Much of the world’s population depends on rice as a dietary staple, especially in Asia and Latin America. White rice is typically the neutral background for other flavors to use as their platform — think of every Chinese takeout you’ve ever had. The ultimate marriage of rice and other edibles is the rice bowl, where you mash the flavorful ingredients into the rice below for a toothsome, satisfying meal. In the Gables, rice bowls are widespread, and not just at Asian eateries (where they do shine). Here are a few we sampled.
The Big Bowl Theory
One reason that Ichimi Ramen Bar is among the few Gables restaurants where people (mostly Millennials) line up for a table is their enormous ramen and rice bowls. We tried their Szechwan Signature Rice Bowl ($15.95), which could satisfy even the hungriest client with its sharp, bold flavors (thank you chili flakes), onion, green peppers, mushrooms, carrot slices, and scallions. Lots of crunch, and just the right amount of heat. Bring your appetite.
Ichimi Ramen Bar
2330 Salzedo St.
Savory and Sweet
Who said healthy can’t be delicious? The bowls at Carrot Express on Miracle Mile seamlessly combine the two using natural, high-quality ingredients that taste as good as they look. A recent addition to their “power bowls’’ is the Miso Salmon Bowl ($26.95): fresh salmon (or sub in tofu) coated in miso glaze and served with cilantro brown rice, broccoli, roasted butternut squash, avocado, and cilantro lime dressing. It’s on the pricier end of bowls, but the quality is there.
259 Miracle Mile
Worthy of its Name
As its name suggests, basmati rice is at the center of many of the meals at Rice Mediterranean Kitchen. Their Chicken & Pollo Bowl ($17.95) is packed with ingredients: three dips (Greek yogurt sumac, sriracha tomato hummus, hummus), two flavorful proteins (spicy roasted chicken and slow-cooked chicken breast), and an assortment of fresh greens (mesclun greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, banana peppers, and avocado), topped with feta cheese. The finishing touch? Drizzling on their scrumptious sumac sauce.
Rice Mediterranean Kitchen
164 Giralda Ave.
More than Coffee
When you pass Cortadito on the corner of Miracle Mile and Ponce, the last thing that crosses your mind is ordering a hearty meal. It’s a coffee shop, after all. But their menu goes past lattes and baked goods, offering wholesome Cuban sandwiches and bowls. Their Traditional Cuban Bowl ($12.95) seems straight out of Versailles or La Carreta: roast pork on white rice, served with black beans, yuca, sweet plantains, and mojo vinaigrette.
200 Miracle Mile
We love Su Shin Izakaya because of its authentic menu and vibe. Each day, the walls are covered with black board specials that take you way beyond sushi and to the more esoteric dishes of Japan. We ordered the Katsu Donburi ($14.50), a classic Japanese-style omelet served over rice. There are other donburis with chicken or beef; the Katsu consists of breaded pork slices with onion, scallion, egg, and the delicious donburi sauce, made from stock broth, soy sauce, and rice wine.
Su Shin Izakaya
159 Aragon Ave.
Want to check out more quick bites? From satisfying sandwiches to the latest food fad, we’ve got you covered. Check out more dining options in our Bites section.