01 May 2012

Edina: Rice Paper

Don't you just love southeast Asian cuisine?  So many sauces, so little time.  Although there's always a chance fish sauce could pop up, there's also a chance of peanuts or mangoes.  Yes, please.  Both would be good.  Not fish sauce.  That's not included in the both.

Just get out of here, fish sauce.  You smell.

Rice Paper
3948 W 50th St
Edina, MN 55424
(952) 288-2888

Downtown Edina, as 50th and France is sometimes called, is the fanciest little downtown I've ever seen.  The clothing stores are fancy, the athletic stores are fancy, the kitchen stores are fancy, and even the consignment shop is fancy.  (I went to said consignment shop once and couldn't find anything for under $100.  I'm sticking to Turn Style and Buffalo Exchange.)

Once we fancied our way into Rice Paper, Sister and I shared a special menu.  It was created just for people like us: gluten and dairy free.  You'd think that would cut the menu down to a couple of options, but no.  This place is way more awesome.  There are at least 20 items on this menu.  Okay, granted, the menu doesn't say meat or fish free.  So once you get your happy vegan hands on the thing and order, make sure you ask whether your item is vegetarian.

Case in point:  I, a sucker for mangoes, ordered Echo of the Tropics.  They give you a choice between chicken and tofu, so.  Duh.  It ran us $18, at which I confess myself surprised and chagrined.  But, after all, this is Edina.  Fancy fancy.

I asked our server if Tropics was completely vegetarian, and she said yes... except for the fish sauce.  She thought a second and told me she could replace it with peanut sauce.  "Why, I just happen to love peanuts!" I exclaimed in characteristic exuberance.

Yes, this is how I talk.  If you don't ever want to be seen in public with me, I'll understand.  I also have poor volume control, which is ironic considering I work with kids who are on the autism spectrum.

Anyway, my server turned out to be an utter genius.  Peanut sauce plus fried tofu plus freakin' MANGOES.  How is this not served everywhere all the time?

The mango slices were perfectly fresh and chilled, spiced with a dash of what I'm pretty sure was Sriracha.  A lovely combo.  There were even carrots and cucumbers so I didn't get overstimulated by pure mango.  The rice had tasty toppings but was a little bland for me.  Would've been better with soy sauce, but like at any fancy restaurant, the salty condiment is not automatically provided.  Seestor liked the rice, though.  Underneath laid wonton crisps: good, crunchy, and also bland.  But great when incorporated into the same bite as the spicy mango and tofu.

Now, the peanut sauce on the tofu was heavenly.  The tofu itself was well-cooked: fried and crispy.  But without the sauce it was a bit bland.  Luckily, the sauce was plentiful.  And so perfect.  While it wasn't spicy, it did have enough flavor to whisk me away to my happy place.

In a sated stupor, I "breezed" out the door and into bed.  There may have been a car ride involved.  Good thing I have a husband.  He won't let me sleep on benches in Downtown Edina.


  1. If you're going to sleep on a bench, 50th and France should be one of the better spots to choose.

    1. That's what I thought. Matt has some weird thing called "standards," though. Whatever those are.