Have been going to Zen Bistro for many years. I love the sashimi and nigiri. They are very generous with the fish cuts and it is incredibly fresh.
Service is usually quite spotty, but this night the server was fantastic. The restaurant can get very crowded.
At the risk of sounding racially biased, I feel that the management tend to give preference to Chinese speaking customers. I saw this night a family complain to the manager that the wait was too long and magically they got a table. There was still a bunch of folks waiting. Also when the server was taking our order, that same table rudely interrupted her to ask for something.
I am Japanese and appreciate service as part of my dining. I hate rude customers. Please appreciate your servers and consider other customers. You are not the only person the world.
The sukiyaki was very very good and the rolls were priced perfect considering that it was happy hour Thursday ($8 rolls).
Reserving a table on Open Table let us ahead of the queue. It pays to reserve online.
Great deals on their happy hour menu. The kids loved the $5 California roll. Food quality is very consistent and enjoyable.
Sushi was great. Very helpful advice from server regarding sake. Restaurant was busy and wait staff seemed a bit overwhelmed. But the quality is so good, we will return.
Lots of good and different options. Try the sake flight! Had a sake I'd never think to order and liked it.
So disappointed this visit to Zen Bistro, service still good, politeness and efficiency from waiters and waitresses good.. but the food has gone way way downhill unfortunately. We ordered two of the combination sushi platters (because we felt one was not enough for 4) and got small portions of sashimi, not like the last time where the slices were large and fresh. This time they seared our sashimi! Even cooked a few pieces, if I wanted cooked fish I would have ordered cooked fish. I just wonder if they were hiding the freshness of the fish, maybe it was day old and they needed to hide the color. Have never received cooked sashimi in any high quality Japanese restaurant, especially if I ordered raw sashimi. Very disappointed! Not sure if I'll be back, it's very hit and miss at Zen, and consistency is a major factor.
Staff was excellent and the food was exceptional.
CUSTOMER SERVICE [Wait Staff] (Poor) »» A More Genuine "Welcome Greeting" Upon Arrival would have been appreciated .. AT LEAST offer Hot Tea or Water as soon as Customers were seated and not for them to feel neglected (after waiting about 15 minutes for beverage to be offered)..especially considering the fact that 18% "Gratuity Charge" would AUTOMATICALLY be added to the bill for 8 or more people (which was not an issue if service was adequately provided) .. Wait Staff should have a bit more knowledge of the food if there were inquiries from Customers about certain items .. Acknowledge the Birthday Recipient (perhaps a single scoop of ice cream with a candle at the end of dinner would have been a nice gesture) when it had been noted on the Open Table Reservation that the party was there for a "Birthday Event" >> These are just some of the basic gestures to be expected at such an establishment that has been around since 2008.
FOOD & PRESENTATION (Fair) »» There were a few items that appeared somewhat disappointing as far as quality was concerned.
OVERALL EXPERIENCE »» We certainly hope that the Owner/Manager/Staff will take note of this for possible future visits. Thank You.
Have been here many times. We keep coming back because the fish is very fresh and the sushi chef is terrific. This visit the food was again good, but it was the worst service ever by the wait staff. Tardy, inattentive, disingenuous, forgetful. We would have ordered more but we just needed to get out of there. Service has never been their strong point, but this was pathetic. So much for omotenashi.
There are many Japanese / sushi restaurants in the Bay area and this one was nothing special. The food was average and the restaurant staff was uninviting. Not worthy of its high ratings on open table.
We always come on Thursdays for $8 rolls. We come despite knowing that service is pretty terrible (waiter takes 10+ minutes to come to your table, doesn't check on your table after you have placed your order and ask for the bill, food can take over half an hour to come out (how? It is raw!), because the rolls are totally worth it. Favorites include the zig zag roll, volcano roll and a roll with kiwi (the name escapes me). Good value for money sushi rolls if you are willing to overlook the less than stellar service!
Wednesday - Happy Hour Oysters were awesome
The Ama Ebi was the freshest and plumpest shrimp I've ever had. The chef sashimi presentation was top notch.
Will definitely be back soon.
We love coming here for the freshest sashimi and Nigri sushi. You can keep the crazy elaborate rolls, it just masks the taste and texture of the fish. The sushi master chef is incredible. They are very generous with their cuts of fish unlike many other Japanese restaurants. The down side is that the servers are disorganized, some are lacking any knowledge of Japanese food or the menu. The pacing of the meal is also bad, when the last appetizer Co especially to the table nearly as we finished most of the entrees, is pretty poor. For the slightly higher price you hope to get better service.
Best sushi I've had since Hawaii sushi ;)
Try the zigzag! Yum!