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Jul 31, 2011 10:23 AM

Little Szechuan - West End - Review

Was excited at the potential to have a good Szechuan place closer to my house so when I saw that Little Szechuan finally opened I booked on over to try it. I really want to like this place.

The good:

Full bar, tasteful decor, quick service and outdoor seating

The not as good:

The food (sadly)

The menu seems to be watered down for the suburban visitors to the West End from the original location in St Paul. No tripe, tongue or any of the more adventurous items that were present there.

Began with cocktails which were good - no complaints there. For starters we had potstickers and they were underwhelming. Szechuan dipping sauce was ok but the actual potsticker itself tasted underseasoned to me. I also didn't care for the wrapper. For my main, I ordered Fish Filet in Spicy Tofu Broth. Had an almost identical item at Grand Szechuan and at Szechuan a couple of weeks ago so I felt that I had a pretty good basis to compare. Definitely was spicy enough but the other flavors in the broth were under-developed compared to what I had at the other 2 restaurants. Husband who loves all things spicy wasn't impressed with the flavors here either. He ordered the Kung Pao Chicken since it was the only non breaded chicken dish and it was ok but definitely a mild dish. We also ordered the Fish Flavored Eggplant which was probably the best seasoned dish of the 3.

Overall we were disappointed but this is their first weekend so I will definitely give it another try. If anyone else has gone and has recommendations on dishes, please share.

Little Szechuan - West End
5377 16th Street, St. Louis Park, MN 55416

Szechuan restaurant
2193 Snelling Ave N., Roseville, MN 55113

Grand Szechuan
10602 France Ave S, Bloomington, MN 55431

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  1. I have also been looking forward to this opening for quite some time and was delighted when I drove by Saturday and saw they were open. The restaurant is beautiful inside and the full bar and patio is going to be nice. Since it was last minute I went solo and did not get to try more than one dish. I will agree that their menu does appear to be smaller than their St. Paul location but my server told me they could still make many dishes not featured on the menu. I ordered my favorite dish, which I have had at all of the szechuan joints in MSP, Beef in Szechuan Spicy broth. I thought is was EXCELLENT rendition. Although the portion was smaller than most it was very well prepared and balanced. The broth was SPICY and delicious with just the right amount of peppercorns sizzling on top and a hint of garlic I don't usually notice with other versions. Cannot wait to bring some friends and try some other dishes as I cannot bring myself to order anything else.
    PS- If you like Szechuan Spicy Broth of any kind also make sure to try SZECHUAN SPICE in uptown, I really like their version and I never seem to see enough people in there.

    Little Szechuan - West End
    5377 16th Street, St. Louis Park, MN 55416

    2 Replies
    1. re: JKellyMN

      Went twice, Beautiful build out. Great ambience, The food portions are small and expensive. The first trip we had the tea smoked duck, Chung King Chilie Chicken and the spicy beef short ribs. The chicken was incredibly salty. The beef was gamey and too chewy. The tea smioked duck just tasted weird. Everything just seemed a little off to me. I was really disappointed and vowed not to go back for a while.

      Well I went back. This time we had the chicken lettuce wraps, kung pow chiken and sesame chicken. This time I said no msg. Evrything was less salty but still very bland with not much flavor. The sesame chikcen in particular was very disappointing. It was a fried chicken nugget with some sickly sweet sauce poured over it.

      I think it is the curse of the West End. I have not had good luck at the venues there.

      1. re: JKellyMN

        I LOVE Szechau Spicy Broth and usually get it with the Pork at LS in St.Paul.