Zen Sushi Bistro
Zen Sushi Bistro

Zen Sushi Bistro

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.zenbistromillbrae.com/
  • Phone: 650-697-9988x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Everyday 11:30am-2:30pm
    Dinner: Sunday - Thursday 5pm-9:30pm
    Friday - Saturday 5pm-10pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Sushi, Japanese, Asian
  • Executive Chef: Nao Shiraishi
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: For catering of $300 or more please place your order 24 hours in advance.
  • Entertainment: Zen Bistro's lounge hours make it the place to be on Friday and Saturday nights. The innovative design and ambiance provide for a great place to gather with friends, enjoy music, and sample the after hours menu or huge sake selection.
  • Special Events: Wednesdays -$1 Oysters and $1 small house sake
    Thursdays- All Sushi Roll are $7 (Roll Out Thursdays)

Getting there

  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: There is street parking and a free parking lot next to our restaurant.
A word from Zen Sushi Bistro
Zen Sushi Bistro is a refreshingly new chic restaurant that offers a casual dining experience in a hip and classy environment. The head chef, Nao Shiraishi, offers a diverse menu of Japanese cuisine at a reasonable price, including a variety of creative and tasty sushi, donburi, udon, and sukiyaki. On Friday and Saturday nights, Zen Bistro's lounge hours, until 2:00 a.m., provide for a great place to gather with friends, listen to music, and sample the after hour's menu or huge selection of sake. Whether it be the excellent food or the innovative ambiance, Zen Bistro brings a new era dining and lounge experience to Millbrae designed to satisfy a wide range of customers.
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Zen Sushi Bistro reviews from OpenTable diners
38 reviews since May 4, 2014
Overall Rating3.9
  • Food4.1
    Service3.9
  • Ambiance3.7
    Noise LevelModerate
95% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (17)fit for foodies (13)good for groups (11)special occasion (9)hot spot (6)great for lunch (5)kid-friendly (5)romantic (4)vibrant bar scene (2)late-night find (2)great for outdoor dining (1)Show More
  • Excellent Dinner
    Jetmaid
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    Best to arrive within a hour of opening, gets very busy and entrees can be a bit slow coming. Food was excellent, our server made a couple of good suggestions. Thursday nights with all Sushi Rolls at $7, makes for a popular restaurant. Parking lot next door makes it very convenient. Grilled Asparagus was delicious. A great restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • 1 1/2 hours is too long for dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    If you're in a restaurant business an 1 1/2 hours for dinner is too long. Unless you are a very upscale romantic restaurant.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Discovered $7 Thursday
    kwycoff
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    Get there at 5:00 when they open, like we did, and you will have no problem getting a table or getting your food quickly. We discovered that on Thursdays every roll is $7, which for some rolls is more than 50% off! We ordered 7 different rolls for our group of 6 and they were quickly gobbled up and we ordered 4 more. Everything was excellent. Completely delicious.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awesome sushi
    MarcT
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    This was my second time visiting Zen Bistro. My wife and I decided to go on a Thursday night because they have a special running on Thursdays: all sushi rolls are only $7. Needless to say, we ordered four excellent rolls! The service is fast and efficient, and the sushi arrived about seven minutes after we had ordered it. Our server was good, although not possessed of much personality. Definitely can't want to go back again and try something new!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Attentive wait staff
    BioWriter
    Dined on 6/26/2014
    Very friendly and attentive staff. We were especially pleased to see that families with small children were welcomed. The food was delicious and very well presented. Sushi rolls are half price on Thursdays so be sure to make a reservation if you're planning on dinner in Millbrae on that night.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    Been here before and enjoyed everything, but last night Zen seemed a little off. Food was not as tasty or presented as beautifully. Loved the waiter!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • First Time great food
    PittVisitorVIP
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    This was our first time at Zen Bistro. The sushi and sashimi were excellent. We will definitely be back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Awsome 7$ sushi Thursday
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 6/19/2014
    Good sushi place, food took a bit too long,that was the only drawback. But very good food and service
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great food and service
    foodmommy
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    Menu had more items and rolls than your average Japanese neighborhood restaurant. There were so many out-of-the-ordinary dishes that we wanted to try, but will have to come back to do so. Had blue fin tuna on the menu, which indicates this restaurant is really Japanese fine dining. We had 6 adults and 2 toddlers in our group and felt comfortable. All the food came out about 15-20 minutes after our order. Server was great and friendly. Place started to get packed towards dinner time. Making reservations is highly recommended. It took a while to get the bill, maybe because we didn't ask for it. Furniture is mediocre but food and service make up for it.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fantastic food!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/4/2014
    The sushi choices were fantastic and delicious! The only down side was the wait for the check
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not great, but good
    Rach
    Dined on 6/1/2014
