Szechuan restaurant opens at Lyn-Lake

From Southwest China to Southwest Minneapolis, Szechuan cuisine is coming to the Lyn-Lake intersection.

Szechuan Spice on Monday opened its doors to the space vacated by Zen Restaurant, 3016 Lyndale Ave. S.

Manager Jenni Shi and her husband and chef ChangFu Xue will run the new space. They also manage the popular Tea House restaurant in St. Paul.

The restaurant uses dried chili peppers and peppercorn to make bold and spicy dishes. It’s named after the Sichuan Province in Southwest China. Its muggy and humid climate encourages people to eat spicy food in order to beat the summer heat.

Sichuan is where Shi and Xue began their restaurant experience. Xue, before moving to the United States, was head chef at a five-star restaurant in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan. The couple also operated a restaurant in New York City before moving to the Twin Cities a few years ago.

Shi said she’s applying for a beer and wine license and also is asking approval to place a few tables on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant.

Szechuan Spice is open for dine-in and takeout from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Call 353-4281.