About Zen Box Izakaya

602 Washington Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55415
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A Ramen-centric Izakaya owned by Chef & Wife in Downtown Minneapolis' Mill District.

We are devoted to the pleasures of Craft Ramen & Japanese comfort food.
Zen Box Izakaya is THE place for ‘Good Food, Good Drinks and Good Company’.
Established since 2011.

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Japanese, Tapas / Small Plates, Comfort Food

Hours of Operation:

Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:00pm.
Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 12:00am.

Cross Street:
Portland Ave

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(612) 332-3936

Website:
http://zenboxizakaya.com/

Parking Details:
Street Parking: You can find metered parking along Washington & Portland all of the meters are $1.00 per hour, payable with Credit Cards. Meters are free after 10:00pm daily. Let us know if you need change.

Ramp Parking: There are several parking ramps and surface parking lot nearby which range in price from $1.50 on evenings & weekends to $4/first hour on weekdays.

Public Transit:
Metro Transit Lightrail: Metrodome Station.
Metro Transit Bus No. 7 & 22

Executive Chef:
John Ng

Private Party Facilities:
Available for groups up to 25-50.

We can host sit-down dinners, buffet-style meals, or cocktail hour.

We have unique seating options, atmosphere and privacy levels, whether your event is birthday party, business meeting, holiday party or corporate functions.

The choice is up to you!

Private Party Contact:
General Manager: 6123323936x

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Beer, Delivery, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Restaurant Photos

  • Zen Box Izakaya, Minneapolis, MN
  • Zen Box Izakaya, Minneapolis, MN
  • Zen Box - Zen Box Izakaya, Minneapolis, MN
  • Zen Box - Zen Box Izakaya, Minneapolis, MN
  • Zen Box - Zen Box Izakaya, Minneapolis, MN
  • Zen Box - Zen Box Izakaya, Minneapolis, MN
  • Zen Box - Zen Box Izakaya, Minneapolis, MN
  • Zen Box - Zen Box Izakaya, Minneapolis, MN
  • Zen Box - Zen Box Izakaya, Minneapolis, MN
Zen Box Izakaya, Minneapolis, MN
Zen Box Izakaya, Minneapolis, MN
Zen Box - Zen Box Izakaya, Minneapolis, MN
Zen Box - Zen Box Izakaya, Minneapolis, MN
Zen Box - Zen Box Izakaya, Minneapolis, MN
Zen Box - Zen Box Izakaya, Minneapolis, MN
Zen Box - Zen Box Izakaya, Minneapolis, MN
Zen Box - Zen Box Izakaya, Minneapolis, MN
Zen Box - Zen Box Izakaya, Minneapolis, MN

Zen Box Izakaya Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.6

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.5

service

4.3

ambience

4.1

value

4.4

noise

Moderate

99% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Best Value
Minneapolis - St. Paul
Best Value
Twin Cities / Minneapolis
Best Restaurants in Downtown / North Loop ›

Casual (31)
Fit for Foodies (30)
Fun (23)
See All
Creative Cuisine (23)
Authentic (22)
Hot Spot (19)
Good for a Date (18)
Neighborhood Gem (17)
Good for Groups (16)
Special Occasion (15)
Comfort Food (13)
Good Vegetarian Options (13)
Happy Hour (12)
Great for Lunch (10)
Worth the Drive (9)
Late-night Find (9)
Pre/post Theatre (9)
Outstanding Value (9)
Cozy (8)
Bar Seating (8)
Quick Bite (8)
Great Beer (7)
Handcrafted Cocktails (7)
Tapas (7)
Open Kitchen (7)
Healthy (6)
Vibrant Bar Scene (6)
Good for Birthdays (5)
People Watching (5)
Modern Decor (4)
Spicy (4)
Romantic (4)
Vegan (3)
Kid-friendly (3)
Gluten Free Options (3)
Family Style (3)
Private Room (3)
Tasting Menu (2)
Great for Outdoor Dining (2)
Great for Brunch (2)
Good for Anniversaries (2)
Business Meals (1)
Afternoon Coffee (1)
Historic (1)
Local Ingredients (1)
Organic (1)
Sunday Lunch (1)
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152 reviews
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Tired of the same-old, same-old? Looking ...

vip
 (Minneapolis)·Dined 7 days ago

Tired of the same-old, same-old? Looking for a new favorite dining spot near you, check out Zen Box Izakaya, love the atmosphere and the food.

