KUA: Modern Mexican

Video by Travis Anderson

KUA: Modern Mexican

June-August at Travail Mpls

Travail heads south of the border for its third and final concept at the Minneapolis Residency. Introducing KUA, a Mexican-inspired tasting menu in collaboration with our friend, the talented chef Gustavo Romero, a native of Mexico City. Inspired by favorite mercados and restaurants in Roma, Polanco and other hot colonias (neighborhoods) in this historic and cosmopolitan city, this incredible tasting menu melds ancient Aztec ingredients with contemporary Mexican culinary techniques to create a truly memorable evening.

Kua, the Aztec word for “devour,” is an apt moniker for this modern Mexican feast, which includes sparkling fresh ceviche, smoked swordfish, chile rellenos, Konro-grilled meats, a prickly pear mezzo, lamb tacos, a tamale cart, house-made horchata ice cream, cocoa chili and more.

“Mexican food is so much more than tacos and quesadillas.
With Kua, we’re honored to be able to show you what Mexican food really is!”

Chef Gustavo Romero

New Patio Seating

Speaking of summer… we’ll be offering a new way to enjoy dinner with the Travail crew in a sunny setting on our patio. In the ticketed reservation process you will be able to choose between Dining Room and Patio seating. If we have inclement weather, we will move all our Patio ticket holders inside. Please choose your seating carefully as these section-specific tickets are not interchangeable. Patio seating will only be available at the 5:30 and 7:30 seating times.

Ticketed Reservations

Pricing for each day and seating time for the KUA tasting menu is below. Prices are before tax and a service fee, which includes gratuity and a 3% health and wellness fee.

5:30 6:00 7:30 8:00
Wednesday $65 $70 $70 $65
Thursday $70 $75 $75 $70
Friday $85 $85 $90 $90
Saturday $90 $90 $95 $95

August Ticketed Reservations

PLEASE NOTE seating times for August will be different:
5:30, 6:00, 7:45, and 8:15.


Beverage Pairing
$55 (plus tax and service fees)
A curated Mexican-inspired menu of craft cocktails, beer, wine and house-made fresh juices and sodas.

Insecto Upgrade
$20 (plus tax and service fees)
For adventurous diners, we’re offering a special Mexican-style buffet of the highest quality dried chapulines, gusano, and chicatanas to accompany your dinner. Don’t miss this opportunity to experience this favorite Mexican snack! *Please note if you have a shellfish allergy we advise you to skip this upgrade.

Kua Tasting Menu Preview

Ceviche: smoked swordfish/ black aguachile/ puffed rice wrapper/ shiso/ pecan

Quesadilla de Chicharron: achote (red masa)/ pressed pork shoulder/ salsa verde/ pickled white onion

Hilario Shrimp Cocktail: poached shrimp/ Hilario cocktail sauce/ cilantro/ radish

Gaucamole Cart: guacamole/ pickled vegetables/ pico de gallo/ salsas

Chile Relleño: stuffed poblano/ huitlacoche/ queso / bean & caldillo sauce

Mezzo: passion fruit fluff with tajine

Green Mole: cauliflower/ green bean/ asparagus/ norales (cactus)/ citrus

Cod Augachile: black cod/ hoja santa/ aguachile

Elote: baby corn/ mayo/ smoked paprika/ cotija cheese/ lime

Mezzo: prickly pear

Pozole: hominy/ radish/ jalapeno/ pork/ cabbage/ charred onion/ oregano

Grilled Beef: flank steak/ raw onion/ cilantro/ lime
Lamb: mole/ sesame/ green onion/ pineapple

Tamales: Chichen Tinga, Jalapeño & Oaxca

Churro Horchata Ice Cream / chocolate

Chile/ Tres Leches Cake/ Chocolate Mousse

Take Home: fresh mango

A La Carte at the Bar

BurgerTorta : oaxaca cheese / romaine / heirloom tomato / lemon kewpie mayo / beans / cotija / mole

Taco Fries : taco seasoning / ranchera (seasoned sour cream)

Mix and Match:
chips / chicharron / garlic cracklins / salsas / queso / beans / guac

Fried Quesadilla: corn tortilla / carnitas (pork) / oaxaca cheese / queso dip / chimichurri sauce

Burrito: beans / flank / guac / fries / charred onion

Wet Burrito: fefried beans / cheese /enchilada sauce / queso

Caesar: romaine / soft boiled egg / cotija / crouton / 
oregano fines herbs

Chapulines (seasoned crickets): garlic / chilis / lime / ranchera

Taco on House-Made Tortilla:
Pastor: pineapple / onion / cilantro

Mushroom: mole / huitlacoche / cilantro / beans

Dessert: Horchata Ice Cream & Churro y Chocolate

Upcoming Events


“Gabby’s Got This” Benefit Party

Sunday, July 21st from 4-8pm
At Travail Mpls Residency (1930 Hennepin Ave S)

Party with the Twin Cities’ top chefs in support of our family and friends with a night of food, drink, music, a silent auction, and KICKING CANCER’S ASS. We’re throwing a benefit party in support of Matt and Heidi Brown’s family whose daughter Gabby was diagnosed with AML Leukemia at 1 year old. Some of you may know Matt from the early days of Pig or at his current restaurant, Estelle’s Eatery and Bar over in Harmony, Minnesota (check Estelle’s Facebook page for your daily dose of Gabby!) Matt is also a brother to Travail’s Mike and Dave Brown, so this event is very near and dear to our hearts. Their family has been fighting the good fight for over 8 months, and we’re thankful for our community’s support and the ability to be a part of the healing process.

In true Travail party fashion, your feast will be served at interactive food stations throughout the space. Our restaurant family has banded together to bring you a star-studded chef lineup featuring...

Tim Mckee of Octo Fish Bar
Gavin Kaysen of Spoon and Stable
Ann Kim of Young Joni
Stephen Hess and Tyge Nelson of Pajarito
Thomas Boemer and Nick Rancone of Revival
Tommy Begnaud of Butcher and the Boar
+ Mike, James, Bob and Travail Team

Tickets are $125 per person and include all your food and drinks for the night. Silent auction items will also be available to bid on at the event. All proceeds go directly to the Brown Family.

Can’t attend? You can also show your support on Gabby’s GoFundMe page.


A Musical Feast with the Minnesota Orchestra

Friday, July 26th at 8pm
At the Minnesota Orchestra

Award-winning local chefs meet musical masterminds in a one-of-a-kind event.

Jose Alarcon (Centro, Popol Vuh), Jamie Malone (Grand Cafe), Jack Riebel (The Lexington) and Mike Brown, Bob Gerken, and James Winberg (Travail Kitchen and Amusements) create amazing dishes on stage while the Minnesota Orchestra performs live under the direction of Sarah Hicks.

Get $25 tickets (originally $55!) with promo code BEST CHEFS


Ticketed Reservations FAQ

For any questions about our ticketing system, what’s included, and what to expect at dinner, we’ve laid it all out for you on our FAQ page.