Zen Sushi Boston

by janet on September 12th, 2008

Chowhound never steers me wrong.  Of all the Boston eateries that were Chowhound-approved, all were winners!  Including Zen Sushi, which I wasn’t even intending on patronizing, but the old boys’ club that was Parker’s Restaurant wasn’t open (at least when Liz and I wanted to go) for lunch, so I walked us up the street to Zen and we sat on the patio.

Where we saw many people in what Liz called “Revolutionary War garb” walkin’ down the street.  But…isn’t Ben Franklin from after that war?  Or am I on crack? Whenever I don’t know important information about America (whether that is Ben Franklin or who Corey Feldman is), I just say “Japan” and people seem to excuse it.

Liz opened the menu and immediately began chanting “USUZUKURI!” which is a very difficult word to say once, let along chant. In this case, it was a Baby Hamachi Usuzukuri, described on the menu as thinly sliced yellowtail with sauce.  It came out looking oh so beautiful (although don’t stare too long because the pieces will start looking like really fucked up, bleeding eyes) and the fusioneyness of the jalapeno peppers with the classic tangy sauce and fish was really pleasing. This shit went away really quick into our tums.

Next was the Zen Special Hamachi Torch Maki with roe and cucumber inside, torched hamachi on the outside, and black tobiko on top.  I know.  BLACK tobiko.  It is pictured top, and was total dynamite!  I’m sure in a blind taste test we would never have been able to detect a difference, but the visual effect was quite spectacular.  A crunchy poor man’s Beluga caviar.  I cannot recall what the yellow sauce tasted like.  Actually, nor the sushi.  I just remember both of us repeatedly pressing our index fingers to the plate to slurp up wayward tobiko the entire time.  SO fabulous.

Totally unfabulous was the Baked Spicy Scallop roll, which sounded great on paper (avocado, spicy mayo, scallops, and scallions) and tempura flakes should, in theory, make everything better – even hamster poo (and I know that for a fact).  It came out looking, literally, like a hot mess.  The regular tobiko next to our black tobiko was treated like a (again, literally) RED-headed stepchild, and the mayo with the scallop and the flakes – too much richness, but not a good richness.  Akin to slapping two tablespoons of butter on a gristly steak (though not as bad as that!  [shuddering at my own analogy] ).

The 2/3 fabulous Zen Sushi

21A Beacon St

Boston 02108

Btwn Somerset & Bowdoin St


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