In Japanese, a Zen is a small dining table or tray used to serve meals. However, Zen originally meant “well-composed meal.” The character for the word is composed of two parts. The left half represents the human body, and the right half is the character meaning “good.” Therefore the word Zen essentially means something that is good for your body. At Sushi Zen, we believe that both meanings of zen are equally important, and we aim to make your dining experience a pleasant and healthy one.
The Japanese have traditionally envisioned human beings as part of nature, and emphasized the need for harmony with the natural environment. It is often said that this conception was born of the diversity and vibrancy of nature in the Japanese archipelago. Though on the one hand Japan is plagued by earthquakes and floods, nature also provides a wealth of seasonal foods, beautiful scenery, and many other important benefits to the Japanese people. We prefer not to fight the environment, but rather to respect and appreciate the awesome power of Mother Nature.
This reverence for nature is reflected in the emphasis on seasonality in traditional Japanese cuisine. Rather than resist the ebb and flow of the seasons, we choose to enjoy the unique tastes available at various times of the year. Japanese food blends a wealth of natural ingredients to produce healthy, delicate flavor balances.
In recent years, these characteristics have once again put traditional Japanese food in the spotlight. This is part of a growing backlash against the “just add more” philosophy that dominates contemporary food and makes it too sweet, too salty, too spicy, and too oily. The results of this culinary overkill are clear in the epidemic of lifestyle-related diseases that plague society today.
The height of Japanese culinary art is a harmonious montage of diverse flavors and textures. We value each ingredient, working to bring out its special characteristics and appeal. We are committed to blending the unique flavors, scents, textures, and colors of our ingredients to create something greater than the sum of its parts—yet at the same time we take care to let each part shine in its own right.
This requires extensive experience, extraordinary skill, and respect for the spirit of traditional Japanese cuisine. Encounters with seasonal ingredients stimulate our senses and inspire us to craft exquisite works of art for your plate. It is our daily delight to serve you simple, elegant, beautiful Japanese masterworks.
The primary feature of our restaurant at dinner is the sushi counter that has only 10 seats and no sushi case. By removing this barrier and limiting the number of patrons we serve, we hope to maximize your culinary experience and give you a chance to observe sushi chefs at work. We invite you to enjoy a seasonal feast for the eyes and the palate, tailored to your individual tastes.
Today we find sushi rolls everywhere; it can be purchased at any grocery store. From Dragon rolls to Godzilla rolls, the combination of ingredients and sauces are endless. So popular, that one may believe that Sushi simply means rolls.
Some may say that the trend is a mockery to the Japanese Cuisine, as the term Sushi has been stretched and used so abundantly as a marketing tool, and can no longer see the point of categorizing it as sushi.
We see things from a different perspective. We believe it is a spotlight or a dropped pin on our cultural cuisine. It is natural to see trends grow and evolve to a new genre. We are also not worried about saturation in the market making sushi bland and generic simply because, we are in an age where the more we see generalization and exaggeration; the more we give birth to connoisseurs who seek the originals, the roots and we believe that is our purpose; to satisfy the connoisseurs.
Our guests over the past few years have greatly grown with deep knowledge and understanding in the connection of food and culture, have a wide range of flavor palates, and values minimalism and simplicity. We provide them with the highest standards of quality, and discipline to tradition. Sticking to our roots of origin and preserving the Umami of each piece we serve.
Sushi is not just about presentation; it is the best way to appreciate true flavor. The act of “Umami” can only be accomplished by “minimal human additives” releasing the natural flavors within each individual ingredient, harmonizing perfectly when it touches your tongue. These characteristics cannot be accomplished by adding sauces & creams; in fact the next time you have a chance to eat a modern roll at a trending spot, try eating the fish, rice by itself. You will notice that there are no flavors, some may even taste bad. The sauce is there for one purpose, to cloak the quality of flavor of what you are truly eating with what the sauce perceives you in believing what you are consuming.
For guests who have never dined with us before, I highly recommend dining at our Sushi Counter. The best time to eat sushi is when it is Made To Order. The moment we place the sushi on the plate, is the moment in which sushi can be truly understood.