The firefly squid at Kado no Mise. Photo by Eric Best

The firefly squid at Kado no Mise. Photo by Eric Best

Best Picks May 18–31

Updated: May 16, 2017 - 2:46 pm

What to do downtown after work

The North Loop is ready to roll

KADO NO MISE mukeshinagarano 3 by EBThe North Loop has a new hotspot in Kado no Mise, an upscale nigiri-forward sushi restaurant that has taken over Origami’s space and its owner, chef Shigeyuki Furukawa. While there’s another restaurant planned for the building’s second floor — side note: this is one of the cutest buildings in all downtown Minneapolis — there’s plenty to enjoy at Kado no Mise. Walk inside and the concept is light airy, as if Origami was transported into an Ikea commercial thanks to its minimal and modern wooden décor. Take the sushi counter on your left and you’ll get a front-row seat to the action and be able to chat with knife-wielding sushi chefs about what nigiri to order. On the cheaper side ($5.5), the salmon is extremely flavorful at Kado no Mise and very approachable if sushi isn’t exactly your thing, but I wouldn’t leave without trying the Bluefin tuna ($7 for lean, $10 for fatty). I always like to finish with tamago, a sweet egg omelet ($4.5).

On the right, you’ll have the bar, which offers a menu put together by Northeast Minneapolis-based Tattersall Distilling. My bartender said the distillery gives them plenty to work with, and many of its liqueurs and spirits make it on to the menu. There’s the Mukashinagarno ($13), which combines Tattersall’s sour cherry liqueur with bourbon, bitters and honey tamari, which gives the cocktail a satisfying edge. I’ve recently been experimenting with eggs whites in my home bar, and the Tokyo Drift ($14) is a drink worth recreating. It shows off two Tattersall creations, a pommeau — a collaboration with Social Cider Werks — and an aromatic crème de fleur, and combines them with vodka, an egg white and lemon juice.

KADO NO MISE tokyo drift 1 by EBKado no Mise also has an impressive and — fortunate for us non-sake experts — descriptive menu. Thanks to many, many sushi trips over the years, I’ve at least developed a taste for the rice wine and opted for the Dewazakura Ginjo Oka “Cherry Bouquet” ($11). The spirit from the Yamagata region of Japan is perfect for our newfound warm weather with floral notes and refreshing flavor when served cold.

Of course, there’s traditional seating as well. For a quick bite, the restaurant’s firefly squid ($12), served atop greens and sweet mustard miso, are unique and oddly adorable.

For downtowners, Kado no Mise isn’t just a dinner spot and serves a comparatively affordable lunch menu. The restaurant converts to a fast-casual concept during the day, serving hand ball sushi that can make for fancy takeout. There’s no need to call ahead of time or order online either.

Photo courtesy Early Eyes Facebook page
Photo courtesy Early Eyes Facebook page

EARLY EYES 3

Bright and Early Eyes

The Minneapolis-based band Early Eyes has released just a few songs this year, but is already garnering attention for their pop-influenced alternative rock.

Early Eyes is comprised of Jake Berglove (guitar, vocals), Wyatt Fuller (drummer), Desmond Lawrence (bass) and Henry Patterson (guitar), a collection of college students who between finals are readying their debut release, an EP dubbed “Minutes.”

“Minutes” has Early Eyes feeling out its edges with sounds and genres. The band recently released a music video for “Take You,” a swift, airy love song with gritty vocals, beachy guitars and a quick drum beat. “Waste of Time,” the first single off “Minutes,” has the band taking a slower, more soulful approach with a thumping bass line and Berglove’s charismatic vocals.

Early Eyes will debut the rest of the EP with a release show at First Avenue’s 7th Street Entry on Thursday, May 25. The 18-plus show will see performances from special guests Sass and The Happy Children.

The_Worlds_We_Think_We_Know_300dpi_RGBWorlds of comedy

This Spring, Dalia Rosenfeld is launching her book, “The Worlds We Think We Know,” a collection of original short stories published by downtown Minneapolis’ own Milkweed Editions. Rosenfeld’s debut book takes readers into far-off places, from New York to Tel Aviv and Eastern Europe, and grounds its stories in passionate characters with a comedic effect. The author will give a talk and book signing at Open Book on May 22 at 7 p.m. with writer Julie Schumacher leading the conversation on humor in storytelling, writing the anti-hero and social criticism in fiction. Schumacher should know what it takes to be funny. The University of Minnesota professor won the Thurber Prize for American Humor not that long ago, and she’s the first woman to receive the award that has gone to Jon Stewart, David Sedaris and others.