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Sticky Rice, Sticky Rice - where for art thou??!!

Sticky Rice, Sticky Rice - where for art thou??!!
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  • Post #61 - June 2nd, 2010, 4:32 pm
    Post #61 - June 2nd, 2010, 4:32 pm Post #61 - June 2nd, 2010, 4:32 pm
    ...one of the dishes by which ErikM identified SR as a special Thai restaurant back in the day. This one's interesting to me because of threads in many other cuisines. Seems like something that evolved by caravel between Bahia, Goa and Macao.
  • Post #62 - June 2nd, 2010, 7:41 pm
    Post #62 - June 2nd, 2010, 7:41 pm Post #62 - June 2nd, 2010, 7:41 pm
    JeffB wrote:...Seems like something that evolved by caravel between Bahia, Goa and Macao.

    all places with histories greatly influenced by Portugal, of course.

    One of the things that really interested me about Sticky Rice's Gang Hung Lay was that the meat had been slow-braised, not a technique I find too often when eating Thai food. I have a seemingly-real book with a recipe for Gang Hung Lay that calls for a quick stir-fry of the meat, so I'm not sure if it's the book or the restaurant that stray from tradition, or if tradition allows for the meat to be cooked either way.

    ...just discovered this fascinating discussion re. Gang Hung Lay, aka kaeng hangleh
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #63 - July 17th, 2010, 12:50 pm
    Post #63 - July 17th, 2010, 12:50 pm Post #63 - July 17th, 2010, 12:50 pm
    why cant i find the northern sausage or shrimp with chili jam on the menu - only eastern sausage and how is the pad ped seafood
  • Post #64 - August 3rd, 2010, 2:48 pm
    Post #64 - August 3rd, 2010, 2:48 pm Post #64 - August 3rd, 2010, 2:48 pm
    I've been eating more than my share of papaya salad as part of Operation Evict Elroy. Sadly, TAC Quick was closed today, so I went to Sticky Rice instead. Even more sadly, they no longer have the translated Thai menu! I had to ask a couple of different people before finding out they had lost them. So now you know: Sticky Rice is BYOM.
    As a mattra-fact, Pie Face, you are beginning to look almost human. - Barbara Bennett
  • Post #65 - October 1st, 2010, 10:35 am
    Post #65 - October 1st, 2010, 10:35 am Post #65 - October 1st, 2010, 10:35 am
    Suzy Creamcheese wrote:I've been eating more than my share of papaya salad as part of Operation Evict Elroy. Sadly, TAC Quick was closed today, so I went to Sticky Rice instead. Even more sadly, they no longer have the translated Thai menu! I had to ask a couple of different people before finding out they had lost them. So now you know: Sticky Rice is BYOM.



    They didn't loose them... they "lost" them. Right before I moved out of Chicago about 16 months ago, I stopped in and was alarmed of the condition of the 2 copies that they had. They were simple unlaminated copies that they printed directly off Erik's website. Knowing that the data had been lost, I actually asked them if I could take a copy and run it home for 30 minuets to scan and bring back. I got several blank stares in a kind of "why would you want to do that?" way. I'm fairly certain that my intent was understood but I don't think I communicated that there was no way for them to just print off another copy.

    So, in all likelihood, they finally just fell apart. I was in town for a hit-and-run business trip last week and we happened to stop by Sticky Rice. I can say that it was pretty darn tough to order some of my favorites. We managed to get the shrimp paste fried rice with pork, egg, apple, and dried shrimp but I couldn't seem to get the shrimp with chili jam through. Of course, everything we had was very good and it is still one of my favorite places to visit in Chicago and they seem to be doing just fine but something has certainly been lost now that a large part of the menu is no longer accessible to those of us that don't speak the language.
  • Post #66 - April 18th, 2012, 7:22 pm
    Post #66 - April 18th, 2012, 7:22 pm Post #66 - April 18th, 2012, 7:22 pm
    I've often criticized Sticky Rice for a lack of consistency. But when they're on, I don't know if there is a Thai restaurant in Chicago that hits the high notes like they do. But after two terrific meals in the past month, I decided to return with a couple of friends to really put Sticky Rice to the test. Well, they knocked it out of the park again and I couldn't be happier.

