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“Wonderful dining experience” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Zen Box Izakaya

Zen Box Izakaya
602 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55415
+1 612-332-3936
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Ranked #83 of 1,595 Restaurants in Minneapolis
Price range: $3 - $13
Cuisines: Asian, Japanese, Gastropub, Noodle
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Portland Ave
Transit: Metro Transit Lightrail: Metrodome Station. Metro Transit Bus No. 7 & 22
Description: Twin Cities' Izakaya Pioneer - Zen Box Izakaya. We are devoted to the pleasures of Craft Ramen & Japanese comfort food. Zen Box Izakaya is THE place for 'Good Food, Good Drinks and Good Company'.
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Wonderful dining experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2012

The staff was extremely welcoming, friendly, attentive and appreciative. We loved the food - it seemed like very authentic Japanese bento food. The daigaku imo was outstanding (fried sweet yam with sweet and spicy sauce). It is only two blocks from the Guthrie and they have a food happy hour that coincides nicely with when the plays are about to begin.

Visited July 2012
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22 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“Yummy Authentic Japanese”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2012

Zen Box is a great place to get an authentic bento in Minneapolis!

We arrived just as the restaurant was opening. This could be an awkward time as the staff settles in but we didn't experience any of that. Everyone was smiling and seemed happy to see us.

We asked to be seated outside so I can't really comment on the interior atmosphere. The outside seating area was pleasant enough. Zen Box is on a busy street so don't expect it to be anything but an urban experience.

Despite being outside, our service was excellent. Our server was gracious and friendly.

As for the food: My Vegetarian Bento was the perfect lunch with ample portions and fair pricing.

The meal started with a standard Miso Soup (the server was kind enough to warn me that it is not vegetarian - a thoughtful thing to do if I was). It was savoy and delicious.

The box arrived shortly after and consisted of house cabbage salad, a larger-than-expected order of edamame (perfectly cooked), 2 gyoza (fried), brown rice and Crispy Tofu Skewers (Yaki Tofu). These skewers were amazing - fried tofu cubes grilled for added flavor. I know, tofu doesn't have much flavor to begin with but this treatment made them amazing - as did the wonderful sauce.

I highly recommend Zen Box and can't wait to return.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, IL
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“Authentic izakaya”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2012

Great job by the owners to give the Minnesotans a real taste of Japanese comfort food. Lovely Asahi Dry beer on tap, and a good range of dishes that are meant to be shared so go on and be adventurous. The Takoyaki balls were delicious and the ramen was super tasty.

Visited December 2011
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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