Best Restaurants

Best New Restaurants 2011

A bevy of chef changes, openings, closings, and flashy new ideas made this another wild year in our local food scene.

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Masu Sushi & Robata

Who knew that the hottest Japanese joint in town would come from supermarket sushi mavens? Truth be told, we knew something was afoot the minute Eagan’s Sushi Avenue hired Tim McKee to help flesh out the place. Instead of little green-paper-grass-lined sushi trays, Masu offers the workings of sushi master Asan Yamamoto, who has a deft hand with raw fish.

Instead of commonplace donburri and teriyaki offerings on the hot menu, Masu offers smoky grilled robata meats and oh-so-cheffy ramen with pork belly and poached egg. Match that with a slick design package that delivers a Tokyo vibe, and you'll soon wish Masu was taking over your local strip-mall sushi joint. 330 Hennepin Ave. E., Mpls., 612-332-6278,

Read our full review from the August issue.

Eater’s Guide

Angry Gummi.

Sure, there’s a list of stellar sake choices, but Johnny Michaels was brought in to design a cheeky and fun cocktail menu that screams for attention. Try the Gummi drinks, which do indeed taste like Gummi Bears.

Trya Izakaya.

The small-plate menu is where you’ll find the authentically interesting ingredients—shredded dried squid, Japanese pickles, and tuna jerky.

California Roll Rut.

This is the place to try some new sushi. Let the knife wielders show you their way with Arctic char, seasonal abalone, or barramundi.

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