    Khao Soi - simply brilliant; the best and most complex version I have found in the US . . . the right noodles (egg, fettuccine thickness), the right flavor (not too sweet and not too thick), and the right accompaniments (the expected lime, shallot and pickled greens, plus cilantro). If you have not had Sticky Rice's khao soi, you owe it to yourself to try it.

    Banana blossom salad - I've had this two straight visits and both times it far surpassed the flavor of the version offered at Spoon Thai. Really magnificent, nice heat and perfectly cooked shrimp.

    Kaeng Hang Le - Just terrific; so complex and rich with all of the flavors you'd expect from Northern Thailand.

    Eastern sausage and Northern Thai sausage - I think both are excellent, but the Northern really blew me away this time. In the past, it has been served a bit dry but this serving was rich, moist and so delicious.

    Mango and sticky rice - perfectly ripe mango, great flavor with just the right amount of salt . . . could not have been better.

    So with three straight visits and Thai food that was as good or better than any I've had in Chicago, I'd say Sticky Rice is firmly back into my Thai food rotation. One or two more visits like this, and it might just rise right to the top.
  • Post #67 - April 19th, 2012, 4:37 pm
    Post #67 - April 19th, 2012, 4:37 pm Post #67 - April 19th, 2012, 4:37 pm
    Went for lunch today and found the food disappointing. I got both the Issan sausage and the Northern Thai sausage. Both were somewhat dry and just not exciting. Also ordered the Northern Thai Larb, which I found painfully dry. Finally, we ordered a special dish--Ham (it looked like it was written "Nam" ? Not sure which) with crispy rice salad--it was "meh." Flavorful enough but there was no crispy rice--only crunch came from the peanuts.

    My partner and I left disappointed. I said I would return once more, my partner said I'd have to find someone else to go with.
  • Post #68 - April 19th, 2012, 5:01 pm
    Post #68 - April 19th, 2012, 5:01 pm Post #68 - April 19th, 2012, 5:01 pm
    House-cured Thai and Viet "ham" made from pork and pork skin is naem, sometimes nam. Here is a nice writeup praising Spoon's version of the rice dish featuring this lunch meat. http://www.shesimmers.com/2011/09/naem- ... urant.html

    As has always been true, the different top Thai places have individual strengths on the menu. This is one area where Spoon generally does better than Sticky.

    I've never had lunch at Sticky, though I've had dinner there (or delivery) scores of times. Even when it was inconsistent, Sticky was my #1 go-to Thai based on price, delivery time, and variety. Spoon, TAC and Aroy are also in heavy rotation, with Pastry, Opart and Rosded added now and again to keep tabs. (King of Thai Noodle on Argyle is a newer sleeper too.) I echo what BR said. I mentioned this in a different thread a few months ago, but Sticky is and has been on a serious roll for some time. Fast, cheap and diverse is not the whole story anymore. The kitchen is at least on par, most nights, with Aroy and TAC. They also got rid of the grating decor in favor of something more sedate. Unfortunately, my recent experience with Spoon is less consistent recently.

    Dutch Muse, I'd go back for dinner. Perhaps the lunch crew is not keeping up, or more likely you had the dreaded one-off.
  • Post #69 - April 19th, 2012, 6:18 pm
    Post #69 - April 19th, 2012, 6:18 pm Post #69 - April 19th, 2012, 6:18 pm
    Thanks, Jeff, I think I will--good advice. I love Aroy and TAC. Need to go back I think.
  • Post #70 - June 30th, 2012, 8:06 am
    Post #70 - June 30th, 2012, 8:06 am Post #70 - June 30th, 2012, 8:06 am
    The other night we tried a new-to-us dish: "Pad Cha Tiger Prawn Or Catfish - Tiger prawn or catfish stir fried with garlic, onion, pepper corn, krachai root, basil, green bean, thai eggplant".