Zen Box offers small and large full dishes all of them excellent, this is a no frills genuine restaurant with a great atmosphere and staff.

As always, the place was crowded (use Open-Table, book early!!) but service was wonderful and the food very tasty. we ordered different types of appetizers and they were all great. the cocktails were good too.

All in all, a great Japanese themed experience in Minneapolis!!! A+++

Tags: Good for Groups, Handcrafted Cocktails, Quick Bite, Happy Hour, Authentic, Fit for Foodies, Casual, Great Beer, Spicy, Open Kitchen, Creative Cuisine, People Watching, Comfort Food, Hot Spot, Special Occasion, Fun, Good for a Date, Outstanding Value, Bar Seating, Family Style, Late-night Find, Pre/post Theatre, Modern Decor
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great food and wonderful attentive servi ...

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined 7 days ago

Great food and wonderful attentive service!

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food5
ambience5
service5

First time at zen box didn't know what t ...

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on December 3, 2016

First time at zen box didn't know what to expect but had a great time. Food was great as well as the service. Friendly server and quick to getting our order. Super cool spot for date or just sit at the bar and enjoy some food. Can't wait to visit again.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Fun, Casual, Organic, Sunday Lunch, Cozy, Good for Groups, Authentic, Good for a Date
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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

Our server was super knowledgeable and p ...

vip
·Dined on November 27, 2016

Our server was super knowledgeable and patient in explaining the different types of Japanese liquors in the cocktail menu. The food was all amazing; ask your server for recommendations. We were so happy with ours!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Had reservations for 6:45, arrived at 6: ...

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on November 20, 2016

Had reservations for 6:45, arrived at 6:40 and was seated immediately! Great when a restaurant has your table ready as you reserved. Will definitely be returning.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Good for a Date, Authentic, Good Vegetarian Options, Outstanding Value
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Tried the Katsu Curry with pork this tim ...

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on November 19, 2016

Tried the Katsu Curry with pork this time. It was absolutely delicious. Freshly prepared, generous portions, and tasted super delicious. Highly recommend!

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Authentic, Handcrafted Cocktails, Special Occasion, Bar Seating, Creative Cuisine, Open Kitchen, Healthy, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

This is not your classic Japanese. This ...

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on November 13, 2016

This is not your classic Japanese. This place is young, fun and edgy like the food and drinks. Had a great evening. Service was excellent, too. Will definitively be back.

Tags: Good for Groups, Modern Decor, Gluten Free Options, Casual, Fun, Hot Spot, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

After one quick dinner Zen Box Izakaya q ...

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on November 12, 2016

After one quick dinner Zen Box Izakaya quickly became my favorite restaurant. Made a reservation for a Saturday night and so happy I did because it seems everyone else loves their authentic food as much as I do! The seating was tight but not uncomfortable, got to chat for a couple moments with the couple next to us which was very pleasant. Our waitstaff was welcoming, energetic, and a very enjoyable aspect of the evening. The food comes as it is made so the short wait between plates gave us time to savor and truly enjoy each unique item we ordered. The squid and octopus dishes were delicious and exciting to try as it was the first time any of us had experienced such different and exotic cuisine. Octopus quickly went from a dish I was unsure to try to a favorite I cannot wait to order again. Their Mochi Ice Cream was the perfect end to the spicy meal and I'll recommend it to any ice cream lover.

