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Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
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Booked 5 times today

Zen Sushi Bistro

4.4
255 reviews
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$50 and over
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Japanese
Top Tags:
  • Casual (2)
  • Good for Groups (2)
  • Happy Hour (2)
Japanese Resturant
Dining Style
Home Style
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Cuisines
Japanese, Seafood, Asian
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Hours of operation
Lunch: Tuesday -Sunday 11:30am-2:30pm
Dinner: Sunday - Thursday 5pm-9:30pm
Friday - Saturday 5pm-10pm
Closed: Monday
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Phone number
(650) 697-9988
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Sano
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Catering
For catering of $300 or more please place your order 24 hours in advance.
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Neighborhood
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Parking details
There is street parking and a free parking lot next to our restaurant.
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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.
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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)
Additional
Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 255 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4  based on recent ratings
4.3
food
3.8
service
3.5
ambience
3.7
value
Noise · Moderate
83% of people would recommend it to a friend
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vipKenny (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on January 11, 2018

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.

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OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on December 21, 2017

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.

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OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on October 27, 2017

Great deals on their happy hour menu. The kids loved the $5 California roll. Food quality is very consistent and enjoyable.

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vipOpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on September 3, 2017

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.

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vipluv2eatout (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on August 31, 2017

Lots of good and different options. Try the sake flight! Had a sake I'd never think to order and liked it.

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OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on August 12, 2017

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.

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OpenTable Diner (Yosemite)
5.0  Dined on July 29, 2017

Staff was excellent and the food was exceptional.

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OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
2.0  Dined on July 14, 2017

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.

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vipKenny (San Francisco)
1.0  Dined on June 23, 2017

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.

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vipOpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on June 18, 2017

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.

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vipAnja (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on February 23, 2017

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!

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OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on February 1, 2017

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.

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vipKenny (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on December 31, 2016

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.

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Daly (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on December 30, 2016

Best sushi I've had since Hawaii sushi ;)
Try the zigzag! Yum!

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OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on December 11, 2016

Rainbow roll

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vipLReader (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on December 2, 2016

Good as always. Oysters were very fresh.

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vipOpenTable Diner (Denver)
5.0  Dined on November 29, 2016

Wasn't what I was expecting from the outside but the sushi options were great!

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vipOpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
2.0  Dined on November 11, 2016

Service was poor from the beginning to end. Three servers with maybe 50% full restaurant

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OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on September 29, 2016

Great food & great service!!

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SFtourist (Las Vegas)
5.0  Dined on September 7, 2016

This is a great place for good food with good value. They have a very creative menu. And their Wed $1 oysters are to die for. It sits on this Asian citrus vinegar that tastes amazing. Will def be back!!

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vipAnja (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on September 1, 2016

I only come to Zen Bistro for their half-price rolls on Thursdays! It is a great deal, and their rolls are tasty (ZigZag is my favorite!). Staff is friendly, but service can be quite slow.

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vipsustainableeater (New York Area)
4.0  Dined on August 3, 2016

We thought there was a great selection, and especially appreciated lots of delicious vegetarian options. Good menu, good quality food. Would definitely recommend and would definitely return!

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vipMountainReader (San Francisco)
2.0  Dined on July 1, 2016

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.......

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vipfstoney (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on June 23, 2016

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.

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vipRifka (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on June 16, 2016

Absolutely fantastic sushi and super super fresh and delicious!

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OceanLover (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on June 10, 2016

The best place for sushi lover! The chef Sano always surprises with something new.
Love the place!

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Mandy (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on May 25, 2016

Booked reservation an hour before we went. Really enjoyed the happy hour and the sashimi. $1 oysters and $1 sake was fantastic. We had a spicy veggie roll which was great. Love this place!!

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CcJj (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on May 19, 2016

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.

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vipOpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
1.0  Dined on May 17, 2016

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.

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vipSOMAExec (San Francisco)
2.0  Dined on May 6, 2016

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.

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