    We opted for tiger prawns, which were huge and done just as well as their standard shrimp. With plenty of krachai and green peppercorns, it served the hot spell well.
    "We eat slowly and with gusto." - Paul Bäumer in AQOTWF
  • Post #71 - February 26th, 2013, 8:57 am
    Post #71 - February 26th, 2013, 8:57 am Post #71 - February 26th, 2013, 8:57 am
    Lovely meal last night at Sticky Rice, which has a lot of new items on the menu since I was last there. We enjoyed favorites including creamy tom kha soup, Northern Thai sausage, nicely crispy gui chai (chive dumplings) and zesty nam tok beef salad, but also shrimp wrapped in bacon and one of a bevy of new pad dishes, this one with basil and shiitake mushrooms (a tough choice between that and one with brussels sprouts). All of that with beverages ran $40.
  • Post #72 - March 4th, 2013, 7:19 pm
    Post #72 - March 4th, 2013, 7:19 pm Post #72 - March 4th, 2013, 7:19 pm
    A big thanks to fropones for organizing a group dinner for last night, and to fropones and laikom for the ordering. I'll echo petite_gourmande's comments on the events board. This was a fantastic dinner, and further evidence of Sticky Rice's capabilities and ranking among Chicago's elite Thai restaurants. And I'm also anxious to find out about the stinky bean replacement on fropones' proposed menu too because it was outstanding . . . it included pickled mushrooms perhaps? Ground pork too? In any event, it was one of the best things I've ever tasted at Sticky Rice. Apparently, it may be on some Thai language menu at Sticky Rice that I was not previously aware of. Their regular menu includes so many dishes frequently found on translated menus around town, so who would have known.

    Another standout for me last night was the quail (deep fried with garlic and pepper). It was spectacular - crisp yet moist, and very flavorful. I had never had the quail at Sticky Rice before, but it was probably my favorite item of the evening and I'll consider it a must order on my next visit. But be warned, it's fried and crisp so don't come here complaining when you order it for takeout and it doesn't measure up.

    Pad Nor My Phew is the sour bamboo shoot dish with ground pork and basil, and I think it's another dish that should be strongly considered as part of any dinner at Sticky Rice. The sour/funk really comes through nicely, and contrasts so well alongside a spicy and a sweet dish.

    There were also a few dishes I had never had before at Sticky Rice that I thought were outstanding. Pad banana pepper (banana pepper and stir-fried ground beef) was one such item and I loved it. The menu indicates it's spicy, but I didn't find that at all. In fact, I'd request phet phet next time which I think would make it perfect, but spice averse people should not avoid this despite the menu's warning. I had also never tried the pad squash (squash, scrambled egg, pork), but found this savory dish to also be excellent. And something I can't find on the menu (Vietnamese salad?) - can't recall too much right now other than that I loved the bright, acidic flavor and what I thought included thinly sliced sausage.

    There were many other excellent items even if I enjoy other local restaurants' preparations better, including: Yum Khai Yeow Ma, the preserved egg dish, was delicious and loaded with flavor and fresh herbs, but my favorite preserved egg dish in town has always been at Tac Quick. And the two sausages were excellent (although my favorite sausage in town is still Spoon's). But that's Chicago Thai food - it's unlikely that any one Thai restaurant will excel at every one of your favorites. Nam Tok and fish maw were also quite good. And while I learned last night that I prefer the more assertive flavor of the shrimp paste fried rice at Sticky Rice (compared with Spoon Thai's), I would have preferred Spoon's accompaniments with the rice (scrambled egg, pork and sour apple - sour mango is typical).

    And I continue to believe that Sticky Rice makes the best Khao Soi in town, although by the time I got around to eating it last night, the crispy noodles had disintegrated a bit and it had cooled. That's to be expected when there are new items in front of you that you've never tasted.

