I am doing the happy dance, I am doing the happy dance.
So I am a huge fan of Sticky Rice in Richmond, they have creative sushi and dishes, with a fun, casual style. A person on the South board said he noticed their logo on H St and they might be coming to DC (obviously they heard my prayers). So Daily Candy just said they are now open between H St. between 12th and 13th St. I am hoping they are just as good here as in Richmond. If someone gets there before me, let me know how it is, as I have a bunch of non-sushi eating folks in for graduation this week/weekend.
See details for Friday's long-awaited soft opening on everyone's favorite up-to-the-minute source for all things H Street Frozen Tropics http://frozentropics.blogspot.com/
Same block with the wonderful Granville Moore's. Near Argonaut and much more. We're starting to roll in great eating options over here on H St.
Here's my blog post in its entirety for the benefit of the Chowhound community. Original can be found at: http://hillratdc.blogspot.com/2008/05...
Swiss Family Rat made their first trip to Sticky Rice for the 5pm seating on Saturday. The place is beautiful, the staff was awesome, and the food was as good as I had hoped it would be.
Sticky Rice is only about four blocks from the Rat's Nest, so we threw BabyRat in the stroller and I enjoyed a PBR on the walk there. We arrived at about five minutes after Five o'clock and there was a crowd of people waiting on the sidewalk to get in the place. We had a brief wait chatting with other folks that were as excited to welcome Sticky Rice to the neighborhood as we were.
We finally made our way to the door and they asked for the size of our party, which surprised me a little bit because it was supposed a soft opening for folks that had reservations. After giving our name, they found us in their reservation system and we were ushered to a table upstairs.
One of my concerns as a parent who still likes to eat out is not being one of "those families" that has a screaming kid or small tornado of toys spilling everywhere. I nervously asked the table next to us if our stroller between the tables would be a problem, they were extremely gracious and greeted us with a smile so I knew everything would be cool. This brings me to my first kudos for Sticky Rice. Unlike many restaurants in DC (especially those located in rowhouses) they didn't have the tables practically on top of each other. There was plenty of room between tables so you couldn't hear anyone else's dinner conversation and if someone had to get up from their table you don't wind up with a face full of ass. They may decide later on that they can squeeze in another couple of tables, but for now the place is mad comfortable.
Within a minute or two of sitting down our server, Amy, came over, introduced herself, took our drink order (of course I had the double-duece of Sapporo) and got the meal started. Amy seemed to have a pretty good grip on the menu considering it was only their second night open and was able to make some recommendations and provide all the extra information we needed. We ended up getting edamame (natch), shitake happens, some sort of fried mushroom thing, potstickers, sticky balls, Szechuan shrimp, the fantabulous roll, and a side of rice for BabyRat.
The food was slow in coming out, but we expected that so it was no big deal. You can't go to a place where they just sat 40-50 people at one time, on their second night open, in a new kitchen and expect that the pace of the meal is going to be perfect. BabyRat and I wandered around the restaurant a bit while we were waiting, saw the back deck, ran into some folks we knew, checked out the bathrooms, and by the time we got back Amy had brought out BabyRat's rice.
I don't know if Amy worked at a family oriented joint or has kids or comes from a family of 10 or is just well-trained in the art of waiting tables; but after that she could do no wrong as far we were concerned. That kind of attention to a small detail told us that kids are welcome at Sticky Rice and not merely tolerated. If you somehow read this Amy, thanks again!! Your wonderful service really made our night!!
Over the next hour or so, the various dishes we had ordered came out in fits and starts; but rather than taking away from the meal it added to it, because we had the opportunity to concentrate on each dish as it came out. There was almost a fist fight at our table over the super flavorful mushrooms in the Shitake Happens, which were the first thing that came out after the rice. The potstickes were too spicy for the wife and kid, so I got to eat most of those myself.
The highlight of the meal was the Sticky Balls. BabyRat was licking the flying fish roe of the outside before taking a bite of the crunchy, fried, seafood-filled goodness. WifeRat felt guilty for chowing down on one of "my" dishes, probably because she didn't want to share her Szechuan shrimp. Speaking of which, you may want to note that even thought the Szechuan shrimp is listed with the noodles dishes, it's served with rice unless you ask for something different. The fantabulous roll lived up to its name and was super tasty; fresh crab, cream cheese, and tuna, what's not to like?
We were still waiting for our fried mushrooms when Eric (one of the managers) came over and sat down to apologize for not letting the staff know they had been 86'd for the night. Two cool points for Eric because he didn't make his staff take the heat for a mistake he made by not taking the item out of the POS for the night. It was extra cool because he bought my second beer and I was pretty full anyway and BabyRat was getting a little restless too, so it worked out pretty well for everyone.
My only complaint is that I was subjected to Billy Joel's "Uptown Girl" on the stereo. I don't give a fuck what kind of post-modern irony you're going for, you miss when you start playing Billy Joel. I'm convinced that when I go to Hell I will be forced to listen to an iPod loaded with Billy Joel, Meatloaf, and "Sweet Caroline" for all eternity. Just say no to Billy Joel, seriously folks.
Went Last Friday with 3 friends
1) Bucket of Tots - A bucket full of Tater Tots (I was hoping for small children, alas) What can I say, you've had one tater-tot you've had them all. +1 on the presentation though. The special sauce, was special
2) Sticky Scallops - Nice
3) Ribs - 4-5 Ribs - Nice
4) Lettuce Wraps - we got the chicken, and it came in a hot pot. It was okay.
5) Poki - sushi grade tuna with some sort of cool asian frisee (tohgarashi?) - the best dish of all the ones I had
6) drawn and buttered - I didn't realize this was a roll. - decent
7) Goochland - Another role - not bad
We probably got 2 more roles, but the names escape me.
Good neighborhood spot, or a good place to drop by if you're in the neighborhood.
I also ate at Sticky Rice recently but I had the exact opposite reaction -- I found it to be lackluster -- the food, the ambiance, the food, and...did I mention how mediocre the food was?
Seriously, the sticky balls were disgusting and the special sushi rolls were basically all fried food wrapped up in rice and nori. Go there only if you want to eat something that moderately resembles sushi but is not at all as tasty as real sushi can be. The tater tots were nice, though, even though it was basically frozen tots we paid $11 for.
DC has a other good faux-sushi places or pan-asian joints that may not be as funky/trendy as this one, but these other establishments beat Sticky Rice in the food category, hands-down. Suffice to say that I'm not going back for an encore meal.