900 15th St.
Sacramento, CA 95814 916-446-9628
Long a quiet standby on the Sacramento sushi scene, Zen underwent a renovation last year that has amped up its vibe from, well, zen calm to downtown hip, thanks to sleek white ultralounge-style seating, blue lights in the front room, and a lengthy bar that includes both a cocktail and a sushi segment—and the bar comes with a full menu of specialty cocktails. If you like things quieter, however, the back room feels more restaurant than lounge, and service is friendly wherever you sit. But the real draw is the fresh fish and the mod rolls like the addictive (and over-the-top) Volcano, topped with an eruption of crisp tempura-fry bits, the spicy Firecracker, or the witty “Punk Rock ’n’ Roll,” a dressed-up eel roll topped with black caviar. There’s also a full menu of Japanese fare and creative appetizers and, for bargain seekers, great deals at happy hour.