May 4, 2022 - Food and Drink

Review: Kalsada brings modern Filipino cuisine to St. Paul

A large black bowl of beef stew.
The beef pares mami and pika pika from Kalsada. Photos: Audrey Kennedy/Axios

I recently checked out Kalsada, a new Filipino restaurant that just opened in St. Paul.

  • Created by the owners of Cafe Astoria, it serves Astoria's brunch in the morning and transitions to a low-lit, upscale restaurant and bar for dinner.

What I ate: I tried the beef pares mami ($14), a Filipino version of pho. The fragrant beef soup is paired with egg noodles, carrot, cabbage, bean sprouts and a soft-cooked egg.

  • My server also recommended I try their pika pika ($13): fried shrimp, fish balls and a spicy cooked egg.

My thoughts: The stew's beef was fall-apart tender and flavorful, the broth was delicious and the toppings were a tasty complement. Even on an empty stomach, it was so filling I couldn't finish it.

  • I was a little underwhelmed by the pika pika. The egg and Sawsawan sauce were very good, but the fish balls and shrimp were just fine.

Of note: I went the second day it was open, and the restaurant was still working out some kinks.

  • Prime reservation times are filling up fast, but half of the dining room is reserved for walk-ins.

Visit: 1668 Selby Avenue, St. Paul. Ample street parking available.

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