The former home of the Times Bar & Cafe on East Hennepin was reborn as Ginger Hop, an "East-meets-Northeast" concept of Asian and American fare. The owners are the crew behind the original Thailand-in-Uptown concept Chiang Mai Thai, and they wisely capitalized on the neighborhood's notable lack of Asian restaurants. The space looks as pretty as ever--the vintage bar is the same and the dining room now looks as if it were lifted from French Colonial Indochina. The menu skips, or hops, as it were, around Thailand, Vietnam, and China, and includes a few fusion items such as the Kimchi Kulakofsky, a Reuben sandwich stuffed with Korean-style pickled cabbage. Several menu items feature ginger-the Ginger-or-Mary Ann cocktail and the house-made ginger snaps with candied ginger ice cream-and a few others incorporate beer (hops, get it?), such as the chicken wings with Summit EPA hot sauce. Prices are higher than at local mom-and-pop Asian eateries-the banh mi will run you $8.75, which is about double what you'd pay on Nicollet or University Avenue-though Ginger Hop offers a classier ambiance than most spots with $10-and-under entrees. Some of the standard Asian favorites lack their characteristic flavor complexity, so stick with the walleye satay, the sweet potato fries, General Tsing's Chicken or the Hop Laab. Honey's, downstairs, is a mixed-use venue combining drinks and snacks with entertainment.
Mon-Fri 11am-1am, Sat 10am-1am, Sun 10am-10pm
Asian, Asian Fusion, Chinese, Pan-Asian, Thai, Vietnamese
Outdoor Dining, Takeout