    With 30+ dishes, there were bound to be some dishes that didn't appeal as much. I thought the sting ray was way over-steamed. Likewise, I didn't like the sole in the sole pad karee dish (sole was very overcooked too). And I still question whether what Sticky Rice insisted was Gang Hung Lay was in fact just that. I've had this dish multiple times at Sticky Rice (and elsewhere) and it's a rather complex curry with star anise and pickled garlic. What we were served last night had none of the usual complex flavors, no pickled garlic, and was quite sweet. Perhaps I'll only know the truth the next time I have it there.

    But overall, an outstanding dinner. And although the restaurant was packed, service was friendly and quick. Great company made it all that much better.
  • Post #73 - July 1st, 2013, 9:39 am
    Post #73 - July 1st, 2013, 9:39 am Post #73 - July 1st, 2013, 9:39 am
    A little late on the report, but thanks to DClose, Independent George, and Wiv for coming out to join me at Sticky Rice... a good and tasty time. Wish I had the opportunity more often :-)

    Finally! The was the only one of the commonly favored Thai joints that I hadn't managed to get to yet, and it's not hard to see why it's usually listed among that crowd. Some favorites:

    Image

    Oh, Isaan sausage.... how I've missed you. Great fix here, with that gentle, fermented rice sourness. Man, I wish I could get this at home. I was a little less enamored of the Sai Ua, but it was pretty darn tasty as well.

    Image

    Is this pretty typical? Seems like the Thai version of banh xeo. We promptly swapped out the sweet sour for some nam prik pla by request (I can't imagine eating this with sweet sour), and I totally dug it... more eggy and moist than banh xeo but still lightly crisped on the exterior. Big, plump mussels within. Good stuff.

    Image

    Thai Bolognese! I know it's kind of sacrilegious, but the similarities are just too great not to draw the connection... ground pork, tomato, onion, and that background of Thai spice. Loved it.

    The fried chicken and fried quail were also mighty fine (we ended up with both), but I'd have a hard time getting the former over the latter. And I love that these guys do a northern larb with offal too, though I think I enjoy Aroy's more.

    In general, if I'm in once every two years and have one chance to get a fix, I think I have a hard time choosing Sticky Rice over Aroy, but I feel like it would also take at least ten visits to get a real grip on this menu, so that's probably unfair. In any case, man, what a testament to the depth of great Thai in Chicago. You have no idea how much I miss this.
    Dominic Armato
    Dining Critic
    The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com
  • Post #74 - April 27th, 2014, 11:04 pm
    Post #74 - April 27th, 2014, 11:04 pm Post #74 - April 27th, 2014, 11:04 pm
    As much as I hate to be the bearer of bad news, suffice it to say that STICKY RICE IS DEAD TO ME.

    For a long time Sticky Rice was a favorite of mine. In fact, until Rainbow it was my go-to for northeastern Thai. Over the past year I have given the place a couple benefits of the doubt only to be continually met with one disappointment after another. After at least 6 months hiatus, I decided to give it another shot, to be met with what will probably be my worst meal of 2014.

    Not only were the dishes poorly prepared, but they were also completely different recipes. Many of my favorites were completely unrecognizable. Most notably, a former favorite, the Yum Eggplant (eggplant salad). It was not at all spicy, smokey or tangy with citrus, but it was mushy bland and really sweet. The sai ua sausage was so dry that it was to the point of literally hard to swallow, as if they reheated yesterday's reheated sausage then let it sit under a heat lamp for an hour or so. Sandy, gritty old sausage. I would not serve it to my worse enemy. These were the 2 biggest disappointments of my last visit, but nothing was good. Of 6 or 7 dishes, the best I could say is that some were edible.

    Recently I found out from a reliable source that the lady who was the brains behind the kitchen moved back to Thailand about a year ago, which pretty much explains everything. Knowing that the original chef is long gone, I have little hope of Sticky Rice ever returning to its former glory, and I see no reason to ever return again. Unless someone can prove me wrong I will not be returning, and I'm sad to say...

    RIP Sticky Rice
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #75 - April 28th, 2014, 8:03 am
    Post #75 - April 28th, 2014, 8:03 am Post #75 - April 28th, 2014, 8:03 am
    laikom wrote:STICKY RICE IS DEAD TO ME.


