Zen Box Izakaya

602 Washington Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Mon-Fri 11:30 am – 2:00 pm
Mon-Thu 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Fri-Sat 5:00 pm – 12:00 am

In this cold cold Minneapolis winter it was difficult to find any restaurants near my hotel, let alone anything worth blogging about. Likely for me the hotel staff directed me to Zen Box. Only a about a block from the Depot area but hiking through a few feet of snow was no joke. In the end, it was totally worth it.

As you walk into the restaurant they greet you with, “itadakimasu” (literal meaning being “I humbly receive” but in this case it’s more of a welcome or enjoy your food). My first trip here I ordered the Beef Gyu and the Chicken Karage (recommended by the hostess). The Beef Gyu comes with thinly sliced beef and onions on top a bed of rice (white or brown). It was pretty good but the beef was a little dry for my taste. The sauce that they pour over the rice and beef however, was super tasty and added a little moisture back into the beef. The Chicken Karage on the other hand, I have no complaints at all. For those of you that have not have Karage before its like little chunks of Japanese flavored Chicken Nuggets (almost General Tso-ish). While eating the karage I found myself pairing it up the rice from the beef gyu. Come to find out in a subsequent visit to Zen Box you can get the Chicken Karage over the same type of sauce and rice as the Beef Gyu. This discovery really made my day. So instead of having to order two different plates I just went for the Chicken Nanban. I could eat this everyday and not be sick of it.

It was 6 dollars for the Chicken Karage and 10 dollars for the Beef Gyu.

The inside of the restaurant was warm with tons of waiters/waitresses very attentive and a tiny little bar. I think next time I’m going to come by and try some of their happy hour. They do have a good selection of local beers on tap. The orders do they take a little bit to get to you so grab yourself a beer to kill some time.

Yelp – 3.5/5.0 Stars (55 Ratings)
Zen Box Izakaya on Urbanspoon