Sticky Rice – H Street Corridor

Sticky Rice is a funky vegan-friendly, vegetarian-friendly, carnivore-friendly, celiac-friendly, kid-friendly Asian restaurant on the H Street Corridor. The atmosphere is fun and loud and the menu is eclectic mix of sushi, noodle dishes and tater tots.

Lettuce Wraps

DIY Lettuce Wraps

Lettuce Wraps

The Lettuce Wraps ($9) came with a filling of chicken (you can also choose tofu or shrimp) and shittake mushrooms, water chestnuts, bean sprouts, carrots and other mixed vegetables. I thought the presentation was impressive, but the actual dish wasn’t stellar. The lettuce had a bitter taste and the filling was a bit too salty. The best lettuce wraps I’ve had were in Honolulu’s Chinatown; these didn’t come close to matching that quality.

Sticky Balls

Sticky Balls

An inside view of the Sticky Balls

An inside view of the Sticky Balls

The Sticky Balls ($10.75) are one of Sticky Rice’s signature dishes, so I had to try them. The dish is basically deep-fried sushi. It’s composed of tuna, crab and rice fried in an inari pocket, topped with scallions, wasabi dressing and eel sauce. The dish was really good. It was crunchy, hearty and very filling. I’d have it again.

Dirty Vegan Noodles

Dirty Vegan Noodles

The Dirty Vegan Noodles ($12) consisted of tofu, peanut-coconut sauce, carrots, peppers, edamame, broccoli and nappa cabbage. The dish came with a choice of 4 bases (soba-buckwheat, vermicelli, udon and rice); I got the udon noodles, which are thick. The dish had a slightly spicy kick. The peanut and coconut flavors were the most prominent, but even so, the dish was kind of bland. I expected better.

The interior of Sticky Rice was bright and funky. I thought it was a nice touch that episodes of Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time were playing on screens throughout the restaurant.

The colorful second-floor dining room

The colorful second-floor dining room

Other funky details included a menu featuring a Mickey-Mouse-Hello-Kitty hybrid, an origami crane mobile and a pagoda-shaped bar.

Hello Kitty and Mickey Mouse's child

Hello Kitty and Mickey Mouse’s child

Sadako would approve

Sadako would approve

The first floor bar resembling a pagoda

The first floor bar resembling a pagoda

This is probably the first restaurant I’ve written about that I’ve actually noticed people bring their kids to. I don’t associate sushi and such as necessarily kid-friendly, so this phenomenon was odd. However, maybe kids nowadays aren’t as Happy Meal obsessed as I was. On Tuesdays, kids eat free off of the children’s menu (I don’t know what’s on it), so that’s probably the real reason why kids come… or are brought there.

I came in to Sticky Rice with really high expectations that weren’t fully met. The Sticky Balls were the best part of the meal, so I’d come back to try more of their sushi creations. They’re also known for their tater tots, which I will try on my return.

THE BOTTOM LINE:
FOOD: 3/5
ambiance: 4/5

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