For years I’ve been hearing how amazing Zen Palate is for vegetarians. Seeing that my best friend is vegetarian, I even considered taking him for his birthday over the last many years. But after today’s accidental encounter at the Union Square location, THANK GOD I never did! The menu (which is extensive) looked wonderful from the outside, not to mention the Daily News article (from 2010) plastered on the window as a means of enticement. I think we barely glanced at the menu for a few seconds before walking in. The place is a dump (but fine, we got past that). After looking over the menu, I ordered the Vegetable (Rice) Noodle Soup (I wasn’t very hungry and wanted something small) and my friend ordered the Celestial Tofu (fried tofu with broccoli, served with a side of brown rice).
Not too long after our dishes arrived at the table (I so wish I had taken pictures of ’em!). He was served a plate of big pieces of fried tofu in a curry looking sauce, which seemed not too bad at first bite, but the more you ate, the worse it got. I was served a ginormous bowl (not complaining about the size) of soup with tons and tons of vegetables & rice noodles in a clear broth. It looked incredibly bland as if the food had just been boiled and served in water, and it tasted EXACTLY the same! I don’t think I’ve ever ate something that had no taste what so ever. The total bill for 2 dishes was $32 and I’ll just consider that a donation to the restaurant!
As if the we weren’t annoyed enough already, the only other patron at the restaurant (sitting at the bar) got up to answer the restaurant phone (which didn’t make sense to me) and got all ghetto, cursing and going off about what seemed like Beyonce at one point and other ridiculous things with whoever was on the other end. His rude behavior really made the experience even more unpleasant. I’m convinced he was cuckoo.
So quite frankly, I don’t know what the Daily News was smoking when they wrote their review, but this place gets TWO BIG THUMGS DOWN from me!
Yummy Eatings! (Just not at this place)
Zen Palate | Union Square |115 East 18 Street, New York, NY 10003 | 212.387.8885