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First Bite: Le Town Talk Diner
By: Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl | Posted: 06/16/2014
When I’m stuck on the phone listening to hold music, I do nothing but Internet-stalk Dong Hae, the Korean place scheduled to replace lost and lamented Nami in the warehouse district. Why? Because there is no Korean restaurant in downtown Minneapolis, and that's lame-o. Also, there’s the inherent jeopardy in the situation: Can a good Korean restaurant really succeed in the middle of nightclub alley? A mere block away from what some call Mount Stabby?
An early version of Dong Hae’s menu published online at donghaeres.com (and currently down) looked promising: $14 sizzling stone pot bibimbop; $13 and $14 fresh wheat noodle dishes, $15 vegetarian sushi platters and $20 and $25 fish-centered ones. Now there’s a big screen in the window with stock photography of sushi promising: Dong Hae’s All You Can Eat Sushi, and also Dong Hae: Korean Grill & Sushi.
I don’t expect at-table grilling, for as we all know Minnesota has no at-table-grilling—when I’ve interviewed restaurant folks they have always said the fire-suppression and hood-systems required would be too expensive. As we also know that all heretofore attempted all you can eat cheap sushi have been ghastly, ghastly failures.
What will happen? It’s really quite interesting! Looks like all will be answered on June 27, when Dong Hae opens to the public—they threw up a Facebook which reveals:
"Dong Hae is a new established restaurant in downtown Minneapolis that serves authentic Korean cuisine along with our delicious Japanese dishes. In combination of our highly experienced chefs from Las Vegas and Chicago, and along with our fresh ingredients, Dong Hae provides the best mouth-watering Korean and Japanese cuisine. Indulge in our fresh cut, all-you-can-eat sushi, and our savory Korean dishes in a friendly environment in downtown Minneapolis."
I called to get more info and the nice lady who picked up the phone said they’re too busy to talk, check back June 27. I will! Because Minneapolis needs a good downtown Korean restaurant, and I need to stop staring at this screen willing it to happen.
Dong Hae, coming June 27. 251 1st Ave., Mpls., 612-333-1999
Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl is a senior editor at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine.See bio
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