two large pieces of cod. I don’t think it’s better than the Black Miso Cod at Nobu, but I think it comes pretty close. It’s very soft and super sweet. It almost melts in your mouth!
I’ve written about our next dish before and we ordered it again this time because it’s one of the best deals on the menu. Their Grilled Fish of the Day ($13.95) is a great deal because the portion size is super large. We had the choice between Salmon or Yellowtail and we went with the Yellowtail. Just like last time, we had two big pieces of Yellowtail collar, one of the most smooth and soft parts of the fish. It’s a bit of work getting all the bones out of the fish but the end result so sweet and delicious!
Zenkichi has been a solid restaurant for the both of us since our first visit. It’s probably the one restaurant we’ve been back to the most as a couple. And for as long as they stay in business, they’ll continue to get our business. The service is always super attentive and the food has never failed. It’s the perfect place for date nights!