Monday, October 26, 2009

Rice Nolita 10-26-2009

Location: 292 Elizabeth St.
Time: 5pm
People: RB and myself

Feelings: Last year, we accidentally came across the restaurant Rice while shopping in Noho/Soho area. Since then, Rice has become one of our go to places when we have trouble finding a reasonable, vegetarian friendly eatery. I especially enjoy their rustic decor and calm, friendly service. Sharing the same space as Rice is Jack's Stir Brew Coffee. So it's a convenient place to pick up coffee after your ricey date.

Rice is never crowded (bad sign?), so you can definitely enjoy a quiet meal here. It is true that there are so many other posh, interesting restaurants in the area, but when you need a bit of serenity and vegetarian friendly dishes around $10 or less, Rice is a good place. Did I also mention how much I love their bathroom? They have the super-fast drying Mitsubishi hand dryer that dries your hands in five seconds.

Rice serves...well, rice. You choose an entree, and then choose a rice to pair it with. So there are more options here then the menu leads you to believe.

My usual favorites, vegetarian meatballs and ratatouille (both $6 for small, $10.50 for large) are tasty, but today, I decided to try their wild mushroom pilaf ($11.50). The large portobello mushrooms were sweet and crispy, and the pilaf was fresh and flavorful. I really enjoyed the dish for its texture and various flavors it brought out. In the end, it still maintained to be comfort food. RB ordered Thai beef salad with Thai black rice ($6, marinated beef, lettuce, pickled carrots with lemongrass dressing). While he preferred my dish over his, he thought it was light and fresh yet satisfying. It was nothing too exciting, but the hot sauce they brought out in a tray of pipettes added a new dimension of flavor.

If you are looking for healthy, quiet, reasonable meal that involves rice and fast hand dryer, I'd highly recommend Rice on Elizabeth Street for some rice and beans (Jack's coffee beans in this case). Or, if you don't mind the long wait and loud vibe, go to Cafe Habana for more traditional rice and beans. Rice does not serve anything special or spectacular, but I can assure you that you will enjoy your meal at this cozy and relaxing place. It would certainly be perfect for your casual non date dates.


Gar said...

i've heard mixed reviews on this restaurant. Most people think it's 'boring' food, but I actually enjoy macrobiotic meals. Not one to enjoy heavy flavors, so no spicy dishes for me.

Yosh. O said...

I love macrobiotic meals as well. If you know any fav places, please let me know! Thanks for your comment!!

Sara Shacket said...

I've had mixed experience at Rice in DUMBO (haven't been to the Nolita one in years) but the veggie meatballs, rice and beans, and curry are always a solid option. It's a regular take-out place for us. Their rice crispy treats are really good too! The one in dumbo has a cool bar underneath the restaurant, called Low Bar. I wonder if they deliver to your 'hood?