A Taste of Zen Culinary

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Who doesn’t love a sexy restaurant serving up colorful, flavorful dishes? Meet Zen Culinary which opened in North Scottsdale in November.

Zen Culinary has a tempting menu comprising Asian meets modern American cuisine for lunch, dinner and happy hour. (During happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m., guests can enjoy discount on bar bites, cocktails, beer and wine and enjoy live piano music). Zen Culinary offers something for all five senses, with soothing water features, a concrete waterfall at the entryway, beautiful light and dark woods with pops of gold and red and two dining patios with a firepit.

During a recent lunchtime visit, we were pleased with the quantity and variety of dishes available, with sushi, salads, rice and noodle dishes, curry, hearty meat dishes, sandwiches and more available. Start out by splitting the no-frills BBQ chicken boa with a tablemate. The chicken is plentiful and the cloud-like steam bun offers the perfect canvas for it.

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For a colorful, refreshing and light lunch entree, try the sashimi bi bim bap (a Korean dish which means “mixed rice”). The bowl spotlights seasoned tuna, salmon, white tuna, sushi rice, veggies and sweet chili paste sauce. The dish is mighty satisfying but won’t weigh you down for the rest of the day. (And with its rainbow of colors, it is ready for a Instagram shot.)

If you’re seeking a heartier way to enjoy your midday meal, the organic lemongrass chicken is divine. The lemongrass-marinated grilled chicken breast is served on a bed of sugar snap peas and purple sticky rice and accented with sesame and scallion. Like the bi bim bap, this is another medley of colors and texture, a feast for both the eyes and taste buds.

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