    Dramatic much?
    The meal isn't over when I'm full; the meal is over when I hate myself. - Louis C.K.
  • Post #76 - April 28th, 2014, 8:06 am
    Post #76 - April 28th, 2014, 8:06 am Post #76 - April 28th, 2014, 8:06 am
    Teresa wrote:
    laikom wrote:STICKY RICE IS DEAD TO ME.


    Dramatic much?


    Have you ever had your heart broken?
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #77 - April 28th, 2014, 8:18 am
    Post #77 - April 28th, 2014, 8:18 am Post #77 - April 28th, 2014, 8:18 am
    laikom wrote:As much as I hate to be the bearer of bad news, suffice it to say that STICKY RICE IS DEAD TO ME.

    For a long time Sticky Rice was a favorite of mine. In fact, until Rainbow it was my go-to for northeastern Thai. Over the past year I have given the place a couple benefits of the doubt only to be continually met with one disappointment after another. After at least 6 months hiatus, I decided to give it another shot, to be met with what will probably be my worst meal of 2014.

    Not only were the dishes poorly prepared, but they were also completely different recipes. Many of my favorites were completely unrecognizable. Most notably, a former favorite, the Yum Eggplant (eggplant salad). It was not at all spicy, smokey or tangy with citrus, but it was mushy bland and really sweet. The sai ua sausage was so dry that it was to the point of literally hard to swallow, as if they reheated yesterday's reheated sausage then let it sit under a heat lamp for an hour or so. Sandy, gritty old sausage. I would not serve it to my worse enemy. These were the 2 biggest disappointments of my last visit, but nothing was good. Of 6 or 7 dishes, the best I could say is that some were edible.

    Recently I found out from a reliable source that the lady who was the brains behind the kitchen moved back to Thailand about a year ago, which pretty much explains everything. Knowing that the original chef is long gone, I have little hope of Sticky Rice ever returning to its former glory, and I see no reason to ever return again. Unless someone can prove me wrong I will not be returning, and I'm sad to say...

    RIP Sticky Rice


    Though I wish them best of luck in the afterlife, my last experience there very much echoes what laikom is venting about above. Saharan Sai ua, grandma-acceptable spice levels on a Larb, and a boatload of waterlogged rice noodles occupying the heft of the real estate in a bowl of Kao soy. Just bad.

    Any reports from Chiang Mi? I feel like the little chatter I've heard has been positive.
  • Post #78 - April 28th, 2014, 8:59 am
    Post #78 - April 28th, 2014, 8:59 am Post #78 - April 28th, 2014, 8:59 am
    Hang on. I know the death report is hyperbole, but this tiny collection of anecdotes certainly should not "kill" a tremendously important and historically delicious place like Sticky Rice in the collective LTH mind. SR had an encyclopedic Northern Thai menu when other beloved spots had a handful of "secret" off-menu things, and the cooking has always been good. And one simply could not cook such wonderful stuff as cheaply as SR sells it. Recent menu additions have been a welcome surprise: the satay fish dinner with coconut curry rice used to suffer from overcooking but in recent weeks has yielded perfect, just cooked-through white fish coated in a light, balanced curry paste and grilled over an open flame. No one else is doing anything like it. Last week I had exemplary namprik ong and khai jeaw with pork, delivered. The green curry shrimp with young coconut is another recent standout - a green coconut is opened and scraped to order and added at the final moment to a mild green curry. A large glass of fresh coconut water from the same fruit is served on the side. Nothing out of the ordinary there. On the other hand, we have noticed some weaker efforts here and there over the past several weeks, tending toward the overly-sweet and simple approach that more or less defines Thai in most US restaurants. This was an issue with a vegetarian basil eggplant prep.

    I'm far from jumping to conclusions here because SR is probably my single most relevant restaurant in Chicago. My sample is large and recent, and I have not had this markedly horrible experience. This site is very important to the fates of such places, so some balance is in in order. Proof enough is the explosion of popularity of Rainbow, a deserving place run by swell people that has some very high highs and belongs right there with Aroy and Sticky. Say what you will; others, myself included, can balance it out as the facts warrant.

