More in the North Loop

There should probably be a weekly feature titled "new North Loop restaurant news."

The latest is Shag (730 Washington Av. N., Mpls.). Restaurateur Michael McDermott is promising a concept that includes a sushi bar, an Asian restaurant and a 1970s Vegas-style lounge, all designed by Minneapolis-based Cuningham Group Architects.

It's the second sushi outpost for McDermott; his first is Sushi on Shea in Scottsdale, Ariz.

McDermott is the ownership behind Rojo Mexican Grill (1602 West End Blvd., St. Louis Park and Southdale, Edina, and the Asian-American Ling & Louie's (921 Nicollet Mall, Mpls.,, which is set to open the first week of September and will include a massive rooftop patio.

"As a Minnesota native, I've been excitedly watching the North Loop neighborhood grow from both a residential and culinary perspective," McDermott said in a statement. "Noticing the neighborhood's lack of sushi offerings presented an opportunity to bring food I'm passionate about to this side of Minneapolis."

Look for Shag to open later this year.

Off the fairgrounds

For those who prefer to get their State Fair food fix with a chef-driven twist, consider HauteDish on a Stick at HauteDish (119 Washington Av. N., Mpls.,

Fresh from his Master of the Market triumph (see page T2), chef Landon Schoenefeld is preparing a long and clever list (18-plus) of on-a-stick snacks and serving them dim sum-style, including jerk-style chicken thighs, smoked lamb belly, house-made mortadella and a return of last year's biggest hit, an octopus treatment.

In the all-in-good-fun department, dessert includes a foie gras torchon lollipop covered in Pop Rocks.

"We're trying to pull off a sweetbreads corn dog," co-owner David Walters said with a laugh. "We're having some trouble with the recipe."

All items are sold a la carte, with most in the $2 to $4 range and a few going to $6 and $8. The dinner-only event runs Aug. 26 through 28.

On the fairgrounds

As is its custom, the Midtown Global Market (920 E. Lake St., Mpls., will offer some State Fair representation through its Taste of the Market booth at the International Bazaar.

This year, La Loma Tamales will occupy the premises from Aug. 21 through 24.

Next up is first-time fair vendor Panaderia el Mexicano (selling tres leches cake and chocolate- or vanilla-filled churros), from Aug. 25 to 28, followed by Taquería los Ocampo from Aug. 29 through Sept. 1.

The 12th annual Minnesota Cooks ( event is Aug. 24 at Carousel Park and will include chefs from Twin Cities restaurants including Mendoberri, Tiny Diner, Birchwood Cafe, Gorkha Palace, Wise Acre Eatery, Terra Waconia and Mill Valley Kitchen. The fun begins at 10 a.m.

Love, from the Times

Here's a reason to pick up Sunday's New York Times: the paper's Travel section includes a love letter to Travail Kitchen and Amusements (4124 W. Broadway Av., Robbinsdale).

Recently reviewed

Copper Hen Cakery & Kitchen, 2515 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls., 612-872-2221, www. ⋆⋆ 1/2

Agra Culture, 2939 Girard Av. S., Mpls., 612-315-3349 and 3717 W. 50th St., Mpls., 612-345-5442, ⋆⋆ 1/2

Heyday, 2700 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls., 612-200-9369, ⋆⋆⋆⋆

Rick Nelson