During a winter vacation in Honolulu, my cousin picked me up and took me to a new place in the Kakaako/Ward neighborhood called The Rice Place.
This is a small fusion place, with a menu that combines various asian and north american cuisines.
We started with the Lettuce Wrap Rice Flour Crepe.
This is what vietnamese cuisine calls Banh Xeo. It’s a crepe made from rice flour batter, filled with bean sprouts, pork belly, and prawns, served with leafy lettuce and mint, and a sweet chili fish sauce. The yellow color of the crepe comes from tumeric
This was a good banh xeo. The crepe was very crispy, the pork belly was tender and juicy, the shrimp fresh and the bean sprouts crisp. The dipping sauce was sweet, savory, spicy and tart and rounds out the flavors of the dish.
We also ordered the Asian Cajun. This is a New Orleans influence stew, filled with fresh whole prawns, sweet corn on the cob, Portuguese sausage. The was spicy, especially the corn, and was well seasoned and loaded with rich flavor. The prawns were fresh and tender, and the sausage was meaty and fatty.
This was the daily stew, specifically a slow cooked beef brisket with white (daikon) radish and carrots. It’s very much like a vietnamese bo kho. The beef was tender and tasty. The broth was aromatic with the flavors of tomato, fish sauce, and lemon grass. I really liked this dish, it’s rich and savory.
Our entrees included two servings of rice, prepared in any of several styles
This is the savory rice. It’s short grain white rice with sauteed garlic and onions. This was good rice.
and this is the sticky rice. This is a short grain glutinous rice, cooked in chicken stock. I liked taste of this rice, but as advertised, it’s very sticky. I might argue too sticky for my liking.
The Rice Place was still fairly new. It had a clean and minimalist decor, with seating for perhaps 20-25.
Our server was cheerful and pleasant.