Lunch at The Rabbit Hole, Minneapolis — First Impression

Exterior of Rabbit Hole Restaurant Minnespolis

Photo by Lori Writer / St. Paul by Tricycle: The Rabbit Hole in Midtown Global Market — so whimsical

The Rabbit Hole, the whimsical full-service Korean street-food-style restaurant that opened in Minneapolis’ Midtown Global Market in November, describes itself thusly: “One part Lake Street watering hole, one part intimate dining experience, and one part culinary travel adventure!” The Rabbit Hole joins A La Salsa as the only two full service restaurants (and with bars!) at Midtown Global Market.

If you were a fan of the now-closed The Left Handed Cook, Thomas Kim and Kat Melgaard’s beloved Korean stand in Midtown Global Market, then you’ll feel right at home at the Rabbit Hole for lunch: The Left Handed Cook’s menu has now pretty much become The Rabbit Hole’s lunch menu.  The Rabbit Hole has a nuttier, bolder menu for dinner, though I haven’t yet tried it.

We went for a late lunch and had to wait about five minutes for a table, though we were given the option to sit at the tall chairs in the bar, which we declined.

Though it was a bit dark, I loved the decor, as did my toddler who enjoyed pointing out the rabbits scattered artfully about: a cuddly stuffed bunny here, a mossy Watership Down-esque bunny there, the bust of a rabbit way over there. “Bunny! Bunny! Bunny!” He also loved the paper lantern chandelier in the bar. I don’t think he noticed the archways constructed of books, the private booths, or the arty Kickstarter backers wall, but I was impressed.

Booster seats and high chairs were available, but my tot’s water arrived in a glass. A glass glass. No kids menu. And no milk, not even soy. So, while the Rabbit Hole certainly does allow children, it doesn’t especially go out of its way.

Nevertheless my child enjoyed his meal immensely, from the bunny hide and seek, to his cocktail of half orange juice / half water, which I surreptitiously mixed at the table. For him we ordered the Japchae Doshi Tray, cleverly served in a stainless steel school lunch tray: perfect for the kiddo who likes to keep his foods separated. The Japchae, sweet potato noodle and vegetable salad, was mild enough for him. He really loved the rice. And the little cakey dessert. He even enjoyed a bit of the kimchi. No menu substitutions allowed, by the way, so if you’ve got a picky tot, beware.

My Bulgogi Doshi Tray was solid, with tender bits of marinated beef I was prepared to share with my tot, but thankfully didn’t have to. The real winner, though, was my husband’s “The East L.A.” pulled pork sandwich, which he said was “delicious” and that he’d place among his top five best pulled pork sandwiches ever.  Tender pulled pork, sweet caramelized onions, crisp Asian slaw, on a fresh Salty Tart Bakery bun with a side of super crisp, yet tender, fries.

We did find the service a little too slow for our eventually restless tot, though, perhaps that’s just a result of a new restaurant’s learning curve. Also, I really missed the popcorn snack The Left Handed Cook used to supply while you waited for your meal.

Based on only one visit: all in all, it’s a fun place with a menu that shows a ton of promise, but unless you’re determined to bring your young child to The Rabbit Hole, I can’t honestly suggest that you do. It’s more of a date night out kind of place. And I’m sure we will be back for a date night, sans toddler.

***
The Rabbit Hole (for lunch aka, The Left Handed Cook)
Restaurant
Midtown Global Market, South Minneapolis
920 E. Lake St #101
Minneapolis, MN 55407
612.236.4526
http://thelefthandedcook.com/menu-2
Find it on a map

OPEN:
Mon-Thu: 11:30am-2:30pm; 4:00pm-10:00pm
Fri-Sat: 11:30am -2:30 pm; 4:00pm-11:00pm
Sun: Closed
CUISINE & SETTING: Contemporary Korean with a lively bar
RESERVATIONS: Accepted
PRICE RANGE (ADULT ENTREES): for lunch, $9-$12
KIDS MENU: None
SPECIAL DIETS: Vegetarian, gluten-free
BOOSTERS & HIGHCHAIRS: Yes
KIDS BEVERAGES SERVED: In a glass, no milk available
FACILITIES: Koala changing table in the Midtown Global Market’s restaurant
PARKING:  Two hours free parking in covered Midtown Exchange parking ramp (enter on 10th or 11th Ave) with validation. Take your ticket with you and ask your server to validate your ticket.
PUBLIC TRANSIT:
NOTABLE:
WHILE YOU’RE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD: Check out the Global Kids Zone play area and the family-friendly programming. Link to my detailed story on Midtown Global Market here.
PARTIES:

★★☆☆ (Good! Stop in if you’re in the neighborhood.)

*Please call ahead or check the establishment’s website before packing up your kiddo and heading out the door, just so there aren’t any tantrum-inducing disappointments should schedules change.*
The Rabbit Hole restaurant Minneapolis, interior, book arch

Photo by Lori Writer / St. Paul by Tricycle: The Rabbit Hole interior

Paper lantern chandelier in the bar of The Rabbit Hole restaurant, Minneapolis

Photo by Lori Writer / St. Paul by Tricycle: Bar area, lots of bunny spotting opportunities!

Korean Beef Bulgogi on a stainless steel tray

Photo by Lori Writer / St. Paul by Tricycle: Japchae Doshi Tray — the rice, cake and stainless steel tray greatly delighted my child

Korean Beef Bulgogi on a stainless steel tray

Photo by Lori Writer / St. Paul by Tricycle: Bulgogi Doshi Tray — tender bits of marinated meat would make good table food for a tot

Korean pulled pork sandwich at the rabbit hole in Minneapolis

Photo by Lori Writer / St. Paul by Tricycle:
“The East L.A.” pulled pork sandwich was a hit with my husband

midtown exchange short term parking sign

Photo by Lori Writer / St. Paul by Tricycle: Two hours free parking with validation in the covered ramp across the street to the East

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