There’s more to the Twin Cities’ suburban dining scene than bottomless cheddar biscuits and never-ending pasta bowls. Case in point: One of the best new restaurants in Hennepin County is housed in a former Perkins in Golden Valley, flipped in September 2018 by chef-owner Ann Ahmed.
Like the trailblazing menu at Hai Hai in Northeast Minneapolis, Lat14 mines its culinary inspiration from countries throughout Southeast Asia. Fans of Ahmed’s popular Brooklyn Park restaurant Lemon Grass will find similar Thai flavors in her creamy tom rum ramen, steak laab salad, and pan-seared basil duck breast. More adventurous diners can sample dishes from Cambodia (rice noodles with snow crab and fish gravy), Laos (chicken thigh stew with dill, eggplant, and wood ear mushrooms), Bangladesh (bone-in beef curry with lentil rice), and the Philippines (a crispy, crackly plate of heaven-sent roasted lechon).
A progressive drink program designed by Tommy Goetz hammers home Lat14’s sexy date-night vibe. His Chilies cocktail, pictured above, pairs Skaalvenn Distillery’s habanero rum with mezcal, tequila, crème de cassis, and a splash of soda. Served on the side: pinchable piles of palm sugar and Thai peppers, so you can decide just how Minnesota 😇 or Thai 🌶🥵 you want your tipple to be.
8815 7th Ave. N., Golden Valley, MN; 763-400-7910.