Restaurant Review: Little Tijuana

How good is the Eat Street favorite’s comeback?
Little Tijuana's

Photo by Jason DeRusha

As a suburban dad in my late 40s, I may not quite be hip enough for Little Tijuana—and, frankly, you’re probably not either. No matter. With food and drink this good, it’s worth embarrassing yourself.

Little T was a late-night haunt with the kind of Mexican food that paired perfectly with your future hangover. After it went dark for a few years, a group of bar and restaurant veterans whose common link is Petite Leon kept the late-night appeal but hugely upgraded the caliber of food and drink.

Little Tijuana's

Photo by Jason DeRusha

Chef Dan Manosack has created the most interesting bar menu in town. Papri chaat ($9) is like rice-cracker nachos topped with a yogurt sauce and tamarind chutney. The fried cauliflower, given a thin, candy-like shell of tempura ($9), is addictive with kewpie mayo, pickled ginger, bonito, and an earthy/salty furikake seasoning.

Little Tijuana's

Photo by Jason DeRusha

We loved the chopped cheese sandwich ($10), which is an incredibly satisfying and filling cross between a Philly cheesesteak and a sloppy joe. We also liked the marinated beef wrap ($12) that was hugely enhanced by the scallion pancake we used as a vessel instead of pita.

Little Tijuana's

Photo by Jason DeRusha

Bar manager Bennett Johnson’s drinks ($10-$12) include a mezcal Old Fashioned with a hint of mushroom bitters (trust me, it works), while the pina colada almost leans daiquiri in flavor thanks to a nice dose of amaro.

Little Tijuana's

Photo by Jason DeRusha

Little Tijuana, 17 E. 26th St., Minneapolis, instagram.com/littletijuanampls

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