Overall Zen Box Izakaya was a fantastic and memorable experience, one I cannot wait to return to shortly and can see myself venturing to often. It's chill vibes, fun waiters, out of this world food, and huge menu will be bringing me back time after time.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Outstanding Value, Hot Spot, Quick Bite, Private Room, People Watching, Special Occasion, Happy Hour, Cozy, Good Vegetarian Options, Tasting Menu, Romantic, Authentic, Spicy, Tapas, Local Ingredients, Fit for Foodies, Vibrant Bar Scene, Comfort Food, Creative Cuisine, Bar Seating, Worth the Drive, Vegan, Good for a Date, Fun
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

I love the food and the hosts greeted us ...

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on November 11, 2016

I love the food and the hosts greeted us with a Japanese welcome. We were seated immediately thanks to our reservation. It was a bit noisy, so I wouldn't recommend it for a business meeting. Love it!

Tags: Historic, Fun, Casual
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Had the seaweed salad, Japanese pickle, ...

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on November 6, 2016

Had the seaweed salad, Japanese pickle, kimchi Ramen. Everything was really good kimchi Ramen was nice and spicy, just right. Great place, bustling with all ages.

Tags: Spicy, Hot Spot, Fun, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Groups
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

awesome food and service every visit is ...

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on November 6, 2016

awesome food and service every visit is like a mini vacation for us. :)

Tags: Worth the Drive, Outstanding Value, Comfort Food, Good for Groups, Vibrant Bar Scene, Fit for Foodies, Hot Spot, Good for a Date, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Love, love Zen Box - vibrant atmosphere ...

 
 (New England)·Dined on November 6, 2016

Love, love Zen Box - vibrant atmosphere and great food!

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Authentic, Gluten Free Options
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Just a fun place for great food in a fun ...

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on November 5, 2016

Just a fun place for great food in a fun atmosphere!!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Casual, Outstanding Value, Happy Hour, Great Beer, Late-night Find, Hot Spot, Good for a Date, Authentic, Fit for Foodies, Fun
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The restaurant was loud and seemed a bit ...

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on November 1, 2016

The restaurant was loud and seemed a bit cluttered with stuff everywhere. The food was good and liked having a gluten free menu. The staff was nice and well trained. Just seemed a bit over priced for the atmosphere.

Tags: Casual
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food3
ambience2
service3
value2

Everything about Zen Box is fantastic! ...

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on October 29, 2016

Everything about Zen Box is fantastic! Their ramen is magical, a nice selection of Japanese beer and sake in addition to local favorites, creative cocktails, and a wonderful atmosphere.

Tags: Family Style, Happy Hour, Worth the Drive, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem, Great Beer, Good for a Date, Great for Lunch, Open Kitchen, Comfort Food, Good Vegetarian Options, Authentic, Outstanding Value, Hot Spot, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We went for the Tonkatsu Ramen and it di ...

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on October 26, 2016

We went for the Tonkatsu Ramen and it did not disappoint. It was a clean but rich broth and the noodles were cooked perfectly. Thinly sliced pieces of tender pork. The flavors were mild but lovely and I added some of the spices that were delivered with it. For $3 6 fried gyoza were added; they recommended chicken. There was ample flavor and the dumplings were perfectly crispy and tender at the same time. The service was super attentive, helpful and cheerful. We will definitely be back. We were among the first to arrive at 11:30 and within 10 minutes they were full!

Tags: Great Beer, Modern Decor, Creative Cuisine, Hot Spot, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Love Zen Box! It's my favorite Ramen in ...

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on October 25, 2016

Love Zen Box! It's my favorite Ramen in town. Always delicious food.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Cozy, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot, Fit for Foodies, Good for Birthdays, Outstanding Value, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

First visit to Zen Box Izakaya--fun spot ...

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on October 25, 2016

First visit to Zen Box Izakaya--fun spot, excellent, friendly service, good food. The kimchi ramen was yummy, the fried takoyaki appetizer better than what I had in Osaka (famous for this item), the soba salad just right. But really, deep-fried gyoza? A horrible idea. Had we known, we would never have ordered this--pan-fried gyoza are great, who would deepfry them, even in the interest of speed? Yuck. But a good experience overall, and worth another visit.

