VENUE DETAILS

Big Bowl - Edina

Price:

Cuisine Type:

Serves:

Handicap Accessible:

Yes

Outdoor Seating:

Yes

Handicap Accessible:

Yes

Outdoor Seating:

Yes

Rating: No Star No Star No Star No Star

REVIEW

After four dumbed-down years under an economies-of-scale-minded corporate ownership, Big Bowl is back. And how.

Here's the at-a-glance timeline.

• 1994: Debuts in Chicago by Lettuce Entertain You (Twin City Grill, Wildfire, Tucci Benucch) and Asian food authority Bruce Cost.

• 1998: Lands in the Twin Cities.

• 2001: New owner Brinker International (the 800-pound gorilla behind Chili's and Romano's Macaroni Grill) expands to several dozen locations in seven states.

• 2005: Brinker bails, selling back to Lettuce its seven original restaurants (plus a Rosedale branch added under the Brinker regime) and pulling the plug on the rest.

• 2006: Cost and his obviously talented crew revamp.

Sure, Lettuce is a dining bigwig, too. But because it operates on a much smaller scale -- 60 establishments vs. Brinker's 1,600 -- the Lettuce corporate framework gives someone like Cost the leeway to steer his own ship. Because he's not a familiar Food Network talking head, Cost doesn't have the kind of John Q. Public profile that his stature as a nationally recognized teacher, chef and author would otherwise merit (his "Asian Ingredients" -- revised in paperback in 2000 -- is an invaluable kitchen library resource), but he's the real deal.

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