Dodged around Central Corridor Light Rail construction to the St. Paul location of Little Szechuan Restaurant. I always judge the authenticity of an eatery based upon the referral of people who grew up with the food as home cooking. If the venue is as good as “grandma” used to make, then it is good for everybody. Little Szechuan always has people of Chinese decent dining there. Their vote counts much more than mine. www.littleszechuan.com
Went with a group so I was able to try several dishes. Dan Dan Noodle is a spicy appetizer. The Bamboo Tips are rather bland. Deep-fried Crabmeat Delight doesn’t contain much crab but is a tasty crispy cream cheese wonton served with sweet sour sauce. Spicy Belt Fish is bony and doesn’t look like the photo in the menu. Milky Crispy Shrimp is a perfect combination of crunch and sweet. However, the broccoli garnish was cold. Spicy Crispy Chicken is like eating chicken turned into potato chips, but it tastes excellent. Chung King Chili Shrimp has got a lot of kick. Spicy Beef Short Ribs are succulent and finger-licking good. Cumin Lamb is exceptionally wonderful. Tea Smoked Duck is passable. Crispy Rice with Triple Delight has a flavorful sauce that will make you want to lick the plate. My kind friends treated me to a wonderful meal.
There are probably one hundred dishes available. The restaurant is decorated in simple red and black with two koi-pond fish tanks. Fake bamboo shoots provide an odd screen from the larger dining area to the booths. The breeze can be rather cold from the front door on chilly days despite the screen behind the host table. The servers are friendly and helpful. They were kind enough to replace a friend’s meal that was too spicy for him because the waitron forgot to ask how hot to make the dish. Oddly, there is no scent to the room or music.
They have a spacious parking lot, which is accessible from Western Avenue via the alley behind the Mai Village Restaurant on the SW corner of University Avenue and Western Avenue. Don’t let construction keep you from this delicious experience on “Little Mekong.” Otherwise, you can try their St. Louis Park location or order takeout and pick up the meal to consume at home.
Four and a half forks! The menu is difficult to navigate and some of the dishes were mediocre.
© 2012 Ima B. Musing