Regardless, let’s break down the night and the meal. Rob, I, and our friend Eric had decided to head out to Zokku, the newest of a line of trendy sushi places. We hadn’t heard much about the place so we figured on giving it the once over. Upon entering we were awe struck. Were we in a Vegas gambling hall? A tacky night club? A cheesy pickup bar? 1985? The strange décor that beats your eyes with a bike chain of try-to-hard trendiess is just… wrong.
Big glass cubes building walls from a 1980’s hair salon, uber chic Ikea lights of all kinds, the bar having big pieces of plastic rock that belong in a Vegas tropical themed hotel pool. It was all smashed together. The red walls were the only things remotely Asian. You would never know it was a sushi restaurant. Had you not seen the menu, Zokku’s choice of cuisine could be interchanged with any other kind of hipster offerings.
Rap music blared out loudly over the restaurant. Not that I mind rap, but not with my sushi thanks. Louder still were the annoying twenty-somethings (yeah, I’m 23, shut up) yelling loudly to be heard over the music. It just makes you eager to leave.
The appetizer, my sushi, and Eric’s tempura all arrived at the same time. Aren’t appetizers usually a first course type of thing? The appetizer of prawns with mango salsa and garlic sauce was really, prawns with strips of mango and honey for dipping. Totally wrong.
The tempura was tempura, you can’t botch it and it tasted damn good. My sushi was fine, nothing fantastic. Another designer roll with sauces, avocado, etc. It was tasty, but nothing you can’t get at every sushi place. 20 minutes later, Rob got his teriyaki chicken. Truly amazing, some of the shibbiest teriyaki I have ever had. If only we hadn’t had to wait for it for 20 minutes.
At one point a waiter came to our table pointed to us and yelled to the other staff “As soon as these people leave I’ll just join these tables up for that big group coming in!” sweeping his hand across the empty tables and us in a dismissive manner. Nice to know we were taking up their valuable space.
The sake section had issues. The sakes were not priced in the menu. I hate asking to know the prices as it makes me feel cheap, which I can be at times but I don’t want to acknowledge it. Our waitress gave me the rundown of the prices and it was all reasonable. No complaints there. What did bother me was her complete lack of knowledge of any of the sake. Her friend she called over to help her out was equally clueless. I dismissed the sake idea and ordered a sidecar. Classic drink; all bartenders should know this one. It was all whiskey and lime juice. The glass was rimmed with sugar and there were cherries and limes in the glass, mocking me.
My friend Megan had a similar experience. She and her dining companion had their plates whisked away without a chance to protest that 1) they weren’t done eating what was on those plates, and 2) they wanted more food, which was not offered as an option. The check was brought to them. Upset, the paid it, left, and went out to another place as they weren’t full. She also noted the drinks were all “glowing lime green things that tasted bad."
My summary: Tacky, loud place with okay food, bad drink, and customers are a nuisance to the people working there.