Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Zen Palate

Zen Palate - 663 9th Avenue (46th Street) (Vegetarian/Asian) (Also 34 East Union Square - 16th Street)
One of the older vegetarian haunts, Zen Palate has two locations: one in Union Square - the other in Hell's Kitchen (within delivery range of the corporate office where I work.)

Many months ago, I had ordered the Sweet & Sour Sensation (a soy protein/broccoli dish, coated in sweet and sour sauce.) Though memory of the dish has begun to fade, I remember the result as ...underwhelming. The sauce too sweet, accompanying an otherwise bland dish (with a side order of unremarkable spring rolls.)

But everyone deserves a second chance. Besides, I was working late - and getting hungry. This time, the order included Shredded Melody, a choice incorporating more shredded soy, bathed in a garlic sauce with celery, zucchini and brown rice. A salad completed the meal, made from simple lettuce leaf and cubes of fresh fruit.

Well, the salad was refreshing, and the presentation elegant (the main dish served in a sleek plastic bento box - very classy.) But the taste disappointed. Both the rice and the veggies were tasteless - bringing to mind visions of canned Chow Mein (or french green beans, bathed in veggie stock.) And those little taro springs rolls were there yet again - a little oily, small, and...well...unremarkable.

Not to be harsh - the meal wasn't bad. But neither was it memorable - standing in stark contrast to the culinary delights of a Red Bamboo or Vegetarians Paradise.

They say that the Union Square location is better. But that's two strikes already. Is it worth going for three?

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