Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sticky Rice DC: A High Quality Import

Please, call your moms, brother, best friend, downstairs neighbor, and whoever else you think may remotely enjoy a good sushi roll. Then, take them to this place.

Sticky Rice was and is a popular homey hangout restaurant in my hometown of Richmond VA. I'm sure everyone has this type of '3rd place' in their hometown. Sticky was a see and be seen place, a unbelievably good sushi place, a drink after work place, a meet a new girl/guy place and a good dinner when I don't want to cook place. A lot of hats for one restaurant to wear, but it worked. I never figured it could be replicated in DC because most of us here are too stuffy and not as wild as we were in Richmond. But somehow, and not a bit surprisingly, actually, owner John Yamashita has transformed a space in Atlas District into one of the funnest new restaurant and bar venues in the city. (Photo courtesy of Sticky Rice DC)

We had dinner and drinks at the very soft opening of Sticky Rice DC last week and were very, very impressed. The new venue, at 1224 H Street NE is sleeker and more worldly than the original, but still meshes well with the other new establishments in the Atlas District. Its only a few doors down from Red and the Black and a block away from the Rock and Roll Hotel. Some may be able to walk there, but if you live near Mt Pleasant, its quite a trip. We ended up taking a cab from Gallery Place. It took all of 5 minutes to get there, but walking from Union Station (closest Metro) or waiting to ride on X2 bus (drops you off near the front door) were not really options for us at 10:00pm.

The soft opening meant that some ingredients for certain dishes were depleted or hadn't been purchased, but we made out just fine. The sushi is off the hook. We started of with the spicy avocado roll, prepared by the owner himself, right in front of us. We ate it as an appetizer, but I could have made a meal out of a bunch of these rolls, they were so good. In addition we ordered the tofu bites, a bowl of crispy fried tofu with a smoky, savory sauce and scallions to flavor. It cost $3.00. A $3.00 appetizer that's nearly as filling as a whole meal; unheard of in DC. We split the main dish, the Dirty Vegan, a noodle dish (choice of noodle type) with vegetables and tofu in a peanut and coconut sauce. It was soooooooo good. Already this may be one of the top restaurants for vegans and vegetarians in DC. The menu features a section for the vegetarians and the all vegan and vegan optional dishes are marked as such. Truly a dream for most vegans in this city, which traditionally hasn't been the friendliest to us.

All the rest: bar on the first floor, fully stocked of course; outside patio, in the back on the second floor; sushi bar upstairs, with booth and table seating for 20 or so upstairs as well, additional dining booths and tables downstairs. Didn't have my camera, but if you're curious, check out their Flickr for pre-opening photos and look over the sick menu. Yes, its that good. Thanks to this place for bringing another great food option to our fair city, DC.