    We got there right at opening, so not many people were there. The server was clearly in training, so there were a few things he missed, but he was pleasant and made a good effort. We had a few kinds of rolls, a salad, and edamame. Everything was delicious, and we enjoyed the Snap Dragon wines (Cabernet & Riesling). The orange mouse tart was first served frozen, but then replaced for one that was ready to eat. The only thing that really turned me off was the conditions of the seats. Most of the coverings were disintegrating. Overall, it was a good experience.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • nice little spot
    CasualDiner
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    came here looking to try a new Japanese/sushi place and discovered a pleasant surprise. liked the modern decor. service was prompt. tried a dinner combo box and 2 rolls (I forget the names). the teriyaki chicken & salmon were both were prepared well. the fish in the sashimi & rolls were fresh. great spot to come back in the future
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wouldn't go back
    highstandards
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    Beat up furniture, no sparkling water, sushi was average, waiter in training was very sweet but not a good waiter.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I love Thursday $7 roll
    notthatgood
    Dined on 5/22/2014
    We made reservation for 7 people and there is last minute change and we have to add 5 more people. They are very accomodating and add extra table so we are able to have a group of 12 on the spot. Their food is very acceptable. Their appetizer is tasty and the price is reasonable. The waitress is very friendly. I love the place, the food and the people.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice decor
    TJae7513
    Dined on 5/22/2014
    Came here on a Thursday for the $7 all sushi rolls promo. Who can beat that?! Decor is modern and hip, service was great. Tried some Walu sashimi, ehh wasn't completely defrosted.. I've never had icy Walu before definitely a first. As for the rolls, nothing special. I'd only come back on a Thursday.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Sushi done by Japanese people
    Paxlee
    Dined on 5/22/2014
    I would have walked right by this place and never booked if it wasn't for the reviews here but I certainly wasn't disappointed. (You will be if you don't reserve - they are very busy and fill up fast!) The Sushi was amazing and the menu was extensive. This is Sushi done by Japanese people with Sushi training; they know their stuff. Great service, knowledgeable staff. Prices were very reasonable. Thursday is $7 Sushi specials, well worth remembering. I would highly recommend and will return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • out of towners
    dews
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    We were staying in milbrae for a wine tour the following day and we ate here because the reviews were good. We made reservations online fast and easy. We were seated within 5 mins upon arriving. It's a hip place with great sushi and good food.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 21 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 4, 2014
    • Overall Rating3.6
    • Food4
    • Ambiance3.6
    • Service3.9
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The following 145 reviews are from the Zen Sushi Bistro reviews archive.
  • Second time there
    steveVIP
    Dined on 4/12/2014
    We has three pork ramen's and a California roll. The food was average and the service was poor. I had to keep calling the wait staff every time i wanted something. They should check in on their customer more often. I will give this place one more try.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Disappointing experience
    Phyllbarb
    Dined on 2/18/2014
    We have been here before and were expecting outstanding food. We ordered a number of smaller plates instead of a dinner. The beef rolls were mediocre as was the yake soba. The othe dishes we had werent bad but nothing special. The best thing we had was a special sushi which was quite delicious. We have definitely had better food in other Japanese restaurants.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A quality sushi joint!
    Roblikessushi
    Dined on 2/16/2014
    Large selection of sushi options made it worthwhile to try something new. Very fresh food. A little pricey but noticeably better food than most sushi restaurants. Service was far better than average for a slow to moderately slower evening. This was our first visit and we'd definitely go back
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Roll Specials on Thursdays!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 2/13/2014
    Visited with a friend who was in from out of town. Was very pleasantly surprised to find that they had specially priced rolls on the night that we happened to dine there. Taste and quality were good, and you can't beat the discounted prices!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, good for groups, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • doo-ooo-kay-laa = it's just ok
    Aries94404
    Dined on 2/8/2014
    food was actually good. Wait person lacked attention and focus. Perhaps needs more experience, training, and common sense.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Variety
    Susie214
    Dined on 2/4/2014
    I loved the different types of sushi they had to offer
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Friendly Staff and prompt service
    schu
    Dined on 1/31/2014
    Everybody is friendly and greet you promptly. Food is good with decent portion. Price is reasonable and they offer special deal. Foods come out quickly without 10 minutes. They have a lot of special rolls to choose from. We will definitely come back to try their other rolls.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • price too high, food portion too sm
    sushiluvr8
    Dined on 1/25/2014
    Waiter very aggresive in pushing high priced items. Seats old with broken cover and dirty bathroom.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice atmosphere
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 1/11/2014