    My family gets delivery from the place at least 40 times a year, going on several years. I know what comes out of the kitchen and I absolutely have not noticed a big drop off coinciding with the time frame described above. Any lull has been more recent in my experience, and quite mild. Cooks in "ethnic" restaurants come and go. My hope is that SR, with its high profile among Thais (as I understand it), can keep good people in the kitchen, save the ocassional day off or sudden departure.

    I hope you guys are wrong, though I'll be realistic. I somewhat less dramatically pissed on Spoon's parade long before the majority of this board saw any downturn in the cooking. At the time, Spoon had been the nearby Thai restaurant from which my family ordered delivery at least once a week, every week. To me, that change was sudden and very obvious. Almost nothing was the same. It was as if one day they started calling a Thai restaurant in a Dallas shopping mall to deliver the food. So maybe I've been lucky or oblivious with SR. Maybe you've been gringoed. Maybe the cook called in sick or went to a wedding in Chang Mai. Let's all keep a close eye on this and report back before you dirt on Sticky Rice's grave.

    PS, let me round out my apology for SR by noting that, for several dishes, SR is not in the same league as some other spots and never has been. They don't handle soups and larbs like Aroy, for example. The real benefits of SR for me have always been more practical. Huge variety; solid cooking; correct, fresh ingredients; fast, accurate friendly and utterly consistent delivery; and silly low prices.
  • Post #79 - April 28th, 2014, 10:25 am
    Post #79 - April 28th, 2014, 10:25 am Post #79 - April 28th, 2014, 10:25 am
    The most I can hope to happen from my hyperbolic post is to spark people to speak up, as it had been almost a year of silence. Looking past my melodrama, I regretfully still feel the same. It felt duped and offended by the meal I was served, and there is no doubt in my mind that some of the dishes did not even resemble the same recipes, missing major ingredients. I know others who have been equally as disappointed, and felt someone should speak up on the subject.

    I'm glad to know you still enjoy meals there. It certainly still draws a crowd, though it baffles me. Your comments without a doubt draw sympathy from me, as I want to love the place like I used to, and I used to be the biggest advocate of SR. Unfortunately the only 2 qualities on your list that can agree with would be variety and low prices. Low prices and variety are simply no longer worth the risk of spinning the wheel in hopes I land on an edible dish. Perhaps it is a shift in focus, maybe that old focus went the way of SR chiang mai which i look forward to trying out soon, and maybe a new list of favorites will emerge and I'll give SR another shot, but in the meantime I'm out.
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #80 - April 28th, 2014, 11:09 am
    Post #80 - April 28th, 2014, 11:09 am Post #80 - April 28th, 2014, 11:09 am
    JeffB wrote:I'm far from jumping to conclusions here because SR is probably my single most relevant restaurant in Chicago.


    I feel the same way. This place was so eye-opening for me back when they first opened, I'd have to call it the single most important restaurant in Chicago of my adult life. It was, in fact, early reviews in the Chicago Reader that pointed my way to Erik M's translated menu that in turn led me to LTH. This place will always be a part of my food DNA.

    I can vividly remember my first meal there, served to me kindly and enthusiastically by the owner: Sai ua, fatty, hot, and exploding with aromatics; Gang hung lay deeply rich, savory, and popping with pickled garlic and ginger. Hot Doug was in the house slurping down noodles. This was a transformative moment in both my understanding of Thai food and setting me on the path of relentlessly seeking out new food experiences. I took new friends and first dates there to impress and gauge their interest in adventurous eating.

