On Monday, the Bizarre Foods host opened his debut restaurant, Lucky Cricket, where he'll serve Chinese share plates, tiki cocktails, and more. 

Dan Dan Noodles
Credit: Madeleine Hill

This spring, Andrew Zimmern announced a pretty massive career pivot. His debut restaurant, Lucky Cricket, would open in St. Louis Park by the end of the year, serving Chinese-American fare inspired by his travels throughout China over the last 25 years.

Well, it's not a pivot per se. The Bizarre Foods host has a background in restaurant work, but Lucky Cricket will be the first concept where he's at the helm. Zimmern says he's been planning the restaurant for several years, and while Lucky Cricket has only officially existed for one day (it opened its doors on Monday), it's already made a pretty big plash.

“Opening this restaurant has always been a dream,” said Zimmern in a statement. “My life’s work has always been about exposing people to different cultures through food, so my goal with Lucky Cricket to take guests on a journey and showcase the authentic flavors of the Chinese foods that I love.”

Understandably, the pressure is on.

"Now I have to worry about not screwing it up," he told the Star Tribune earlier this year. "These are sort of risky steps to take for someone in the TV business, because you wind up being an easy target. Especially when you’re opening a restaurant in your hometown for the first time in a long time."

Pan-Fried Dumplings
Credit: Madeleine Hill

Here's everything you need to know about the buzzy new 200-seat restaurant.

Zimmern plans to open Lucky Crickets around the country.

According to a press release, the food personality wants to replicate the concept in other American cities, which should come as excellent news for everyone who doesn't live in the Twin Cities area but wants to eat several bowls of those dan dan noodles. And the pork belly, pictured below.

The menu looks beautiful.

Dishes include dim sum items like sheng jian bao, duck shu mai, sticky rice in lotus leaf, and braised pork ribs, plus soups like roasted duck congee and shrimp wonton. Noodle offerings include dan dan, sesame, and "hand-pulled Xian cumin lamb noodles." The menu has a strong focus on shareable plates, with large-format dishes like Hong Kong waffles with Shanghai fried chicken and whole steamed fish.

Oh, and there's this sweet and sour chicken.

The bar program is tiki-focused.

Lucky Cricket's bar was designed by by mixologist Dean Hurst, and the colorful drinks are served in drinkware from Tiki Farm. The restaurant also offers a rum collection featuring 40 different varieties, as well as spirits made in Minnesota and the obligatory slushie drinks. The tiki bar and lounge area seats 80.

Lucky Cricket, 1607 West End Blvd, St Louis Park, MN. 952-206-6830.