Last night we were walking around downtown Santa Monica trying to pick a restaurant. I definitely wanted to eat somewhere that we had not been yet, so we finally decided on Zengo at the newly re-opened Santa Monica Place mall.
Zengo offers fusion cuisine with a mix of Asian and Latin American flavors. All of the items on the menu are small, tapas-esqe plates that are meant to be shared. We tried four different items to get a nice sampling of what Zengo had to offer.
First up was the miso soup, probably one of our favorites of the meal, that had tofu, tomato, wakame (a type of seaweed), and truffle oil.
Next came the Thai chicken empanadas with poblano chile, oaxaca cheese, and a mango-curry salsa served on a pool of Thai peanut sauce. I’m a big fan of peanut sauce, so this was my number two choice for the evening.
After the empanadas we had pork carnitas rice noodles with pork shoulder, mushrooms, cashews, hot ‘n sour sauce with a soft poached egg on top, and their wok fried rice with duck, shrimp, pork, egg, carrot, and scallions.
Overall it was a good meal. However, the rice and noodles were a little bit on the “heavy” side. The ambiance of the restaurant definitely gets an A+. It is a beautiful new indoor/outdoor location on the third floor overlooking Third Street Promenade at 3rd St and Broadway. However, it was very dark so not the perfect setting for picture taking. Sorry!