Dish of the Week: Rice’s drunken noodles

Media Credit: Meredith Roaten | Senior Staff Photographer

Enjoy drunken noodles and dumplings at Rice, an authentic Thai restaurant on 14th Street.

In a minimalistic, chic setting, Rice serves up authentic Thai dishes.

The restaurant, located at 1608 14th Street along a strip of popular eateries like Ted’s Bulletin and JINYA Ramen Bar, offers indoor and outdoor seating and a bar. The interior is finished with sleek wood-paneled floors, exposed red brick walls and ambient lighting from wooden light fixtures on the ceiling.

Rice serves both lunch and dinner, but I recommend checking out its dinner menu. The dinner selection is broken down into four different sections: soups, appetizers and special and authentic entrees.

To start, I opted for the pork green tea dumplings (8), which was filled with shrimp, crabmeat and water chestnuts. Rice offers several other tasty appetizers, one of my favorites being the crispy brussel sprouts salad ($8). The salad mixes brussel sprouts into a light and crunchy salad tossed with spinach, walnuts and a soy-lime dressing.

For the main dish, standouts from the speciality entree section included the spicy duck ($19) with thai herbs and crispy wild ginger, sauteed chicken and asian pumpkin ($16) with basil and peppercorns. Rice’s authentic Thai dishes like red and green curry ($15-17) or pad thai ($15) also caught my attention. The currys come with a choice of beef or shrimp and mixed vegetables.

But I finally settled on the drunken noodles ($15) for its thick rice noodles and chili pepper spice.

The drunken noodles is a hot stir-fried dish topped with basil, chili pepper and a choice of chicken, beef, shrimp, pork or tofu. The meal is soaked in a rich brown sauce made from a combination of garlic, chili and soy and fish sauces to balance its salty and savory flavors.

The chili pepper dressing make the entree notoriously spicy, inspiring one theory for the name “drunken” noodles: Those eating the dish get drunk trying to quench their thirst. But you can cut the spice with a side of rice infused with coconut milk or Thai iced tea ($4), which is made with milk and sugar.

Although I tried to eat the entire dish by myself, it was large enough to split with a friend or take home for an additional meal.

You can accompany your dish with a drink from Rice’s full service bar, which serves a selection of speciality Thai-inspired drinks and martinis. If you want another spicy flavor alongside the drunken noodles, the spicy matcha tea margarita ($12) is made with tequila, Thai chili and matcha powder. For something sweet, try the saffron gin and fever tree tonic ($12) with tangueray bloomsbury gin infused with saffron and vanilla beans.

Rice deserves several trips back to taste each of its authentic Thai meals. Whether you are dining in and enjoying the full service bar or taking out for a quick meal after work, the restaurant’s simple menu will satisfy any of your cravings.

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