Tags: Fun, Vibrant Bar Scene, Kid-friendly
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food3
ambience5
service5
value4

Fantastic food and service, as always! T ...

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on October 22, 2016

Fantastic food and service, as always! The ramen is outstanding.

Tags: Happy Hour, Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Creative Cuisine, Comfort Food, Bar Seating, Authentic
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

I will be back .

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on October 22, 2016

I will be back .

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food5
ambience5
service5

Took a friend/co-worker from Japan. Wen ...

 
 (Palm Springs)·Dined on October 21, 2016

Took a friend/co-worker from Japan. Went to have ramen (because its the best I've had outside Tokyo). Never got to the ramen, just kept trying other items on the menu. Very good, very authentic Japanese food. Even my friend from Japan was impressed at the overall quality.

Tags: Fun, Good for a Date, Worth the Drive, Casual, Good for Groups, Authentic
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food5
ambience4
service2
value4

While in town on business we went for di ...

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on October 18, 2016

While in town on business we went for dinner and lunch, both phenomenal! The pork belly and Kimchi stir fry is the best with just the right amount of kick! The ramen beats all!

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Awesome and affordable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ...

 
 (Dallas)·Dined on October 15, 2016

Awesome and affordable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Tags: Late-night Find, Tapas, Creative Cuisine
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food4
ambience5
service4
value5

Ramen! One of the best places for ramen ...

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on October 14, 2016

Ramen! One of the best places for ramen in the Twin Cities. I had a somewhat overpriced beef ramen special. The enoki mushrooms and other extras without a doubt jacked up the price, but at the end of the day, it's about the broth, the noodles, and the gu (beef and other fixings) in that order. I had misgivings about what was "clear broth," but whatever might have been lacking compared to their amazing tonkotsu broth I didn't miss it. The noodles were a bit on the scant side, but half an hour after I inhaled the bowl I'm glad there wasn't more. The beef melted in my mouth. I was a happy camper.

Get reservations on a Friday night. I'm so glad I did.

Tags: Casual, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience3
service5
value3

This place has some items on the menu th ...

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on October 11, 2016

This place has some items on the menu that you can't find at most Japanese restaurants,like Saba no shioyaki , Buta no kakuni.Sashimi is really fresh too.yummy!bring me right back home !the chef knows the authentic Japanese food.so happy to have found this place.staff are friendly,and the price is right for the quality .

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good Vegetarian Options, Fun, Pre/post Theatre, Great Beer, Hot Spot, Cozy, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Comfort Food, Casual, Tapas, Good for Anniversaries, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I love the broccoli, fried chicken and m ...

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on October 4, 2016

I love the broccoli, fried chicken and most everything on the menu!

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Comfort Food, Fit for Foodies, Quick Bite
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food5
ambience3
service5
value3

Great spot to go for happy hour before V ...

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on October 3, 2016

Great spot to go for happy hour before Vikings Night Games. A little louder than normal inside due to it being a game day I assume.

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food5
ambience4
service5

Booked a pre-theater dinner for my wife' ...

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on October 1, 2016

Booked a pre-theater dinner for my wife's birthday. We both thoroughly enjoyed the variety of food and will be returning in the near future.

Tags: Good for Groups
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food4
ambience3
service3
value4

We must've been the last to make a dinne ...

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on October 1, 2016

We must've been the last to make a dinner reservation for "2"at 5:15pm on 10/1. We got shown to a table in a dark corner & asked to be seated in the front dining area with a window facing the street-No they were too busy even though there were several empty tables in that room. We ordered (2) dishes under tsukemono heading & the waitress asked if I still wanted tsukemono! I said aren't the cucumber & eggplant tsukemono? The waitress "SMIRKED" at me.

We also ordered (2) "limited availability" ramen. Tonkatsu ramen BLAND! The waitress was not cordial & very short with us(blonde with a pony tail) we finished our meal at 6pm. & there were

Still open tables in the other dining area. I WILL never go back to zen box because of the young, inexperienced wait help, bland food, & poor seating. I will definitely let my friends know of disappointing experience!

