Friday, January 7, 2011

The Skyway Sybarite: Zen Box

This week's review is Zen Box Japanese Eatery located at 6th and Hennepin. With guest reviewer Amanda from if you tell anyone....

I ate: Yaki Soba bowl and Spicy Funky Roll

AC ate: Buckwheat Soba Salad and Zen Ocean Roll

AC writes:

Zen Box is certainly a box - a very small, hot one with minimal space except to order and get out. I had been waiting for a long time to eat the soba noodle salad there. Weeks, in fact. I'd walked past the sign telling me delicious soba noodle salad waited just inside the doors but I ignored it... until I realized there are about three healthy things in the skyway to eat for lunch and the soba salad was one of them. I'd say for Japanese fast food I wasn't disappointed. The soba noodles were not the highest quality buckwheat noodles around but they're not bad. I think it could have used a few more vegetables besides edamame but the dressing was great and the lettuce was crisp.

AC likes: Employees who know what ingredients are in the food - a bonus for those with allergies. They also are the only fast food place in the skyway that serves short grain brown rice.
AC would skip: The sushi. There are plenty of places in the skyway that have a fresher tastier selection.

My two cents:

Service was extremely fast and friendly. When I asked for Yaki Soba with no chicken, the girl behind the counter did her best to give me as little chicken as possible. In my world, steam table meat = G R O S S. The yaki soba bowl was advertised with assorted vegetables, but I could only identify cabbage. That said, it was tasty and quite a bargain for a such a large portion. I think I ended up eating about 1/3. The roll was decent, for pre-made sushi, but wasn't anything special. I've had worse but I've had better. I like my pieces a little daintier, so I don't look like a chipmunk while I try to chew and swallow my food.

AH likes: Aside from the meat, the food did not have the "steam table" taste or texture that usually turns me off at fast food eateries. There were a fair amount of vegetarian options, as well.
AH would skip: I agree. The sushi. Nothing will live up to my beloved Bagu.

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