Special thanks to guest blogger Meg Jewett for her review of Kaizen’s brunch!
I don’t know about your family, but for the 5 of us, weekends race by at a pretty incredible clip. Sometimes I feel like I should just hurl hardboiled eggs and a clementine or two out the window to passing kids as they race to soccer or swim or between sleepovers and birthday parties. Every once in a while, when all of the stars align, and generally there is a torrential downpour or half the class has chicken pox, we have time for a family brunch, and darn it, we are going to enjoy it. Next comes the selection process though, and that is almost as exhausting. Between wheat intolerance, vegetarian principles, and insatiable appetites, there lies a small patch of agreement where a yummy breakfast could land. We’ve just recently stumbled upon a restaurant that lands just there and serves something other than a Frappuccino. Join us sometime at KAiZEN Tavern. First, get over that “You’ve got a baby, in a bar.” moment, and the fact that at night they serve sushi. There is something to their quirky mix of neighborhood warmth, streamlined Asian aesthetic and the add-ins that just happen to be favorites of the smiling manger, Allen Smith. Our picky eater scarfed down the French toast and passed the sausage to her little sister, who loved the fact that Mr. Smith babied her with some extra tweaks to her breakfast tacos so there was nothing to spicy or too red (her latest phase!). Our more adventurous teen went for the bento box, feeling proud to have avoided anything with syrup and made Mom proud with thought about a balanced plate of protein and veggies. The mood there is relaxed and cheerful and the small space is definitely filled with lots of “regulars” chatting with the staff and friends at other tables. They are happy to make orders to go for family members who slept in or for anyone needing to get scooting to the day’s events. This includes sending you off with sake or something bubbly too, if you have a festive picnic in mind or maybe just brunch in bed for someone extra deserving of a little peace. My husband and I enjoyed trading tastes of each other’s Pork Belly BLT and the breakfast take on a Philly, washed down with Del Ray Fizz—the house mimosa that was just the extravagance our easy morning deserved. We’ve never been much of short stack of flapjacks and grits and gravy gang, but this blend of comfort foods and stylized fair was refreshing and fun without making a family feel out of place on a savored Saturday morning together. Now I’m sort of hoping no one makes it to All-Stars, or is invited to the PaintThis birthday next weekend either. Hope your crew can sneak in a little time together this week too over some great local eats, and maybe we’ll see you on the Avenue!
Kaizen is located on 1909 Mt. Vernon Avenue, Alexandria VA 22302. They are open Monday through Friday. 4:30-9:30pm with a happy hour specials from 4:30-7pm and Saturday and Sunday from 10:30-2pm for Brunch and 4:30-9:30pm for Dinner. Children are Welcome and reservations are welcome but not required.