Cafe Zaiya Adds $5 Special; No Longer Affiliated With Cafe Zest
Cafe Zaiya (on 41st btw. Mad+5th), the winner of Best Japanese Take Out in last year’s Readers’ Poll, has severed ties with Cafe Zest, the slightly more upscale version of the grocery store they opened on 47th btw. Lex+3rd earlier in the year. The people at Zaiya didn’t want to discuss the reasons for the break-up and admitted that the food will probably remain “similar” at Zest, but that it’s not “authentic [Zaiya] product.” I stopped by Cafe Zest yesterday, and it doesn’t look like anything has changed, although they have added a line of serve yourself soups, and an Udon bar.
Zaiya on the other hand has added a brand new lunch special for the money conscious…
$5 (all in, tax included) will get you one of their new $4.25 options plus a cup of coffee, tea, or a bottled water. The choices change daily, with two donburi options (yesterday was a beef bowl or chicken donburi) and three bento options (yesterday was sweet and sour chicken bento, a sandwich combo bento, or a salad sushi roll with fried chicken pieces bento.) Since you can buy the entrees themselves for just $4.25, spending the extra .75 for the drink is optional… in other words, it’s not some special deal where you are getting more expensive food for less money. A better way of looking at it is that they have added a new line of super cheap, but filling lunch options for $4.25.
If you are going to pay in cash, there is a table at the front where you can check out- probably the biggest advantage of getting the lunch special (because quite frankly, it’s usually pandemonium getting out of that place.) The GM of Zaiya had this to say about the promotion (and business in general)
“We are doing this so we can help people out who are on a tight budget. We try to keep prices low as it is but costs go up every year and so has some of our prices. To fight this, we are eating the cost on this promotion to get people in our door.”
In other words, you may get the lunch special- but you’ll probably tack on that extra rice ball or doughnut before checking out. (I know I did.)