Day 2 Worse Than Day 1 at Cafe Zest
Yesterday Lunch’er Max sent me this photo from the line at Cafe Zest (on 47th btw. Lex+3rd), the new Japanese place opened by the owners Cafe Zaiya (on 41st btw. Mad+5th.) For their grand opening celebration they decided to offer everything for 50% off, yesterday and today, from Noon to 3pm. As you can see from the photo, yesterday got pretty bad, and they had run out of most everything but vegetarian bento boxes and white bread sandwiches by 1:45. Apparently today, it’s even worse. From the comments:
Walked over at 12 today, and man – the line was horrendous. For the usual folk who have just an hour lunch, it’s def’ not going to work out. We thought the 12pm lunch would be less crowded as 1pm is the more favored lunch slot – but we thought wrong. Apparently, Zaiya fans have all heard about Zest already. The line outside the door was about 70 deep at 12:15ish. There goes my plan for stocking up on ITO teas!
A review from somebody who stuck it out, after the jump…
The wait was worth it for the an pan…and boy, was there a wait. Here’s the Breakdown:
The Salmon Shio Bento: the salmon was kind of dry, but the eggplant side was excellent. The Salmon Teryaki Bento would most likely be a better bet.
Tuna: Nice. The mayo wasn’t over loaded and balanced the tuna well, but the rice itself should have had a bit more salt.
Kobu: Yummy! Yay seaweed in a riceball! Nicely seasoned and stuffed. No skimping on the filling.
An pan: Just how it should be—delicious. Moist, sweet & an excellent combination of flavor and texture.
Mellon pan: While I’m not sure that it tasted as much like a melon as it should, it was still sweet & tasty. The texture was a bit harder than that of the an pan, but it suited the bread, and wasn’t so hard that it crumbled when you bit in to it…just pleasantly crisp.
Green Tea Muffin: (I know it has a real name, I just wish I remembered it) The texture was nice and moist, with the red beans adding a nice flavor. The green tea taste was a bit more overpowering and a bit less refined than I had hoped, but overall a good snack.
Yakisoba pan: Very authentic. If you’re used to the American version of yakisoba (i.e.: mostly oil with a dash of soy sauce) you may find yourself pleasantly surprised by this one. It’s nicely flavored, and the bread holds on to the yakisoba well, so you most likely won’t find yourself covered in noodles or sauce. This would make an excellent lunch for those on the go.
As with any of these things, you always have to ask yourself “how much is my time worth.” Prediction for tomorrow: no line.
Got your own report from the scene? Post it in the comments below…