    So, it saddens me that my recent experiences have been so crummy. The place seems plenty popular still and hopefully this glum chatter won't affect their business. But with new favorites, I don't see much reason to return.
  • Post #81 - April 28th, 2014, 11:28 am
    Post #81 - April 28th, 2014, 11:28 am Post #81 - April 28th, 2014, 11:28 am
    To follow up on one specific point Jeff mentioned, one of the reasons Sticky Rice has been special to me is that it offers nam prik ong (and the much hotter nam prik num) -- as far as I know, the only place in town to do so (TAC had nam prik ong on the menu for years, but they were always "out").
  • Post #82 - April 29th, 2014, 6:07 pm
    Post #82 - April 29th, 2014, 6:07 pm Post #82 - April 29th, 2014, 6:07 pm
    I've had my ups and downs at Sticky Rice over the years, more than any other Thai restaurant. I've avoided them for stretches, only to return and find things running smoothly. I can never explain any of this however. But the sausage has often bothered me at Sticky Rice, even when everything else is really good. I've just found it to be too dry too often.

    But I had an early dinner tonight from Sticky Rice and it was solid. The worst thing I can say is that they substituted lemons for limes. Otherwise, the shrimp paste rice w/ apple (rarely served with green mango as it really should be), sweet pork, egg and dried shrimp was terrific, and really delivered on the sweet, sour and funk components. I've always thought Sticky Rice's version of this dish is one of the best around, and I find it very comforting.

    Khao Soi was slightly thinner than usual, but it's supposed to be more of a soup so I never want it to be thicker like a regular curry. Although it was delicious and spicy as requested, I'm not sure the curry itself was as complex as I've had there. Still, it was better than any other version I've had in town and all of the add-ins - pickled vegetables, onions, soft and crispy noodles - were there and well prepared.

    Finally, banana blossom salad. I won't say it was as good as I've had it at Sticky Rice, but it was still good, and I can't put my finger on what was out of proportion. But I've always enjoyed this dish at Sticky Rice more than elsewhere -- Spoon Thai makes theirs just a little too sweet and liquidy for me. And tonight's version was certainly good (and phet phet as requested).

    So at least for me, it will stay in the rotation. There are certain dishes I always prefer at Sticky Rice (just as with the other Thai restaurants in the area), so it usually just depends on what I'm in the mood for. But tonight, it did not disappoint.
    I find the pastrami to be the most sensual of all the salted, cured meats. (Seinfeld)

    Twitter: brbinchicago
  • Post #83 - April 29th, 2014, 8:32 pm
    Post #83 - April 29th, 2014, 8:32 pm Post #83 - April 29th, 2014, 8:32 pm
    BR wrote:Finally, banana blossom salad. I won't say it was as good as I've had it at Sticky Rice, but it was still good, and I can't put my finger on what was out of proportion.


    Lime v lemon?
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #84 - April 30th, 2014, 7:52 pm
    Post #84 - April 30th, 2014, 7:52 pm Post #84 - April 30th, 2014, 7:52 pm
    boudreaulicious wrote:
    BR wrote:Finally, banana blossom salad. I won't say it was as good as I've had it at Sticky Rice, but it was still good, and I can't put my finger on what was out of proportion.


    Lime v lemon?

    I had some of the leftovers and assume that was a part of it . . . I also think it was just a little light on the coconut. Still good, just not as good as I've had it there.
    I find the pastrami to be the most sensual of all the salted, cured meats. (Seinfeld)

    Twitter: brbinchicago
  • Post #85 - September 12th, 2014, 8:51 am
    Post #85 - September 12th, 2014, 8:51 am Post #85 - September 12th, 2014, 8:51 am
    I really enjoyed my meal at Sticky Rice last night and got to try a few things that I hadn't had before.

    Here's what we had, with menu numbers:

    Appetizers:
    15. Tod Mun
    4. Eastern Thai Sausage

    Salads - all old standbys. Banana Blossom salad never fails to impress.
    11a. Nam Tok Beef
    16. Yum Banana Blossom
    17. Larb Duck
    18. Larb Catfish

    Northern Thai Dishes
    1. Northern Thai Sausage
    3. Nam Prik Nhum
    8. Gang Hung Lay
    9. Pad Nor My Phew
    - This was the first time I've had the Nam Prik Nhum and the Gang Hung Lay. Both were interesting and complex, and probably the highlights of the meal for me. Northern Thai Sausage and the bamboo shoots were as good as I remembered.

