Ocean Zen Pacific Rim

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Last week my Uncle John and Auntie Jay were in town visiting from Pennsylvania and I wanted to take them and my Mom out for a nice Dinner.  John likes seafood – so my first thought was Ocean Zen (OZ). 

We had reservations and our table was ready for us when we arrived.  We skipped appetizers and ordered our entrées.  My choice this evening was the grilled Filet Mignon ($25.95). Others in the group had Sea Bass ($26.95), Mahi Mahi ($22.95), and Pineapple Citrus Glazed Crispy Wok Chicken ($13.95).  There was also a couple of Ceasar side salads ordered at $5.95. (Note: the menu on the web site is a bit out of date on prices as well as the descriptions of the menu items).

My filet was excellent – looked a bit on the small side for being an 8 ounce filet as the menu described, but it was cooked perfectly with a nice char on the outside.  My filet came with lobster mac & cheese and was garnished with a couple of pieces of asparagus, as well as some pearl onions and portabella mushrooms.  The lobster mac & cheese was really good – you could see real pieces of lobster in the mix.  It was served in a cute little copper pot (as were some of the other sides at the table).

I had a taste of the Mahi Mahi, the Sea Bass as well as the Crispy Wok Chicken.  I’ve had the Sea Bass as an entrée on previous visits and it is what I usually gravitate toward when I’m in the mood for fish – it was perfectly cooked with a wonderful, buttery texture inside.  The mushroom risotto that it was served with was also very tasty.  The Mahi Mahi was served with a mustard based sauce that sounded weird but worked really well – the dish was great.  The Crispy Wok Chicken was also a winner – nice large chunks of moist chicken in a great tasting sauce served with rice and vegetables.  The Caesar salads were sort of a stacked affair – requiring the use of a knife to cut up the large leaves of romaine – but the report I got was that they tasted good.

We all enjoyed our food.

The new location on Battlefield is much larger and has solved the crowding problem they had with their old location on Glenstone (5 Spice inherited the crowded dining room problem, though).

There was obviously a lot of attention given to creating the atmosphere at OZ and it is a really nice place to have dinner.  The dining room is sectioned off into different zones, which makes it seem like you are having dinner in a smaller restaurant – again a huge difference from the old location.  Dramatic lighting is all around and there is nice art here and there adding to the up-scale feeling.

While we liked the food a lot, it was not an entirely great experience.

Service started off on a bad note.  We sat several minutes before our server arrived to greet us and take our drink orders.  We had to ask for a wine list as it wasn’t at the table, it took 10 minutes to get water and drinks to the table, then another 10 minutes for our server to show back up to take our orders.  Even though we were enjoying our conversation – I still felt ignored.

After that initial lack of attention things on the service side got better as the evening progressed – more in line with what you would expect from a place like this.  Since I was the DD – my diet coke refills were numerous and generally timely.

We didn’t get desert – but there were several items that I’ve had before and enjoyed – Crème Brulee and Banana’s Foster being two of them.

OZ also has a large selection of Sushi and Sashimi on the menu – we didn’t have any of those this evening though.

This is one of them “fancy-eat’n” places and the prices certainly reflect that.  Dinner for 5 including 3 adult beverages was over the $160 mark.  Even with the service problem though, we all enjoyed our meals and the time we spent together.

Lunch prices are lower than dinner and are generally in the $8 to $15 range – so it is a nice way to try OZ food without spending as much.

600 E Battlefield – 417-889-7499


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