    Situated on a popular street in Millbrae with other shops and restaurants. Could be cozy enough for a couple's night out, but is also kid-friendly for families. Rolls are good, especially the crunchy California roll. The tempura is also excellent. Is a tad pricey for what you get, but the restaurant has a special "roll night" one night during the week, which has their rolls at a discount. Will definitely have to check it out again on that night!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointing
    FoodFan
    Dined on 12/21/2013
    Compare to the price, the taste of the food is very disappointing. Everything is too sweet. I like sweet, but even for me, they are too sweet! Nothing WOWING. We were seated at a table behind a glass partition, there was a group in the corner that is LOUD (not energetic, more of annoying). Being behind the partition, the sound is amplified. Very annoying. Our server is the best feature of our visit. I don't think I will come back here.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Spectacular lobster sashimi
    rwarkovVIP
    Dined on 12/18/2013
    Have eaten much sushi elsewhere over the years. Have also cooked and consumed more than my fare share of New England lobster. This was one of the most memorable ways of preparing lobster I have ever tried. Live lobster, tail cut and served sashimi style, then remainder of lobster cooked in a fantastic spicy ramen noodle soup. Truly extraordinary. My first time here, really memorable, will be back again!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • So many options
    Grace
    Dined on 12/14/2013
    The menu had so many options but they all felt like they were very similar with very subtle differences. Just so many options that it felt overwhelming to pick and choose. For some reason, this place had lots of families with young children coming here. I don't have a problem with kids, but these all seem to have the kids that would hollar and scream, so it was noisy. Then there was only 2 waitresses in the whole place, which wasn't too bad for the size of the restaurant. But two times I asked a bus-boy and a different waitress who brought our food (but not our main waitress) for a straw, and they both didn't bring it out. Our main waitress was great though!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ok Sushi
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 11/5/2013
    I am picky about my sushi. This place has ok sushi. Its not the best its not the worst. Its about average for sushi in the area.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Tasty Japanese food
    Yukof
    Dined on 10/29/2013
    I went to Zen Bistro for dinner with my husband. We had grilled asparagus, Agedashi tofu, Rock N' Roll, a combination dinner of California roll, chicken teriyaki and Tempura. They were all tasty. Then we ordered a cream puff and a snowball, which weren't so good. We should have ordered some other desserts. The service was very good and we enjoyed our eating out. I would hghly recommend this restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not cheap for that small food.
    Amanda
    Dined on 10/27/2013
    Not cheap for that small food. That doesn't match the Yelp's $$ sign.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Modern decor. Service wasn't
    CherieVIP
    Dined on 10/25/2013
    Modern decor. Service wasn't bad but could be a bit more personable. Food was good. We ordered the some bento boxes, gyoza, dragon roll, tokyo ramenchicken, tuna tataki and cold sake. A little on the pricey side but the food was almost good enough to justify the cost.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • First time
    Veronica
    Dined on 10/24/2013
    We came here for the first time on a Thursday, had no idea they had all rolls $7. To say the least, we will be coming back! Food was fantastic, they were very busy so service was ok but it was efficient. Thumbs up!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Thursday is Value Rolls!
    KAS1VIP
    Dined on 10/24/2013
    We visited on a Thursday and found they offered $7 for any roll on their menu. Made the choice for rolls very easy! Many of the rolls had tempura or were lightly deep fried. A bit too much fry for us but we still managed to consume about 4 rolls between the 3 of us. We also had a bowl of their varied sashimi and it was delicious. The prices were normal for sushi and incredibly inexpensive on their $7 Roll Thursday. Fun place. Nice job. Unexpected find.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food: good, service need to improve
    ZenReviewerVIP
    Dined on 10/11/2013
    Had dinner with my wife at the restaurant. Sushi was fresh. Food was good. However service need improvement. After taking our order, the server didn't return to check with us after we've almost finished our food. We had to wait for her to add some tea. Then, after we finished our dinner, she came by to give us the dessert menu. However, she didn't come back to take our order for over 20min. We decided to ask for the check (from another server) instead.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • FUN for sushi and izakaya
    Chris
    Dined on 9/20/2013
    Sushi is featured, but their small plates, izakaya, was fun and yummy. The grilled asparagus was delicious. Their nigiri hamachi was incredibly generous - the huge thick slice of very fresh hamachi was an unexpected surprise.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • DELICIOUS
    Clara
    Dined on 7/24/2013
    Zen bistro honestly had one of the tastiest sushi I have ever had! (O.J. Roll, Volcano Roll YUM). The oysters were fresh and delicious and the service was awesome and got our food out so quickly! The $1 oysters and sake wednesdays was a great plus
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, great for brunch, romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch, special occasion, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Nice Japanese Restsurant
    JessicaBabyVIP
    Dined on 7/14/2013
    It was my second time there. I like the setting with bench seats and the movable walls providing some privacy for groups. Food and service were fair, not exceptional, but would still recommend to others. Price range is reasonable.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great happy hour specials
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 7/5/2013
    Had a great feeding frenzy and will return for sure!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.