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La Mei Zi (Spicy Sister) taking over Zen Restaurant.. Gooo!

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La Mei Zi (Spicy Sister) taking over Zen Restaurant.. Gooo!

halomie | Feb 23, 2010 08:26 AM

Authentic Chinese restaurant in Uptown? Yes please! As their website indicates, they now serve Hunan and Szechuan style Chinese food. No more Asian-fusion.

Background: Hunan cuisine is similar to Szechuan as both regions enjoy spicy foods, but Szechuan folks love the oily, numb-spicies (ma-la) while Hunan enjoys a drier , more balanced spice.

We started off with Dan Dan Noodles, al dente noodles in a gorgeous pool of red spices, bits of stir-fried ground pork and sesame paste. Warm and entirely satisfying on a cold night. This is the best I've had, no joke.

Next up a bowl of fish and pickled vegetable soup, flavorful with notes of sourness from the pickled vegetables, tons of garlic, and tender pieces of fish. Again, a winner.

Cilantro stir-fried lamb, tender slices of lamb, tons of cilantro and szechuan red peppers. Andy, the restaurant owner recommended this one and said it everyone's favorite. I enjoyed it too.

We also ordered the Hunan Eggplant to round out our meal. I can't say that was my favorite, but I think it's because I'm not a huge fan of the eggplant texture. The spices/flavors were spot on though.

It's so exciting for Minneapolis to finally get some authentic Chinese cuisine, now if we could get a Northern Chinese style dumpling house....

I want to try every single dish in the Hunan Specialties section and szechuan style hotpots! Chowdown soon?

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