Three Monkey's, Great Sun Buffet, and Fusion a mixed bag

The Uptown and Eat Street establishments suffer from lack of focus

The place does look a lot cooler. There's a more nightlife-friendly lounge section and a sushi bar with gauzy black curtains and black-and-red flocked wallpaper. But Zeno never had as strong an identity as some of its neighbors, such as William's or Bar Abilene, and Fusion in many ways remains just as amorphous, and its maki-meets-pasta menu doesn't help the matter.

The specialty rolls—multi-ingredient affairs dressed with sweet sauce or mayo sriracha—are tasty enough but not remarkable compared to those offered just up the street at Mt. Fuji. Still, they're more interesting than the American food. Most of the items I tried from the Plates to Share section, such as the turkey/apple/Brie panini, cheesy baked penne, and the flatbread topped with figs and nubs of chewy pancetta, were perfectly serviceable, but seemed more like they belonged at home with a Netflix than a night out at the Uptown or Lagoon. (By the way, Fusion's Tuesday Date Night deal offers an appetizer, salad, bottle of wine, dessert, and two Landmark movie theater tickets for $30.)

Those dishes were better than the baked goat cheese, which could have used something sweet or tart to cut its richness, and the shrimp quesadilla with Gouda cheese that didn't really make sense in any culture. But the dessert list, wisely retained from Zeno, is just as successful as ever. The cheesecake and molten chocolate cake show why those dishes are so universally popular: When they're done right, they're worth every calorie. The only one I couldn't get into—literally, I was trying to chisel off bites by pounding a fork and knife—was the rock-hard fudge cake with caramel ganache.

Confusion at Fusion: a multiculti mash-up of sushi, pasta, and American food
Fred Petters for City Pages
Confusion at Fusion: a multiculti mash-up of sushi, pasta, and American food

Location Info


Great Sun Buffet and Gangchen

1400 Nicollet Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Category: Restaurant > Chinese

Region: Minneapolis (Downtown)


Great Sun Buffet & Bar
1400 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis
612.871.2898; All-you-can-eat buffet: $7.99 at lunch, $9.95 at dinner

Three Monkey's Pub & Grub
1410 Nicollet Ave. S. Minneapolis
612.208.0826; appetizers $4-$13; entrées $4-$17Fusion2919 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis
612.824.6300; www.fusionmpls.comappetizers $5-$13; entrées $8-$16

I think Fusion has more to offer than Zeno did, but until its concept fuses, it may be trying to do too many things, without really nailing any of them.

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