modern mexican – parte dos

26 05 2009

This past weekend, Saam and I had a late dinner at La Sandia (since our mainstay, CPK, was closed).  As mentioned previously, it is the other Modern Mexican franchise in the DC Metro area.  Like Zengo, La Sandia looked inviting and had great design elements.  I loved the embossed silver ceiling and the detailed cutouts on the bar and walls. You can see what I mean by viewing the restaurant gallery.

We started off with sangria and an agua fresca, a traditional Mexican drink made from fruit, water, and sugar.  I first heard about these drinks from The Splendid Table (one of my fave radio programs) and wanted to try it.  The sangria was pretty good and the agua fresca (watermelon for the night) was delicious. We also ordered beef and chorizo empanadas.  The chile chipotle sauce looks like baby food, but trust me, it tastes much better than it looks. The creme fraiche added a nice light flavor to the flaky empanadas.

lasandia

We decided to split chicken fajitas, which was plenty for the two of us.  The fajitas were pretty tasty but nothing revolutionary, much like the restaurant it seemed.  Perhaps I would have really liked the other entrees (that included seafood or pork).  Overall, it was a pleasant dining experience and one of the better late night dining options.  

lasandia fajitas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

xoxo,
andi

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modern mexican?

22 05 2009

What is the first food that comes to mind when you hear the term modern mexican? Some kind of tex mex or tacos? What about the name “zengo“? It was a rainy Saturday afternoon when me and my teammate Andi decided to hit up Chinatown in DC for some grub before we met up with some buddies. We came across the most appealing restaurant on the block, Zengo, which is japanese for “give and take.” Now let me tell you, nothing about the resturant looked or tasted Mexican. But I’ve got to say, it was one of the most hip and modern asian fusion resturants I have exprerienced. The modern decor with the floating artistic hangings and amber accented walls stood out at me immediately. I do believe I have somewhat of an eye and appreciation for art and interior design. But let’s just say, if I were to ever open a reasturant of my own, it would be closely modeled after Zengo.

zengodining

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

zengofloat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The menu was rather small yet refreshing. We tried everything from sushi rolls to peking duck taco to chicken tandoori. Each individually delicous and well decorated with a simple modern touch. Here is a good chance for me to clue you in on a little secret about me. Well me and seafood don’t really get along well, especially raw seafood. The farthest I’ve gone is a variety of fish, calamari and maybe if you’re lucky you’ll catch me eating shrimp. So this was my 2nd time attemping to eat sushi. So I decided to take it slow and start off with the “vegetarian roll” which was suprisingly tasteful. I promise to be brave next time and try some rolls with actual fish/seafood. Oh did I mention the elegant design of the diningware?  (Side note – the dinner pics are not the clearest since I took them with an iPhone and it was dimly lit inside – nice ambiance but not conducive to great shots using the flashless iPhone).

zengorolls

zengomenu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

zengotaco

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

lomeinzengosam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok, you’re probably still wondering where “modern mexican” came from? I was wondering the same thing untill I got my hands on a Zengo business card. Modern mexican is the name of the company which owns Zengo and 6 other restaurants, including locations in Mexico, Qatar, and Dubai. All resturants are the invention of the fine chef Richard Sandoval. Appears to me that most of the other 6 restaurants do infact have some type of a Latin/Mexican taste to it. I will try to check out La Sandia, the only other one close to me when I get the chance! I suggest you do the same!

~Saam