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Cook St. Paul's red-hot Friday pop-ups are an Asian fusion playground

Every Friday night, Payne Avenue's tiny Cook St. Paul turns into a melee. Hopeful customers, sometimes hundreds at a time, snake around the neighboring blocks. They've come for Korean bulgogi fries, a Filipino take on Chinese steamed buns, and Hmong fried rice with smoked trout. On these Fridays, Eddie Wu, owner of Cook, throws open his doors and lets others take over his restaurant. It's a luxury Wu wishes he'd had before he opened Cook. "If [Cook] fails, everything in my life falls apart," he says. "I wish I would have had this [kind of an opportunity] before we opened." By far the most popular nights are when the young Asian-fusion cooks come out to play. "Minnesotans want Asian food, but they're too scared to go to Asian restaurants," says Wu. Read our full review here. All photos by Sasha Landskov.