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Rice Bar

419 W. Seventh St. (S. Olive St.) Send to Phone
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Patina alum's cozy spot in downtown Los Angeles offers heirloom rice bowls and authentic Filipino specialties.

Lunch Mon.-Fri.

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Rice Bar Restaurant Review

: Chef Charles Olalia (ex-Patina) and business partner Santos Uy (Papilles) are behind the intimate Rice Bar in downtown L.A., serving Filipino rice bowls made with non-GMO, Fair Trade heirloom rice, imported from various islands in the Philippines. Come early or late to (maybe) snag one of the seven counter seats, and be warned that peak lunch lines stretch out the door for take-out orders. Dishes feature a tender chicken tinola (free-range chicken simmered in aromatic ginger broth, green papaya, chili leaves), a savory bistek Tagalog (soy-marinated Black Angus beef sirloin, pan-seared, with red onions and calamansi), and salty dilis frito (sun-dried anchovies, deep-fried and topped off with avocado, tomato, radish and scallion salad), which may not be for everyone. Most popular is a house-made pork longaniza sweet and spicy sausage with pickled vegetables --- add a fried egg for depth and complexity. A mushroom “tamale” of sticky rice and mushrooms wrapped in a lotus leaf is unfortunately bland and uninspired. For dessert, find coconut ice pops, and there’s juice and soda to drink.
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