Bite of the Week is a weekly feature showcasing an exceptional meal or dish, curated by The Growler.
Lesser-known Japanese food is having a real moment in Minnesota right now. Restaurateurs are moving past the sushi / tempura / hibachi grill dynamic that has largely defined Upper Midwestern Japanese-American fare and are discovering new dimensions of flavor and taste. Consider Sando, whose black pepper egg custard sandwich was one of our favorite bites of 2019, or the takoyaki of Don Oishi, or the newly opened Nomu Room at Masu, which is serving up American interpretations of Japanese interpretations of American food.
Add to the mix: the Tokyo-inspired crepes of Ichigo Tokyo Crepes, just off of Nicollet Avenue and co-located with the well-established Ramen Kazama.
The restaurant’s chicken sesame crepe represents a mastery of the food is all about: delicate without being fragile, and lightly crispy without losing its chewy essence. The filling manages to straddle the line between the crisp bite of fresh vegetables, the gentleness of chicken, and the earthy comfort of toasted sesame. Taken in whole, it’s a light meal or a big snack and utterly hits the spot if you’re looking for fast food made meaningful by the care of the cook.
THE DISH: Chicken Sesame Crepe, $8.50
THE PLACE: Ichigo Tokyo Crepes, 5 W 34th Street, Minneapolis, Minnesota
THE REASON: It’s delicate, it’s bold, it’s savory, and it’s incredibly pleasant to scarf down as a quick lunch