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[MSP] -- need Japanese recommendation

broccoliluv Jul 30, 2008 05:33 PM

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!

  1. j
    JimGrinsfelder Jul 31, 2008 11:07 PM

    All the places recommended are good. So is Sakura in downtown St. Paul.

    1. AnneInMpls Jul 30, 2008 09:50 PM

      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

      1 Reply
      1. re: AnneInMpls
        BigSal Jul 31, 2008 03:04 AM

        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!

      2. bob s Jul 30, 2008 07:16 PM

        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

        1 Reply
        1. re: bob s
          Foureyes137 Jul 31, 2008 10:30 AM

          Totally agree on Obento-Ya. Great Japanese that isn't just sushi or pretend japanese food (teppanyaki). I recommend the black cod bento.

          Embarrassingly, we have not yet been to Tanpopo as we only ever think to go there on Sundays.

        2. s
          soupkitten Jul 30, 2008 06:12 PM

          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

          1 Reply
          1. re: soupkitten
            MSPD Jul 31, 2008 07:13 AM

            This would be my recommendation as well.

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