I suggest checking Zomo’s website before visiting the restaurant, if only because its background is interesting. Otherwise, the staff will be happy to advise you.
Family-owned Zomo opened in May 2019, so it had some time to build up a fan base before the pandemic hit less than a year later. It remains a popular little bistro in downtown Englewood with stylish decor and a tantalizing menu of items that “all have a story,” the website notes.
The cuisine describes itself as Asian-American. Consider the oddly named Kansas State Fair imperial rolls ($11). These require an explanation. Suffice it to say, the owner’s grandmother, a Vietnamese immigrant, lived in Kansas where she sold the rolls at the fair. (Many of the recipes are Grandma’s.)
Crispy golden spring rolls are filled with seasoned ground pork. Rice noodles, chopped peanuts and cilantro are served on the same platter along with lettuce, bean sprouts, cucumbers, carrots and lettuce. This comes with a homemade savory fish sauce and a sweet sauce.
Bahn Mi Bites ($15) are four slices of baguette topped with a choice of protein (beef, pork, chicken, tofu, or shrimp), loaded with julienned carrots, jalapenos, and rice noodles. It is an Asian version of crostini or bruschetta. This dish works well to share or not – it makes a great starter. It is served with Zomo sauce, made with habaneros.
Appetizers range from stir-fry to pho, meatloaf to noodle bowls and more. The Chicken Noodle Bowl ($15) is an all-in-one meal. It could be described as a salad, as it contains an array of fresh vegetables, including carrots, cukes, cabbage and cilantro, but that’s not specific enough, and that doesn’t call it either a chicken dish with noodles. Yes, there are lots of rice noodles and sliced lightly breaded/fried chicken pieces topped with chopped peanuts, fried onion strips and sliced green onions. Whatever name or description you give it, this is a refreshing meal with fish sauce.
Pho ($13) is another dish — in this case, a bowl — that’s more than a soup. The dark, rich broth is bursting with sliced tender brisket, onions and chopped scallions. According to tradition, it is accompanied by a plate of fresh herbs including mint, coriander, Thai basil, bean sprouts and lime wedges. Two serving sizes are available. The smallest is a massive amount; it’s hard to imagine the bigger deal ($15).
Along with the bowl of pho and noodles, the yellow curry ($18) and Ba prawns ($15) are among the most popular dishes, according to our waiter.
The apple pie imperial rolls ($8) were too intriguing to ignore. The shape and size of traditional spring rolls, they are filled with cinnamon-spiced chopped apples, drizzled with caramel sauce and served with vanilla ice cream. They look like an apple turnover, but cylindrical in shape and taste better.
The service was exceptional, surpassed only by the food. The minimalist decor is monochromatic whites and browns. The exception is a back wall adorned with a rainbow fan of large fans. I can’t wait to return to Zomo to sample what I missed on my first visit and to hear more stories about the food.
Asian American cuisine
Location: 3457 S. Broadway, Englewood
Contact: 1-720-739-8882; zomoeats.com
Prices: $8 to $18
Hours: 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday; 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday. Closed on Tuesdays.
Details: Credit cards accepted. Alcohol. Wireless. Place outside.
Favourite dishes : Kansas State Fair Imperial Rolls, Bahn Mi Bites, Bowl of Noodles
Other: Gluten-free and vegan options available