Two of our friends (Sarg and Logan) are headed to Europe for 18 days beginning Monday, so we wanted to make sure we could get together and catch up before they head off on Euro Trip 2 and we never see or hear from them again! So, we decided to go to H Street in DC because it’s close to Andrew’s work (Union Station) and the rest of us (somehow) didn’t have to work today (Friday)! We couldn’t settle on a place to go and it was a Friday so we were worried about crowds and what not… one way or another, we ended up at Sticky Rice (thanks, Logan)! Sticky Rice is located at 1224 H Street NE. Washington, DC. If you drag the below map a bit to the right you will see Union Station pop up on the left-side. It was only about a mile walk. If you are not done with walking, there are also a number of buses that run down H Street. You can use WMATA’s Trip Planner or Google Maps to find buses/metros and times (in Google Maps you can also select the arrival or departure time and/or date to make it more accurate).
If you do end up walking be sure to watch out for the sidewalks that are under construction (especially now because of the street car project). There are pretty solid sidewalks on the far side of H Street if you’re coming from Union Station. Anyway, on to the food…
We had made a reservation for 6:30PM and showed up around 6:15PM or so. The place was pretty empty but looked like a great laid back atmosphere. The guy up in front opened the door for us and asked us if we wanted to sit inside or on the deck. Hey, it’s summer and it’s DC and who doesn’t love eating outdoors?! He took us upstairs and past a few tables to the back door. Outside was a cute little deck with a bunch of tables, a nice shaded overhang, a giant tree hanging over a portion of the deck, and some really cool string lights and lanterns. Like I said, sweet atmosphere.
We were promptly brought water and asked for our drink orders. They have happy hour specific specials that are served at the bar only, but they also have happy hour specials in the restaurant ($1 of all beers, discount on mixed drinks, other assorted deals) that ran until 7PM. So, we ordered sake flights (because why not?) and we found out that the bartender just chooses the sakes that you’ll get to try (but you can make requests). Love it. Great idea. We also ordered beers because it was happy hour (and why not). The menu has loads of options from sushi and sashimi to asian bowls to sandwiches to the famous sticky balls themselves. On top of that, they have a TON of vegetarian options- so herbivores need not worry about having options. I myself am not a huge seafood fan and I think I ended up eating more than the rest of the crew!
Something that is really cool about this place is that in addition to their plethora of asian dishes and plates, they also have tater tots. I mean, come on. Can you say best restaurant ever?! On the night we went they had both regular and sweet potato tots- we opted for sweet potato tots and they came with two dips- one that tasted like a spicy ranch and one that tasted like a spiffy mustard. Both awesome. We then of course, had to try the sticky balls. We got one order of the “sticky balls” and one order of the “veggie balls”. So what are they?
Sticky Balls: Tuna, crab, sriracha rice in an inari pocket deep fried topped w/scallions, wasabi dressing and eel sauce
Garden Balls: Shiitake mushrooms, red pepper, cilantro and spicy rice in an inari pocket then tempura fried and
drizzled with eel sauce
Trust me. Try the balls. You will never go back. While I didn’t have the regular “sticky balls” because I don’t eat seafood, I can still vouch for them- we ended up getting seconds. On both balls. And I know what you’re thinking- what about the eel sauce? I actually did some research online and found out that most eel sauce is just soy sauce, sugar, and mirin. Sometimes it is made by simmering eel bones in the process– but I’m assuming since the Garden Balls were marked “Vegan” on the menu that they didn’t use that kind on the balls. Either way, no trace of eel flavor. Just pure heaven. Spicy and rice-y and just amazeBALLS.
We also ordered some other dishes:
Free Luggage: This was a special roll that isn’t on their normal menu. I can’t remember everything that was in it but there was fish roe and rice and avocado and it was gone in 30 seconds.
Godzirra: GIANT roll that has jumbo crunchy shrimp, avocado, cream cheese, spicy sauce, cucumbers, tempura crunchies, and tobiko. It was ginormous but still disappeared quickly
Southroll: A vegetarian roll that had tempura sweet potato and honey in it. It was awesome and delicious and gone in 20 seconds.
Some Type of Sashimi: I don’t remember the name of the last sashimi that Sarg ordered but it was gone as quick as it came so I’m sure it was fantastic :0)
After we ate all this food, we sat there longer, had another beer and then decided that we would order MORE food. We got another order of both balls and another order of sweet potato tater tots. This was about 2.5 hours in… about 3 hours in, one of the guys working, I’m guessing Manager, came over and offered a free round of beers for hanging out so long. Yes please. Such awsomely nice people at this restaurant (and not just because of the free beer!)
It was great to relax and just talk and catch up and not feel the pressure to get in and get out because we need to serve more customers vibe. If you want a truly enjoyable and delicious meal, I highly recommend Sticky Rice. Worth the trip and you definitely won’t regret it!
Want to see the menu? Check it out here.
Want to make a reservation? You can do so on Open Table.
Want more info on Sticky Rice? Check out their Website.