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Best of the Fort: Zenna Thai & Japanese Restaurant

The best bang for your buck in Funky Town is just off West 7th Street.

Melissa Triebwasser

Here’s what I’m looking for in an Asian food restaurant, especially one located next to the bar district on West 7th in Fort Worth.

I want an extensive, cheap drink menu. I want appetizers out the wazoo. I want an entree menu only slightly shorter than the Cheesecake Factory’s that has a little bit of everything across the Asian food spectrum. And I want an atmosphere that isn’t wild, but that allows for my friends and I to get a little loud in a corner table.

Zenna Thai & Japanese Restaurant, located at 3001 Bledsoe Street across the intersection from Landmark Bar and Kitchen, checks all those boxes. There are a total of five locations scattered across the Metroplex, and the Fort Worth spot is the newest one.

I went with a group of about eight people on a weekend this spring, with two friends more joining midway through the meal. We showed up at 4 p.m., but we had misread the times — Zenna doesn’t open until 5 p.m., but it stays open until 3 a.m. So we killed time at Landmark for a while, and then opened up the place by lining up at the door at 5 p.m. on the dot.

I don’t consider myself to be a connoisseur of Asian cuisine, but with such an extensive menu, I was able to find something I figured would be good. I settled on the chicken Panang curry with an appetizer of gyoza, if I remember correctly. All of it was delicious — the curry had a nice spice, and it was only $10.75. We shared food around the table, and I can confirm the fried rice is also outstanding.

But the happy hour deals are really what sealed it for us. Twelve ounce draft beers were $1. All well drinks are $2.50. I had two Long Island Ice Teas at $3 apiece! Happy hour runs through 7 p.m. every day, and might just be the best deal in Fort Worth.

The service was also pretty impressive for a large table that kept adding members. I don’t remember the waitress’s name, but she didn’t mess up a single food or drink order, and we kept ordering random things throughout the meal. The dining room is more spacious than it looks from the outside, and we were put in a corner table/booth that allowed us to carry on conversations full volume without bothering any other patrons. (We weren’t reckless, for what it’s worth — just 10 ten idiots at happy hour.)

Zenna might be the best-kept secret in Fort Worth. I’m sure there are 5-star Asian cuisine restaurants around the city, but none offers the bang for your buck that Zenna does without sacrificing good taste. Go after a noon game this fall, or if you’re so inclined, go at 2 a.m. after the bars close. You won’t regret it.

And again, I can’t stress this enough — $1 beers at happy hour!