[MSP] -- need Japanese recommendation
I'm an LA Hound -- in August I will be visiting a friend who just moved to Minneapolis / Roseville. We've always enjoyed going out for Japanese food in LA and I'd love to continue that tradition in the MSP area. She lives in Roseville so anything within a 20 miles radius would be great. We both enjoy a casual atmosphere and prefer dishes other than sushi. I appreciate any suggestions you're able to give. Thanks!
Yup, I second the recommendations for Tanpopo (in the Lowertown area of downtown St. Paul) and Obento-Ya (in S.E. Minneapolis, quite close to Roseville). Both are charming, casual-but-stylish, inexpensive places that don't focus on sushi.
My third recommendation would be for Midori's - it's even more casual, slightly-less-stylish (aka homey), and about halfway between Obento-Ya and Tanpopo from a Roseville perspective. Past reviews have been mixed on the service, but I love the place and think they're past their service issues. (At least, I hope they are.) I love their grilled fish bento dinner. They also do a lovely rice ball stuffed with dried plum.
Midori's Floating World Cafe
2629 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55406
I would also recommend Saji-Ya on Grand in St. Paul. I would not recommend them for sushi, but they do a nice job with some of the bento dinners, sukiyaki, yaki-niku and gyoza dishes. This is also a fun area to visit (Grand) even if you are not going to eat.
My other recommendation is Midori's. I am a big fan of Japanese home style food and this is their focus. They offer things like zarusoba, onigiri, Japanese style curry, okonomiyai and udon noodles.
Obento-ya is also nice, but for me it is more of a lunch destination. I have had a nice black cod bento and the tsukune (chicken meatballs) were very tasty.
Enjoy your visit!
The other place that comes to mind is Obento-ya. I've not been there, but it sounds like it fits your description. I'm sure others can tell you more or check out the threads linked to the Places link below.
Obento-Ya Japanese Bistro
1510 Como Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414
how about tanpopo in lowertown st paul? the atmosphere sounds like it's a match: the restaurant is a smallish, serene, high ceilinged space in a converted warehouse with a simple japanese homestyle menu with a few changing specials. great noodles. when possible the chef sources local veggies etc from the farmer's market less than a block away. always friendly and attentive staff.
Tanpopo Noodle Shop
308 Prince St, Saint Paul, MN 55101