Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
About Zen Sushi Bistro
Millbrae, CA 94030
Japanese, Seafood, Asian
Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Tuesday -Sunday 11:30am-2:30pm
Dinner: Sunday - Thursday 5pm-9:30pm
Friday - Saturday 5pm-10pm
$50 and over
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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.
For catering of $300 or more please place your order 24 hours in advance.
There is street parking and a free parking lot next to our restaurant.
Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Special Events & Promotions:
- Mondays- All Night Happy Hour! $2 Drinks, $4 Appetizers & $5 Sushi Rolls
- Wednesdays -$1 Oysters and $1 small house sake
- Thursdays- All Sushi Roll are $7 (Roll Out Thursdays)
Zen Sushi Bistro Ratings and Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
The good parts were the edamame and the spinach salad and perhaps the volume of rolls. The service was spotty and awkward. Ordered food and it came in a weird order. The servers didn't know how to deal with too many plates on the table or to clear them. The sushi was very average. The hamachi sashimi special was probably ok a few days earlier. The rolls with warm items like tempura prawns arrived cold and doughy. The items with crab had fake / snow crab. Our sake arrived towards the end of the meal. All and all it was very average with spotty service. good thing we were very hungry otherwise we would have left after the first roll. I had high hopes with some of the reviews here but alas it was not to be.......
We Love Zen Sushi Bistro!! We have continued to go to this restaurant without ever being disappointed. Waiter is always willing to guide you with choices of sushi. service is quick. Sushi is fresh & most tasty. Special discount prices on Thursday night. A real gem.
Love this place for their Thursday night specials, DELICIOUS & CREATIVE menu!
But I stopped frequenting this place because I'm must be allergic to some ingredients. I always feel a heat rash at my calves & my heart racing after dining here ?too much MSG?, Fish skin, idk? Also, not to mention the 1-2 flies I'm often shooing away. Too bad they don't install a blower at the doors or thick curtains at the entrance/exit to enclose it and separate it from the rest of the restaurant. Or maybe they are leaving the kitchen door open. All I know is when I find more than 1 fly in a restaurant it makes me question their cleanliness. However, if you don't mind this, it's a great place to enjoy some innovative tastes.
This place is normally very good. But this last time was one for the books. I took my daughter there to celebrate her perfect attendance at school. Made a reservation got there early. The table wasn't ready which was fine. We could wait but after the food got to the table and we are. We were ready to leave. We waited for over 20 minutes for the waiter to come back. It was like he disappeared. A table full of regulars came in and what looked like a manager or an owner came out to talk to the table. My fiancé was standing by the hostess desk waiting for someone to acknowledge him. This owner/manager didn't say two words to him just walked around like he was looking for someone. Who knows why was going on at this place Tuesday night but it was a terrible experience and we will not be going back again.
Recently, I have been pleasantly surprised by how good the sushi is at many restaurants on the Peninsula. Unfortunately, this was not the case at Zen Sushi Bistro. I was there dining wth a colleague and we both had lunch combinations which included nigiri sushi and spicy tuna rolls. He and I both were disappointed in the freshness of the fish in both cases. The spicy tuna roll was particularly fishy. Given the great options for sushi, I won't be going back to Zen Sushi Bistro.
Best sashimi ever!
We ordered the sashimi combination plate B. Everything was so fresh and delicious. (It's been very consistent every time we go)
Also, the same for raw oysters! (Btw, Wed. evening is the dollar oyster special- extra plus)
As for tempura, the portobello one is crispy and very nicely seasoned (addictive, in fact).
The seafood was not as fresh as it's supposed to be, the food was not presented as you saw in the picture on the menu, and it seems this restaurant is no longer operated by the original Japanese owner, thus the quality of the food goes down hill, the restaurant is no longer crowded, this might be the reason.
It's a good thing I go to Zen Bistro early because they fill up fast! This little gem on Broadway in Millbrae has great ambiance and a very attentive wait staff. I've tried appetizers (my favorite is the pork belly), sushi, sashimi and tempura all of which are excellent. No one I've taken to Zen Bistro has been disappointed and are usually pleasantly surprised.
It was the second time I ate there. The staff was very friendly when we asked to extend the reserved spots from 6 to 10, and also during the rest of the dinner. The place is quite loud but understandable considering the modern and dinamic ambiance they try to create. The $8 Thursday Offer is a GREAT deal, otherwise the prices can be a little expensive, but still affordable. As usual, great flavor. The sashimi dish we ordered was ok, nothing extraordinary. Is a good place to gather with friends or family
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