Sticky Rice

I’ve wanted to try the sushi at Sticky Rice for a long time, as I’d heard so many good things about it. So of course, I was thrilled when a few friends of mine treated me to a fabulous birthday dinner there a few days ago. Thanks so much, Awesome Friends! (^____^)/

Sticky Rice is in NE, a part of town I’ve never really been to. It’s rough going at the moment, since they’re tearing up H Street for the new trolley system, but the area will probably be building up after all the infrastructure is put in place. In the meantime, for those who don’t drive, there’s either Metro bus or the free shuttle that stops in Chinatown.

The restaurant is pretty narrow and dark on the inside. When we got there, they told us we would be seated outside – a prospect that we weren’t so sure about at first – but we decided to go ahead with it anyway. They led us upstairs, past the bustling dining room and onto a covered patio deck in the back of the restaurant. The weather was pleasant that day, and the seating was perfect! In retrospect, it was much better out there than inside, where the music was blaring full-blast and you could barely hear a thing over the din.

I actually hadn’t studied the menu ahead of time, oddly enough, so it took me a while to decide what to get. Everyone else *had* done some research though, so we started ordering up a storm after getting settled in. (By the way, they have a pretty decent sake menu, if that’s your sort of thing. I thought a few of them looked interesting, but I just went ahead with green tea, since I can’t imagine having sushi without it. It came lukewarm with a Bigelow teabag in a mug with a handle, so definitely not your usual sushi bar tea).

Pictured above is the Sticky Balls, which apparently had rave reviews at Yelp. It must be pretty popular, because all the tables around us were ordering it too. It’s described on the site as “tuna, crab, siracha rice in an inari packet deep fried, topped with scallions, wasabi dressing and eel sauce.” Inari wrapping is just a tofu wrap that’s used to make (surprise surprise) inari-zushi. This was pretty tasty, even though it seemed to have a whole lot going on in there. I’m not sure what they mean by “eel sauce.” Perhaps they mean the marinade that’s typically used for kabayaki style eel?

The rest:

Samurai Shrimp
six jumbo tempura fried shrimp with three sauces:
spicy soy, ponzu, sweet & sour

I had one of these, and it was crispy and gorgeous! I actually didn’t try it with any of the dipping sauces, since it had a nice drizzle of sauce already.

Bucket of Tots
with “world famous” secret tater tot sauce

This bucket was HUGE! It is definitely meant to be shared by the whole table. Apparently the sauce is “world famous.” It tasted slightly mayo-ish, and was little spicy. I liked it! The tots were fried perfectly to a golden crisp. We actually finished the whole bucket. (o____o)

Coconut Shrimp
sauteed shrimp and vegetables in a coconut pepper sauce
finished with cucumbers, crushed peanuts and toasted coconut

This was actually supposed to be a noodle dish, but since my friend is on Atkins, she asked them to take out the noodles and add tofu and bok choy instead. I tried one of the tofu. I liked it, though I think I’d taken it off the top where the sauce was scarce, so it tasted a little under seasoned.

From the bottom, moving clockwise: spicy tuna roll, salmon sashimi, goochland (smoked salmon with goat cheese and scallions) roll.

I didn’t try any of these, but the goochland had some…interesting reviews. Soy sauce did not go well with it. In fact, it was probably meant to be eaten without any condiments, since the cheese was pretty pungent on its own. The main complaint about this roll was that there was so much cheese that it overpowered the salmon.

I also thought the salmon sashimi was sliced a bit oddly. Sashimi slices need to be thick and meaty! Not sliced so thinly, as though they were about to slap it on top of a nigiri.

Clockwise from bottom: poki (“tender cuts of the best tuna seasoned with sesame oil, ginger garlic, scallions, tohgarashi and soy sauce finished with toasted coconut, served with wonton chips), crunchy spicy tuna roll, and super samurai bomb roll (spicy avocado roll with salmon, tobiko and scallions).

The poki was the only thing I tried, and it was delicious! It came with a seaweed salad underneath, which was refreshing.

This was my plate of food, clockwise from the bottom left: yellow basil (yellow tail sashimi seasoned with basil and topped with black sesame and scallions), salmon and yellow tail nigiri.

The yellow basil was amazing! Definitely a highlight of the plate. I thought the sushi was well done too, with generous portions of fish that was fresh and delicious.

They only had 2 choices for dessert: fried cheesecake and some kind of banana thing. We went with the cheesecake (to be shared amongst us all), and it was rich enough to feed everyone. They were nice enough to write a birthday message in chocolate on it for me. XD ♥

A close-up:

The outer crust had that deep fried, guilty pleasure flavor of funnel cake. The cake itself was actually pretty smooth – not too dense at all. Very good indeed, though I’m not generally a cheesecake fanatic.

In all, a fabulous sushi-filled dinner! I would love to go back again, and soon!

What a fun meal! Everything looks pretty darned good, but I want those Sticky Balls NOW. I’m so glad you have a nice birthday!

14 Sep 2010, 9:38am
by Nevin Martell


Wish I could have been there!


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