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CLOSED To differentiate itself from the myriad Asian restaurants in the neighborhood, Zen's menu reads like the greatest culinary hits of the East, offering curry, pho, fried rice, and pad Thai, among other familiar favorites. The cross-cultural approach is a bit like that of Chino Latino, except that after a night at Zen you're much less likely to wake up the next morning with a pounding headache and a whopping credit card bill. Zen, instead, has a spare, meditative ambiance, with purple walls and gauzy curtains partitioning the tables. Some of the dishes are a hybrid of Eastern ingredients and Western culinary technique, such as the orange-glazed duck, which fuses Peking roast duck and Continental duck l'orange. Zen's dishes tend to be light, fresh, and deftly cooked, though they sometimes lack the robust seasoning one would expect from a part of the world known for its well-stocked spice cupboards.
When I found out about the openings of Zen Asian Contemporary at Lyn-Lake and Mt. Fuji on 28th and Hennepin, my first response was to stifle a yawn. I was so over the idea of more Asian food in Uptown: The neighborhood needs another hip, Eastern... More »
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