Thursday 24 Apr
 
 

Green is good

Two enterprising former restaurant owners looked around Oklahoma City’s restaurant industry and thought it could be a lot greener. Chris Buerger and his partner, Brian DeShazo, took notice of the fact that there is no infrastructure to recycle in area restaurants.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Chow time

Chow’s Chinese Restaurant

3033 N. May Ave.

949-1663

What works: Dumplings, anything with ginger-scallion sauce, and lots more.

What needs work: Watch out for the raw garlic.

Tip: Take-out is a big time-saver.

04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Peru-fect

Naylamp Peruvian Restaurant

2106 SW 44th St.

601-2629

facebook.com/naylamprestaurante

What works: The friendly staff and authentic food give guests a true Peruvian experience.

What needs work: The small restaurant is kind of difficult to spot.

Tip: The choritos a la chalaca are a must-try for seafood fans.

04/23/2014 | Comments 0

OKG eat: Highfalutin dining

You don’t have to be a millionaire or a head of state to eat like one. While dining like a king every night might quickly take its toll on your pocketbook, sometimes it feels good to eat like a well-heeled big wheel. For a special occasion or maybe just as a special treat, look no farther than these upscale eateries to tempt your taste buds and delight your palate.

— By Louis Fowler, photos by Mark Hancock and Shannon Cornman

04/23/2014 | Comments 0

OKG7 eat: Fresh off the farm

There was a time not too terribly long ago in Oklahoma City when there was a chain on every corner and the closest you could get to local was to make a trip to your farmers market and make the food yourself. We always celebrate all things local, and luckily, it’s getting easier for OKC restaurants to incorporate locally grown, all- natural ingredients into what they offer.


— By Devon Green

photos by Mark Hancock and Shannon Cornman

04/16/2014 | Comments 0

OKG7 eat: Soccer pub crawl

Football season is finally here! We call it soccer, but that doesn’t have to stop you from indulging in two favorite European traditions: walking and pub crawling. Since the Energy FC games will be alcohol-free, we’ve created a list of pubs and taverns within walking distance from Clement E. Pribil Stadium at Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School.

— by Devon Green 

photos by Mark Hancock and Shannon Cornman

04/09/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Food · Restaurant Reviews · The Zen approach
Restaurant Reviews
 

The Zen approach


From decor to food, Zen is a notch above the rest in area Asian dining.

Carol Smaglinski July 13th, 2011

As a veteran restaurant reviewer, the first question I usually get asked by a new acquaintance is, “OK, so where’s the best restaurant around here?”

zen spring and summer rolls 27sc_10-58x7-20cm

I usually answer, “In what category?” Steakhouses, barbecue, Mediterranean, Italian, Indian, French, Mexican, Cajun, German, Greek, Asian and on and on. They look at me and sigh. Believe me, I’ve tried them all.

Could Zen Asian Dining be the top spot for Asian food in Edmond? It is darn near.

Husband-and-wife team Lesly and Jamil Tran own and operate Zen. Chef Jamil’s sister, Kathy Tien, is a co-owner at Grand House China Bistro, known for its trendy weekend dim sum in Oklahoma City. They have been in the hospitality business for more than a quarter of a century.

Zen’s chefs are influenced by the best of specialties from Vietnam, China, Thailand and Japan. Although the restaurant is off the main street and tucked into a strip mall called the Edmond Exchange Building, people have no problem finding it and like to order the General chicken with egg roll, fried wonton, soup and rice ($6.25) for lunch. Mongolian beef with a sweet and spicy light soy sauce ($8.25), the pan-seared tilapia filet with basil sauce ($12.95) and salt-and-pepper calamari ($6.50) from the appetizer list are other favorites.

Among its best choices on the menu are duck, pho noodles and salads, plus good smoothies and chrysanthemum or raspberry teas.

After downtown Edmond’s annual LibertyFest parade, I headed over to Zen with many other paradegoers. I wanted to try the pad Thai, which I did not get to taste during many previous visits to Zen since it opened in 2006.

The combination pad Thai ($6.95) was listed on the lunch special, available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It was a Thai stir-fried rice noodle dish with a good portion of large shrimp, chunks of chicken, sliced onions, red bell pepper, smaller hot peppers, egg and squares of fried tofu, all with decisive flavors of spice. Those who fear spiciness should have no problem here, as it tasted light and clean, with the chicken chunks almost a pristine white along with refreshing mint sprigs.

On another visit with a dining companion, it was the final day of the U.S. Open at the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md. Since my good friend had at one time belonged to the club, we considered carryout so we could catch the golf championship at home. But after a mention to our server, he graciously turned the channel from the baseball game to the golf match. Chef Tran, a golfer himself, came out to watch the final shots with us.

Dining on fine food right through the final moments, we began with mini Peking duck ($12.95) and frankly, there was nothing “mini” about it. The duck was tasty and tender, presented with buns and a sweet and spicy hoisin sauce. We followed it with well-prepared pork and black mushroom spring rolls ($4.95), a shrimp oriental salad ($7.50) and a cold cucumber salad ($3.95), which was so simple with soy sauce and sesame oil dressing — brilliant.

For our main courses, we let things kick off with fish and ordered the pleasing tilapia filet with black bean sauce ($12.95), plus a delicious Thai curry with chunks of salmon, scallops and shrimp ($17.95), all sparkling fresh. No shoe leather here.

For dessert, a shared piece of lemon smooth cake ($3.50) was outstanding.

Lesly Tran mentioned later that “zen” means “truth.”

“What you get at Zen is true, authentic Asian food,” she said.

Oklahoma Gazette’s restaurant review policy is to highlight the positive aspects, and include constructive criticism regarding food, ambience or service when appropriate.

 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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