The Eat Street region of Nicollet Avenue is not for those with short attention spans. Stroll up the street on any given night in search of a bar or restaurant and you will find that it's easy to get distracted by the multitude of flashing lights, neon signs, and trendy bar-hoppers packed into the one spot they deem hot that week (I'm looking at you, Azia). Located just around the corner from the Bad Waitress and across the street from Black Forest Inn, Jasmine 26 is technically not on Nicollet, but it's an Eat Street bar and restaurant regardless. Though it may look closed from the outside, step inside and you will find a romantically lit restaurant with a posh yet minimal decor. The restaurant features tasty Vietnamese treats (spring rolls, lemongrass noodle salad) as well as "Vietnamese" treats (yeah, they have cream cheese wontons). Sit at the bar by the giant, wood Buddha carving and order up your favorite Asian beer, or try an inventive cocktail or hot sake. They even have bubble tea laced with rum, which isn't as overwhelming as you would think—it's light on the tapioca and it's not too sweet. Happy hour is daily starting at 10 p.m. until close, with $4 appetizers, sandwiches, and salads, as well as $6 noodle dishes. Not hungry? Selected beers (including Sapporo, Kirin, and Summit), sakes, and wines go down to $3, or go for a large sake, ginger fizz, or Far East Sangria for $5.
Mon., Oct. 20, 2008