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With a dearth of restaurants along the W. 16th corridor, evenings often find Zest filled to capacity with well-heeled West Siders and Japanese expats. The understated, serene aesthetic marries spare Japanese elegance with organic West Coast elements. Menu items are a mix of the traditional and the adventurous, and presentation is decidedly modern. Gomaae tofu agedashi is a combination of seasonal vegetables and tofu, deep-fried and served in a dashi stock. Carpaccio duck is maple-roasted and infused with an aromatic black-sesame balsamic. ÒTuna in Three WaysÓ is the must-order item.

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