Would we go back:
308 Prince Street
• California Roll $5.75 (shared)
• Nabeyaki Udon served in special ‘nabe’ bowl with shrimp tempura, chicken, shiitake, fish cake, Japanese omelet and organic spinach $9.25
If you love noodles this is the place to go. I love noodles in any form so I really liked Tanpopo for it's great noodle options at a reasonable price.
My noodle bowl had a bunch of different toppings all that were very tasting and just added to the noodle goodness. We also had a california roll which was very nice. They have other things as well, but as I looked around most people focused on the noodles and all seemed very happy.
• Shrimp and Vegetable (kakiage) Tempura Soba $9.25
Tanpopo won’t make my top list for Asian restaurants, but Tanpopo still reaches the excellent category and is worth the visit for those who want Japanese noodles in St. Paul and points east. I really enjoyed the California rolls and the Shrimp and Vegetable Tempura with Soba noodles. It was prepared well, served with confidence and style, and the price was reasonable.
Tanpopo would make a good first date location, meeting all of the right criteria: not too expensive, good food, and a stylish location. You are sure to impress your date without breaking your budget, and you will score points for choosing a place out of the way with a unique menu. That is, if you both like Japanese food (check that first – or you could sink your chances).
Some other notes: It was strange being the first patrons on the night we visited, yet the restaurant was full by the time we left. I would avoid the peak dinner hours on weekends (roughly 6 to 8 p.m.) or be prepared to wait for a little while for a table. Tanpopo takes reservations for six or more, which is recommended because there isn’t all that much seating.
Ample parking is available on the street.
Overheard at the next table: “Why would anyone want cold noodles?” The server’s response was congenial. I’m not sure I could have been as diplomatic.
March 18, 2006