Zengo: Latin-Asian Cuisine From Richard Sandoval With Private Dining
Contributing to the roster of event- and entertaining-appropriate restaurants in the new Santa Monica Place mall is Zengo. Chef Richard Sandoval and business partner Maestro Placido Domingo opened the venue, which serves Latin-Asian cuisine. The space holds about 350 for a reception. A patio holds 64 for seated events or 80 for a reception. And a private dining room has room for six for a seated event, or 15 for cocktails.
Menu items include apple-aji amarillo corvina ceviche and achiote-hoisin pork arepas. Ingredients take on unexpected roles in some dishes, like slices of Asian radish that serve as tortillas in the Peking duck daikon tacos. The menu also mixes preparations of ingredients from both Asian and Latin cuisines; for instance, cilantro and mango salsa garnish chicken tandoori. Dishes are meant to be shared.
Handcrafted cocktails are inspired by Latin and Asian regions. There's an extensive list of sakes, sochus, piscos, aguadientes, mezcals, and tequilas, plus Latin wines and Latin and Asian beers. Guests may also purchase and store personal bottles of Latin-Asian spirits at Zengo’s bar for six months.
Designed by AvroKO, Zengo has ethnic touches—teal, glazed red tile, brown leathers, and black concrete tile flooring. The two main walls of the dining room house red lava tiles, and rose-colored glass lighting pendants hang over the main dining area. Oversize awning windows line the east wall, and the north facade is a comprised of movable glass walls that open to the large covered patio. The bar separates the indoor and outdoor spaces, and is bathed in light from cast glass pieces evocative of Asian lanterns. Art in the space includes glazed ceramic opium pillows, a wall of Asian tea tins, and sculptural incense burners. The venue offers views of the ocean and the Third Street Promenade.
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