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Zen: a state of mind and a restaurant in Downtown

Published: Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Updated: Wednesday, February 3, 2010 20:02

There are some types of places that get looked over because they seem too fancy, or they’re not with the times of today’s generation. On N. Elm Street in downtown Greensboro, a lot of restaurants get over looked and Zen Sushi is one of them. Those who overlook Zen Sushi & Sake Bar are missing the experience of a lifetime. A thing to be noted is how much time goes into building and decorating a place like Zen Sushi. When walking by Zen Sushi it seems like it’s a typical Japanese/Chinese food place. Maybe they’ll have some good sushi, maybe they won’t. If this is the average customer’s mind set, that customer needs to just turn and go into this place and they’ll be surprised.

The inside is a lot larger than it first appears. Perfectly decorated to match a Japanese or Chinese sushi restaurant, customers will feel like they’re not even in Greensboro anymore. Candles align the walls overtop matching booths. Smaller booths allow for more intimate circumstances and this sense of intimacy is matched by the food being served by candlelight. The booths are U-shaped and small, so if a couple goes on a dinner-date at Zen Sushi, it is automatic that they will be closer than normal which is always a good thing when one is on a date, right? The back of the bar is lit up by smaller candles and there’s even a smiling Buddha at the end of the bar adding to the overall environment. Well-dressed waiters approach customers as if they’re all friends. In this well-created space, this friendliness adds to a better customer-server interaction and this will eventually add to more food being purchased and bigger tips.

Speaking of food, the food at Zen Sushi is impeccable. Perfectly laid out on sturdy black plates, a customer’s senses will be overwhelmed in the best way possible. Take the vegetable tempura for example. The vegetables are perfectly arranged on a bed of romaine lettuce, battered to perfection showcasing the carrots, zucchini, cucumbers and varying vegetables. Some people don’t like to eat their vegetables but in this case, it’s not only suggested, it’s required. A seemingly endless dipping sauce of oil and herbs add the final touch needed for this fried delicacy. The Sushi itself is artfully arranged. Even the simplest of sushi rolls (The Cucumber Roll) is arranged beautifully with one corner of wasabi and one corner of ginger. The Cucumber Roll is extremely refreshing and expertly made. One bite from this plate of six rolls will make you order another plate. These Cucumber Rolls are only four dollars and they are buy one get one half off, so eat more and get more for your dollar. For dessert, try the green tea ice cream. It sounds off-putting at first, but it really is a refreshing end to an amazing meal.

Bring a date and really get to know them over candlelight or bring some friends and have some great times in a fantastic environment with refreshing and amazing food. The prices are reasonable in the land of Japanese/Chinese food, so if a student takes the HEAT or GTA bus downtown, they can ride for free and not break the bank while enjoying a fantastic meal. Go to Zen Sushi anytime and you’ll be guaranteed to go back for more!

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