Here's Our Travel Guide to This Nation of Over 7,000 Islands
Located just a hop, skip, and a jump from the U of M campus, this is definitely the place to go when you find yourself in Northeast. In fact, it is worth a detour. Obento-Ya serves all kinds of traditional Japanese fare. Sushi, noodles, bento boxes, and izakaya are all up for grabs. No matter what the season, go for the summer roll, which features tempura shrimp, gari, and yellowtail marinated in spicy ponzu with daikon and carrots.
In what must have been the most horrific irony to befall a resto since The Great Chicago Fire Brick Pizza Company was burned to bricks in 1871, Longfellow's sushi/ noodles/ sake bar Midori's Floating World found itself floating in a "reasonable typhoon" when the apartment above it burst a water pipe in late January. But now they're back, and so are yakisoba (stir-fried soft noodles) and all manner of sushi!
One of St. Paul’s premier sushi hotspots, this place has an entire portion of its menu dedicated to specialty rolls named after MN Wild players, including one called “In Memory of Derek Boogaard," which features shrimp tempura and spicy mayo topped with crab meat and cream cheese with a drizzle of Sriracha. Go team!
Kyatchi lives to serve Japanese-style cuisine with an American twist. The Minneapolis sushi hotspot dishes out soups, salads, small plates, grilled fish and seafood, meat skewers, rice, noodles, and, in a true cultural mélange, hot dogs. If you’re intrigued, good; hot dogs, like the kimchi dog with mustard, sesame oil, and Japanese mayo, all come with Japanese potato salad, whose savory flavor gives any typical ballpark frank a run for its money. If it’s more traditional cuisine you’re craving, try veggie or pork ramen, or scallop yuzu kosho, with raw scallops, veggies, chili pepper, yuzu peel, and sea salt. Kyatchi emphasizes sustainable ingredients and delivers them to you in a casual, open dining space decorated with Japanese artwork.
The ramen here has a slightly sweeter broth that pairs incredibly well with the succulent, umami packed, fried pork cutlet. The gai lan (Chinese broccoli) adds a brightness that binds all of the flavors of the ramen into one tidy little package while the yolk from the poached egg adds richness and depth.
It’s almost impossible for us to wrap our heads around the fact that one of the best sushi restaurants in the Twin Cities (okay, Wayzata) started out as a sushi-slinging food truck, but it did. The brick-and-mortar serves an assortment of nigiri. The rolls are equally delicious and if you’re going that route, we’d suggest the Silly Billy named after owner and goofball extraordinaire, Billy Tserenbat.