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Zazu, Quito

331 Mariano Aquilera
Tel: 593 2 254 3259's insider take:

Known around town as Quito's hippest restaurant and bar, it is actually Zazu's food that keeps people coming back. Founded by two Peruvian chefs, the restaurant's focus is clean, lean, spicy seafood—traditional ceviches, Japanese-style sushi, and marinated, grilled fish—although lamb, osso buco, and rib-eye steaks are also on offer. There are many fusion dishes too, such as the grouper sashimi roll with amarillo sauce, the shiitake mushroom empanadas, the tuna and foie gras ceviche, and Langostinos Zazu (tempura prawns with couscous, plantains, chile marmalade, and rocoto sauce). Although the bar gets quite frenetic on the weekends, the restaurant is separate—a serene beige room where you can happily enjoy a relaxed romantic dinner. That is, if you can get a reservation.—Cathay Che

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