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Friday, May 30, 2014

Zakuro: Japanese, so-so

Lunch date #56: May 23, 2014

We had met to try Mama Rosa's by Trader Joes and were surprised to find it closed; as in closed-down, out-of-business. We were a bit short on time and looked around and spied Zakuro (6700 Santa Rita Road; www.zakurobistro.com) in the plaza and decided, well why not give it a try. Only problem: we really don't eat sushi, and mom didn't have her "pincher" chopstick cheaters with her!

Location 3 points: on the corner of the TJ's plaza facing Santa Rita. This location has changed hands numerous times…was a burger joint at one time.

Ambiance 3 points: really nothing special. Not even much in the way of Asian style décor. "Someone should tell them Christmas is over" said Mom noticing the Christmas-ornament balls attached to one wall hanging. Maybe there is something in Japanese art that uses Christmas-ornament balls that we don't know??

Menu 4 points: Lots of sushi (well, what did we expect?). Unfortunately, we were given a dinner menu at first and sad not to see an offering of our favorite bento box. When we commented on this to our server, she recognized the error and promptly brought us lunch menus, featuring bento boxes! Yay, something we can recognize. I ordered chicken teriyaki and a California roll (my sushi limit), while Mom went for the teri-chicken and the tempura veggies.

Service 2.5 points: Really not much attention. Our server actually brought our soup without spoons. When I pointed this out, she seemed to indicate that was obvious…but it took her quite a bit to get the spoons to us. The rest of the meal was served without incident.

Food 3 points: Everything was fine. Nothing great, nothing bad. The teriyaki chicken was tender enough, the California roll was good and Mom liked her tempura. Nothing outstanding to make us feel that we were in for a special treat.

Value 4 points: Bento boxes were large and we both took quite a bit home. Total price per box just under $10.

Overall score for Zakuro 3.25 points: Nothing special, but not bad. Perhaps if we knew sushi and tried more of the maki and nigiri, we would have a different opinion, but we really don’t. So, unlikely we would return, but we had a great time lunching together and chatting…which is all that really matters!

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