Just over the Bloomington border, near where Highway 100 and Interstate 494 meet, lies the Twin Cities newest steak forward restaurant, Lela.

On Thursday, Bloomginton welcomed the new Lela Restaurant to the city.

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The American contemporary restaurant, which sits near the Sheraton hotel, is the concept of Wischermann Partners’ and owned by developer Warren Beck.

At the helm is Chef John Mullen III. Mullen, who made a name for himself at Minneapolis’ BANK and most recently worked at Wayzata’s 6Smith, combines his knowledge of steaks and seafood with his creative flavor profile to create intricate yet simple-tasting food.

This theme of simplicity begins with the name.

According to the restaurant officials, the Latin language was the influence of the name and the menu. Latin was one of the first global languages and “le” and “la” were precursors to Latin words.

The food mirrors this idea of universal language by resting on three pillars – crudos, pastas and steaks. The universal food language of sea, land and grain.

The crudos range from thinly sliced yellowfin tuna dressed lightly with unagi sauce, radishes and avocado to a tart, citrus-y Peruvian ceviche made only with lime, cilantro and habaneros.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Each crudo is paired with just a handful of ingredients so that each fish is prominently featured as the dominant flavor.

The pastas are a bit more intricate, with a few more ingredients finding their way to the plate.  Each is made in-house and has a distinct texture profiled by the accompanying ingredients.

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As with the garganelli. The square noodle is folded multiple times upon itself to create a ridged texture. Mullen has paired this with wild boar hazelnuts and radicchio. The tender boar highlights the ridges in the noodle while the hazelnut sets off the softer noodle and meat with a much-needed crunch.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The truffle gnocchi is another dish in which the accompanying ingredients play well with their pasta.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The plump, soft gnocchi is paired with fleshy lobster and crunchy asparagus and covered in a mascarpone sauce.

But the part of the menu that embodies the concept best of all is the steak.

From the 36 oz. cowboy ribeye to the 40 oz. porter house, each cut is tender, juicy and served on its own to allow the flavor of the beef to speak for itself.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

There is a selection of salts offered that allow diners to customize their steak, such as Pink Himalayan Salt, Lava Salt or Smoked Salt, but the cuts themselves come un-garnished allowing the diners to take in the whole flavor.

From the name to the décor to the food, Lela takes a simple, classic approach to dining and aims to bring the attention the food by using limited ingredients and letting the food’s own flavor stand out.

To see more photos from Lela, click here. 

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Lela is located at 5601 W. 78th Street in Bloomington, adjacent to the Sheraton hotel. It is open daily for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday through Thursday Lela is open from 5 to 10 p.m. for dinner, and Friday and Saturday dining hours are 5 to 11 p.m. Dinner service has already begun. Lunch service will begin on June 22. For more information visit Lela online.