Sticky Rice

Written by on September 7, 2012 in I Eat America, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

( – H Street Corridor, NE, Washington, DC

How I heard of this place:The Washington Post article “Top 40 Dishes Every Washingtonian Must Try“. Our friend, Cody was arriving from Seattle and we needed the perfect place to enjoy good food with good friends and…tater tots.

Type of cuisine: “With its charming atmosphere and bad attitude you won’t find anything quite like it. Our specialty is our fresh sushi bar. With rolls like g.i.jane, shiitake happens and Godzirra, how could you go wrong? Our huge bowls of noodles will satisfy big and small. Sandwiches, large salads, and a selection of other entrees round out the menu. We also feature a kids menu! Don’t forget the (soon to be famous) bucket of tater tots with our special tot sauce. Sticky Rice, established last century has been rolling on and on. Sticky Rice serves up an unusual mix of American, Pan-Asian entrees in a friendly, inexpensive and inviting atmosphere. Spring rolls, potstickers, sushi, noodles and edamame (steamed soy beans) are simple and standard. Lots of choices for vegans and vegetarians!”Sticky Rice

Ambiance: “In a town where you can get sushi at grocery store counters and high-end restaurants, it takes something special for a sushi place to stand out — particularly when it’s in a neighborhood that isn’t known for drawing crowds on weeknights. Enter: Sticky Rice. The H Street NE joint has character in spades, from the framed tattoo art to the gong behind the bar, and the neighborhood’s ahead-of-the-curve hipster crowd has taken notice, flooding in for out-there sushi rolls, karaoke nights, sake bombs and weekend DJs.

Sticky Rice is part of the ongoing H Street trend, where hipster clubs are (still) hoping to transform a neighborhood that lacks good public transportation yet is hoping for a buzzing night life on more than just weekends…”. Another Washington Post reader comments, “Music videos blare from the televisions, and funky art dominates the walls. One look inside Sticky Rice and it’s clear that this is not your typical sushi-and-noodle restaurant. This place has been attracting hipsters since its 2008 opening with an out-there atmosphere and a lineup of quirky activities including karaoke and bingo.” The bustling interior is recognizable from the outside, as the music booms and people squeeze their way through the doorway. The loud, red space, possibly an old town home, contains many stairwells to various levels – an upstairs overlooking the mezzanine, looking down on the bar below; each level packed. As we made our way through the bar, beoynd the graffitied walls at the sushi bar, and up one set of stairs, we entered one of the restaurant dining areas. Mood lighting abounds in this dark space, thin bay windows at one end, artwork painted onto the walls, and a large open window cut into the brick wall opposite. Japanese umbrellas and framed photographs easily viewed, like another piece of art, through that open space. We continue up another long flight of creaky, wooden stairs (while not heard over the pounding music overhead – and all around). We make our way into our dining room, more red walls, black-framed doorways, randomly place framed artwork, few windows and a black and white film being projected on the wall against the stairwell. Another brick wall, with cut-out window frames a large painting on the mezzanine’s tall wall, three Japanese style paper umbrellas hanging ahead of it, to create a 3-D artwork effect. The exposed wood-paneled tall ceilings give the impression of space in the slim corridor we were seated; one, simple, circular mirror also adding to the dimension of space. We take our seats next to the stairs, and await our server.

What I ordered: “Can I start you with something to drink?” “TATER TOTS!” I proclaimed!

Tater Tots

Knowing the reason Sticky Rice made it to the Top 40 list, I couldn’t help myself. Two waters and two Ginger Ales ($2.50 each) later, and our Bucket of Tots ($8) with a house special tot sauce were at our table. We decided to partake of our meal, family style, so selected a handful of sharable items: Our Ribs, two orders ($8 each) of 5 crispy , tender ribs smothered in a sweet and spicy sauce, lay atop a shredding of cabbage sprinkled with scallions.


Mongolian Beef ($12.50), slices of marinated beef stir fried with broccoli, snow peas, onions, water chestnuts and carrots in a spicy brown sauce with napa cabbage. Choice of noodles, udon, as suggested by our server.


And, from the sushi menu: Monsters Maki Godzirra ($12.50), large crunchy shrimp, avocado, cream cheese, spicy sauce and cucumbers with tempura crunchies and tobiko, Goochland ($7) with smoked salmon, goat cheese and scallions, Sticky Balls ($10.75) with tuna, crab, siracha rice in an inari pocket deep fried topped with scallions, wasabi dressing and eel sauce,

Sticky Balls

and two Tempura Rolls – The Yum Yum ($7.50) for smoked salmon, cream cheese, avocado, tobiko and spicy sauce drizzled with eel sauce and scallions; and The Millenium Roll ($8) with lump crab meat, smoked salmon, eel, and cream cheese drizzled with siracha and scallions.


What I loved: My favorite dish of the evening had to be the tater tots, the tot sauce an amazing, lightly spicy mayo compliment. Of the main entrees, I feel that the sushi left something to be desired, while the noodles (Mongolian Beef) compensated! The ribs, despite my personal aversion to a strong pork flavor, was perfectly prepared, with tender meat that fell off the bone, deep fried and topped with fresh scallions.


Why I loved it: The space is lively, cramped and intricate, with rooms extending off in all directions. The music, slightly too loud for conversation, kept the energy up and the food coming!

Cost: Average ($4.50 – $12.50 per roll)

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