Step Inside Chef Iliana Regan’s Tiny New Japanese Pub

It’s a Wonderland of Ramen, Wagyu Beef and Whiskey-Glazed Donuts

By Sam Eichner ·
None 5 Photos Kitsune

The Midwest.

Not a ton in common there.

Maybe snow. Snow happens in both places. And hot soupy creations. Those, too.

Otherwise... not much.

Rectifying such matters is Kitsune, Michelin-starred chef Iliana Regan’s technically sound Japanese pub that has this weird/delicious thing about using fresh Midwestern ingredients. It opens tonight in North Center, and everything here looks pretty damn good.

You’ll notice right away, from the gray banquette dotted with red throw pillows and the portrait of suddenly former President Barack Obama, that you’re in for a more casual experience than you would be at Regan’s other restaurant, Elizabeth.

Come any night of the week for a steaming bowl of pork belly tonkotsu ramen, oysters with a rice wine mignonette or sashimi with Minnesota golden rice and housemade miso.

And on a special occasion—say, February 14—bring a date and order the tender Wagyu steak and seared scallops with soy hollandaise. By then, they’ll probably have their liquor license, too, for beer and sake-based cocktails.

On the off chance they don’t, though, you could always settle for a whiskey-glazed, Japanese-style brioche donut.

You should probably settle for one regardless.
Sam Eichner

Sam Eichner likes literature, reality television and his twin cats equally. He has consistently been told he needs a shave since he started growing facial hair.

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