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Sep 24, 2008 12:49 PM

MSP : Sen Yai Sen Lek

Joe & Holly Hatch-Surisook have opened a restaurant; Sen Yai Sen Lek. Twin Cities hounds rejoice!

I met Joe once 6 years ago. It was a memorable meeting because I had one of his Pan Au Chocolat's in my mouth at the time. These were not ordinary (bready) Pan Au Chocolats. Joe's pastry artwork literally brought exiled french women to tears of joy and revery. He's a really nice guy. So is his wife Holly who I spoke with then and again today at her new restaurant. They're in the middle of their 2nd week and it looks to me like they've worked out a bunch of the kinks.

The food is the deal. I had chopped flank steak with cilantro and other semi-sweet, semi-sour things I cannot recall. It was on a bed of raw cabbage. It was amazing. My friend Chuk had a bowl of curried noodles with pork. It was also totally amazing. The balance of flavors was really really good.

There's a decent wine list (needs like 3-4 more rieslings and a couple of Gewurztraminers, in my opinion, because these and semi-sweet sparkling wine go really well with Thai food). For really really hot food, Auslese's not too sweet.

Atmosphere is good. Maybe too good for Central Ave? It seems to me that this is the thin end of the eat-street-i-fication of Central Ave. Think Rainbow Chinese or Ngon Bistro but Thai food. And better execution by far.

It's at 2422 Central Ave. Just north of Chiapas and Panaderia Durango. On the web at

Oh, and if you go, ask Joe to start making/selling Pan Au Chocolats again.

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  1. A friendly baker? He must hang out with the easter bunny . . .

    That link seems to be pretty dead. Any indication if there is a particular region/style of thai food represented? Other noteworthy sounding menu items?

    2 Replies
    1. re: tex.s.toast

      The link does work if you remove the period at the end. I checked out the menu- looks good but not pages and pages long like most Thai places.

      1. re: phimoez

        Places link

        Sen Yai Sen Lek
        2422 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418

    2. Funny - Holly and Joe are friends of friends of mine. I hadn't heard about their restaurant but I'll have to check it out soon! It will be great to have another Thai option around as we just got takeout from True Thai and it was disappointing.

      1. sounds like another place on my to-try list! thanks!

        1. Thai in NE? I'm so there! Thanks for this info!

          1. apologies for the original snarkiness. now that ive looked at the menu you can color me excited. Khao soi? hell yes. Serving sticky rice with the som tam, the way it should be? a surefire winner.

            I was serious about the nasty bakers though, anyone who gets up that early deserves to be a bit of a pill.