When we first walked through the Lucky Cricket space, it was alongside celebrity chef and Minnesota champion Andrew Zimmern. It was also before that infamous Fast Company video was released, bringing with it a storm of controversy. At the time, Zimmern spoke carefully about standing on the shoulders of Chinese chefs and fussed over every ingredient of the dishes as they were plated for photographs. All would be at complete odds with the words he spoke in the video and the reality of this suburban mall restaurant.
Lucky Cricket’s rolling train wreck through the land of publicity comes complete with massive media coverage and a dining room full of rubberneckers. Minneapolis-based writer and soon-to-be critic for the San Fransisco Chronicle Soleil Ho chronicled her dismay with the interview and dining at Lucky Cricket in an essay for Eater and again on Eater’s Upsell podcast. The Growler’s James Norton issued an early review noting bad food like cigarette ash-flavored rice, and ruminated, “The questions that trouble [Lucky Cricket] are existential—what is the real soul of a place created by a man who is a capitalist, storyteller, gourmand, journalist, instigator, and cook?”
It’s the difference between the promise and the plate that might be plaguing the almost month-old establishment the most. For example, here is what the shrimp salad looked like with Zimmern and a photographer present.
The dish comprised a mix of lettuce, including watercress and lacinato kale, served with radishes, edible flowers, and fried gluten-free noodles, all dressed in a reduced pineapple dressing and topped with head-on fresh shrimp.
It’s currently served at Lucky Cricket for $18, on the lunch menu, and pictured on the website as this:
However, it’s actually this:
Frozen cocktail shrimp, carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, and noodles are a salad, but clearly not what was being sold to diners.