Café Bonxai

Business wasn’t great at the little budget steak house in the St. Paul Midway, so the Hang family, Hmong refugees from Laos, decided to try something different. They brought in cousin Christian Hang, a recent culinary-school graduate, as chef; remodeled the dining room with a tasteful black and orange décor; and added Asian fusion to the menu. You can still get an $18.99 T-bone or a $10.99 sirloin, but the dinner menu at the Café, formerly a Best Steak House, now includes seared yellowfin tuna salad with mango salsa; red or green coconut curry; and poached red snapper with basil, mint, lemongrass, and shallots—plus a few Italian dishes such as shrimp scampi and fettucine alfredo. The lunch menu is even more eclectic, with offerings including a fajita wrap and a BLT. Preparation and presentation are first-rate; wine and beer expected soon. Most entrées run $9-$14. 1613 University Ave. W., St. Paul; 651-644-1444.