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Hidden Asian gems in W/NW Minneapolis suburbs


Restaurants & Bars 5

Hidden Asian gems in W/NW Minneapolis suburbs

Ji-in | Nov 24, 2003 01:20 PM

I just wanted to share some tips on a couple of places in the west and northwest Minneapolis suburbs, for those of you who love good Asian food -- they're too good to keep secret! My husband and I are always on the lookout for the good stuff, both being Asian ourselves, so when we find a great place, we become regulars.

The first is Reuan Thai, a little Thai place in downtown Osseo. We've been going to this place for a couple of years, and we think it's such a shame nobody knows about it. Reuan recently came under new management, and I think it's gotten even better since then. But the tables are usually mostly vacant, despite the new managers' modest efforts to advertise locally. This place beats more mainstream Thai places like Sawatdee and Chiang Mai, hands down, no contest. Our favorite appetizers are the fresh spring rolls (great flavor -- shrimp and pork) and the spicy chicken wings (and I do mean spicy!). For entrees, we can enthusiastically recommend the pad see yew (although I think they spell it differently), which has those awesome wide rice noodles, along with broccoli and some really tasty pork. Also try the seafood combination platter. Basically, you can't go wrong. We've had it all. We keep going back for more. Who would guess you'd find a place like this in Osseo? It's at 311 Central Ave. Come on, you know you want to try it.

The other place is just about 2 months old, and you won't believe it... but there is mouthwatering, surprisingly good sushi in Crystal, of all places. Wild Mint sushi is located in the aging strip mall on the corner of West Broadway and Bass Lake Road. We ate there for the first time a week ago, and we were the only two diners in the whole place! We had the pleasure of sitting at the sushi bar, where we got to know the owner and his brother, both exceptional, friendly, creative, experienced chefs. What we really appreciated was the way they made sure we were satisfied, as well as their conscientious efforts to get only the freshest, best-quality supply of sushi-grade fish on an every-other-day basis. The sake (salmon), my favorite, was melt-in-your-mouth good, as was the toro (fatty tuna), hamachi (yellowtail) and unagi (eel). We were treated to a few complimentary tastes of some of their other unique creations as well. The result? I was back within 3 days for lunch. Their lunch specials are a steal! Sushi combos for under $9, and these guys are here to please, so again, you can't go wrong.

I've also sampled some of their non-sushi fare, and have been quite impressed. I swear, once you get seated inside and taste the sushi, you won't know you're in a strip mall in Crystal. Wild Mint is large, with plenty of seating, and its attractive decor belies its location. They also have a full bar, and have plans to include live music on the weekends.

We live in Brooklyn Park and are always bemoaning the lack of variety in the NW suburbs. Before, we would drive downtown for sushi, or at least as far as Fridley (King's Korean restaurant has a new sushi bar). Now we just hop over to Wild Mint, and leave satisfied, with our bellies full. Or, we just drive across 169 to Reuan Thai, where we have to douse our lips from the spice if we forget to request "medium" or "mild." :) But we think that's a good thing!


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