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food3
ambience1
service1
value3

It was delicious. I was disappointed tha ...

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on October 1, 2016

It was delicious. I was disappointed that they were out of both of the things I came for were gone. But the other things I had were delicious.

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Authentic, Handcrafted Cocktails
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food3
ambience4
service5
value5

Interesting menu. Good service - and se ...

 
 (Fargo)·Dined on September 23, 2016

Interesting menu. Good service - and server was able to explain the various dishes. Good happy hour prices. The Chicken Yakisoba was very good, as was the Kara-Age Curry. The Zenbox Short Ribs were flavorful, but the portion was small. Unfortunately, the sauce with the Shumai Tempura did not compliment the dish - flavor was overpowering. I recommend ZenBox as a very interesting change of pace dinner.

Tags: Good for a Date, Casual, Creative Cuisine
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food4
ambience3
service4
value4

Good food, different from the usual Japa ...

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on September 21, 2016

Good food, different from the usual Japanese restaurant options. Staff was very knowledgable about the ingredients and made sure to help me navigate which items were gluten free and/or vegetarian. It was surprisingly loud for lunch.

Tags: Healthy, Good Vegetarian Options, Gluten Free Options, Casual
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food3
ambience3
service4
value3

Love the Ramen!! And for $3 more you get ...

vip
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on September 8, 2016

Love the Ramen!! And for $3 more you get 6 gyoza! Very yummy !! Short rib app is awesome. Must go!!

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food5
ambience5
service5

I've only been to zen box izakaya twice ...

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on September 6, 2016

I've only been to zen box izakaya twice but I love it so much. I really wish rochester had an izakaya place. I brought my husband and he really enjoyed it, but he thought it was too loud. The food is delicious and I love the posters and figurines. I want to come here every time I'm in the cities.

Tags: Good for Groups, Fit for Foodies, Tapas, Vegan, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Tyler was very nice, also the avocado te ...

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on September 4, 2016

Tyler was very nice, also the avocado tempura was awesome.

Tags: Hot Spot, Creative Cuisine, Romantic, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Find another place in the twin cities wi ...

vip
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on September 2, 2016

Find another place in the twin cities with onigiri and you will be a God in my eyes! Besides that, everything was excellent tonkastsu Ramen, miso short ribs, the udon, all fabulous.

Top it all of which draft Japanese beers some of which are craft beers imported directly.

The servers are all excellent and amazingly friendly ,and best of all accommodating and welcoming to a two year old guest, when theft are definitely not the target demographic.

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food5
ambience4
service5

My partner and I were visiting from out ...

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on August 30, 2016

My partner and I were visiting from out of state and got a late dinner here. We made a reservation and were seated right on time. You will notice the very cute and hip interior upon arrival. Our server was excellent, not to mention the hostess. They were obviously slammed and were still on top of everything, never missing a beat. The food was super tasty comfort fare. We are vegetarians and had plenty of options to choose from, even though a lot of their specialties contain meat. Definitely recommend Zen Box Izakaya, as it is comfortable and modern, with something on the menu for everyone.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for Groups, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Good Vegetarian Options, Fit for Foodies, Quick Bite, Tapas, Comfort Food, Casual, Late-night Find
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food4
ambience3
service5
value4

best ramen in the twin cities! great foo ...

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on August 29, 2016

best ramen in the twin cities! great food, fast service, great staff!

Tags: Fun, Casual, Great for Outdoor Dining, Happy Hour, Quick Bite, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great ramen, the rest of the menu is goo ...

 
 (Pittsburgh)·Dined on August 29, 2016

Great ramen, the rest of the menu is good too, though not as exceptional. Lots of authentic and Korean options. Remember to make reservations on weekends as they can get really busy.

Tags: Casual, Creative Cuisine, Tasting Menu, Good for Groups, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Don't miss the pork tonkatsu. All the d ...

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on August 27, 2016

Don't miss the pork tonkatsu. All the dishes we had were great. The only cavil was that the service was a little too prompt. We needed more time before curtain at the Guhrie.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Fun
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

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