A few weeks back, Zengo launched a weekend brunch whose terms of service may seem highly irregular in the upscale circumstances: it’s all you can eat & drink for a $35 prix fixe. The average customer had better have a smaller appetite than me, or this set-up won’t stand—after all, we’re not talking about some sloppy buffet of oatmeal & link sausage but small plates that reflect flying restaurateur Richard Sandoval’s vision of Latin-Asian fusion no less than the dinner menu does.
Certainly the theme makes for some adorable hybrids, like salmon Benedict with kimchi & bao (steamed buns) spread with salsa verde, then stuffed with bacon & scrambled eggs, plus a sprinkling of queso Oaxaca.
The latter lacked something in translation—maybe the fillings would cohere better in omelet form—but a little tweaking would be no thing. Fully realized, however, were both the Peking duck chilaquiles & the short rib hash.
In the former (pictured left—click to enlarge), juicy, shredded roast duck, a little pickled onion, guajillo salsa & cotija both crumbled & infused into crema mingled beneath a fried egg atop hot, crisp tortilla chips—the flavors well integrated, the textures layered. As for the latter (right), glistening against glass, the poached egg ruled the roost of shredded beef rib browned with cubed yuca & onion, the yolk enriching the pan drippings.
The last of the sushi roll pictured in back & a quartet of potstickers were just fine if not, sans any Latin flourishes, especially true to style. But overall it’s a saucy extension of the repertoire. Bring on the guava mimosas.