Nha Sang - (Kinda) New Pan-Asian in Burnsville
I'm kinda surprised that a search of this board didn't return anything on this kinda new place in Burnsville - it's been open for at least a few months.
Nha Sang is in a little, semi-hidden strip mall, just north of Hwy 13 on the east side of Nicollet Ave - a half-mile or so east of 35W. The website is here:
Lots of Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Japanese dishes, but also quite a few TIbetan entrees. I went there for lunch a few days ago, and saw that they also have a lunch buffet M-F (didn't see it mentioned on their website). I hadn't planned on getting the buffet - I was going for Momo - but two other dishes I was interested in - "Tibetan Spicy Chicken" and "Cranberry Curry" - were both available on the buffet, so, at $5.99, I gave it a shot.
The buffet was not your typical suburban Minnesota Asian buffet - although it did have the prerequisite cream cheese puffs, egg foo yung, and gloopy-looking chow mein - it was small, but the entrees were good - well-seasoned - the Tibetan Spicy Chicken is probably the spiciest thing I've had on an Asian buffet since coming to Minnesota, and similar to "lemongrass chicken" I've had at several Vietnamese places around the area. The cranberry curry was very good, also - kinda Thai curry tasting, with a little tartness (and an odd pink color) from the cranberries.The other entrees - Mongolian pork, beef and broccoli, and a few others - were also above par for a buffet.
I'm looking forward to going back to try more stuff - anyone else been there?
Does anyone know if there is a connection between this restaurant and Thanh Do? There's a Crowd Cut deal on Thanh Do currently ($20 for $40 worth of food), and I was looking over their menu again - I haven't been there in awhile, since I changed jobs - and noticed a few similarities. The cranberry curry and the "nutty" chicken caught my eye.
I'm not sure if these are kind of "traditional" dishes (don't think so), or if there is some personal connection between these two places, or if the Nha Sang people just ate at Thanh Do and really liked some of their dishes, and decided to make something similar, or whether there's just kind of a "pan-Asian restaurant kit" that comes with semi-customized menu with some of the same dishes (like how every south-of-the-river Mexican place has an almost identical menu, including the "Speedy Gonzales" lunch special).
I've been back to Nha Sang twice since my last post - once for dinner, and once for lunch.
I went there for dinner on a Friday night, around 7:30 or so. The place was only about 1/3 full, but there were also a lot of people coming in for take-out.
I ordered the Mo-mo, and my wife ordered the Japanese Sukiyaki Noodle. Her dish was really good - large amounts of vegetables - bok choy, carrots, zucchini, onions - cooked and seasoned nicely, served with thin bean-thread noodles in a clay pot. She really enjoyed it, and would order it again.
I wish I could say the same for the Momo. I'll start this off by saying that this is the first time I've had Momo anywhere - I was ordering by reputation only. There were 8 dumplings. The wrapper was kind of thick, but I think it's supposed to be - not like a gyoza. The filling, though, was beef - and, as far as I can tell, just beef - not much seasoning, and nothing to "lighten" it. It didn't taste _bad_, but it was really bland and a little tough. The sauce it came with tasted exactly like Crystal hot sauce, and the "house salad" was, as far as I could tell, cole slaw made with some kind of ranch-like dressing.
Like I said, nothing was bad, it just wasn't as good as the other entrees I've had there, and wasn't what I was expecting from the descriptions of Momo that I'd read elsewhere.
When I went there for lunch, I had the buffet again, and was very happy with it. The entrees were almost exactly the same - the only differences were that there was chicken in the cranberry curry, and there was "pepper steak" instead of "beef and broccoli". The cranberry curry and the Tibetan Spicy Chicken were once again the stars of the buffet.
Yep. It's a bit of a haul from Crystal to Burnsville but I try to eat there once a month. Any place that has a pic of the Dalai Lama over the kitchen door is fine by me... Unless the food sucks. Fortunately this is not the case with Nha Sang. It's been a while since my last visit (holidays, dontchaknow) so excuse the lack of particulars, but every time I have gone there the food has been very good. About the only bad thing I can say is that while the food is flavorful they don't seem to feel comfortable spicing it up, even when asked. Granted, this is the case with many Asian places that cater to the suburban palate. The owners/cooks and the waiter (Sheuphen) were very attentive...