Andrew Zimmern's new restaurant, Lucky Cricket, opens today in St. Louis Park

One of the buzziest restaurants of the year opens today. Lucky Cricket, the Chinese-tiki mashup courtesy of Twin Cities-based traveling TV star Andrew Zimmern, will be serving up dim sum, “shareables” and noodle dishes at St. Louis Park’s West End. (1607 West End Blvd., St. Louis Park, 952-206-6830,

With chef/consultant Alex Ong, formerly of San Francisco’s Betelnut, Zimmern — a self-described “Chinese takeout lunatic” — has put together a menu inspired by his travels across China as well as family dinners in his youth.

“I’m a Jewish kid from New York,” Zimmern said. “We ate Chinese food three times a week.”

The menu spans the vast country’s culinary regions. There are wontons in Szechuan chili oil; Xi’an style hand-torn noodles with spicy cumin lamb; a dish of Hong Kong waffles with Shanghai fried chicken.

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Finishing the bar @lucky_cricket_west_end

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