    Sticky Rice Specials
    27. Sole fish Pad Karee - first time trying this dish also. It would have been better if we had eaten it earlier in the meal, before the heavier, spicier dishes. Nonetheless, I enjoyed it.
  • Post #86 - September 12th, 2014, 3:57 pm
    Post #86 - September 12th, 2014, 3:57 pm Post #86 - September 12th, 2014, 3:57 pm
    JeffB wrote:SR had an encyclopedic Northern Thai menu when other beloved spots had a handful of "secret" off-menu things, and the cooking has always been good. And one simply could not cook such wonderful stuff as cheaply as SR sells it.


    I was with Darren last night and I'd like to echo what JeffB wrote. Sticky Rice has a broader range of worthy dishes than any of my other favorite Thai joints and somehow delivers the goods for under $8 an entree. Last night's meal had many highlights, in particular the stewed pork (we referred to it as Thai pot roast) and the nam prik nhum which was spicy and complex. The eastern Thai sausage was spot on as well. I'd continue to rank Sticky Rice among the pantheon of excellent Thai joints in Chicago.
  • Post #87 - September 12th, 2014, 4:18 pm
    Post #87 - September 12th, 2014, 4:18 pm Post #87 - September 12th, 2014, 4:18 pm
    Has anybody been to their second location on Western near North Ave? I drove past it today and I realized I've never gotten in since they opened. I also noticed they've added Chiang Mai to the name at this location.

    Sticky Rice Chiang Mai
    1746 N Western Ave
    Chicago, IL

    (312) 818-1810
    For what we choose is what we are. He should not miss this second opportunity to re-create himself with food. Jim Crace "The Devil's Larder"
  • Post #88 - September 14th, 2014, 7:50 am
    Post #88 - September 14th, 2014, 7:50 am Post #88 - September 14th, 2014, 7:50 am
    Yes-we have been to the Southern outpost of this
    Northern Thai Restaurant quite a few times- and it's a beautifully designed space.
    You'd never know- it had been a Dunkin'Gonuts /32 Flavors in it's prior life....

    Food wise- somethings are better = some are the same- and some- "not-so-much"
    (in comparison to their original location.
    First off the service is always warm and friendly in the way they greet their guests-
    from the second you've passed the 2nd inner door
    they are welcoming you with friendly smiles.
    The dark wood panels and more of a "selected" collection of Northern Thai Artifacts
    decorate and help to warm the space.
    Also - if you weren't aware - they offer a $6.95 lunch special that includes an
    specific group of Entrees + along w/ soup and a choice of eggroll/spring-roll or Cream Cheese Crab Rangoon.

    One standout dish for me- is their Nam Khao Tod Salad- I love their plating- very well thought-out,
    the way their dishes (plates) are more updated than the original Sticky- and simply how well this dish
    (which- I've now learned to make- quite well!!) is made.
    Image
    Nam Khao Tod Salad @ Sticky Rice #2 by Man_of Steel, on Flickr

    Some of their other dishes are the same- maybe the prices "feel" a little higher to me?
    One dish that I didnt care for in comparison to the Original Sticky Rice - is our go to-
    Gang Hung Lay.
    The stewed - yet braised quality of the Pork chunks- wasn't as tender- wasn't as flavorful-
    and missed that "funk" the sour note- I find- along w/ the ginger- really make this dish unique.
    At Sticky Chang Mai- is was less a "guisado" and more of a "stir fry"- which to my
    taste wasn't what I'd grown to like at Sticky Rice.

    Another HUGE advantage for the southern exposure version of Sticky Rice- is Parking.
    Free. Safe. In a lot- albeit small- but still not having to dodge and dart between fast moving cars
    on N. Western Avenue- which can be a challenge if you park on the East Side of Western- especially around Rush Hour.

    We used to order delivery from The Original Sticky several times a month.
    This southern/northern one doesn't deliver to our new loft- even though it's an equal
    distance on the Map from where the 1st Sticky Rice used to quickly and happily deliver our
    food in Logan Square/Avondale 'hood.

    Overall- I'd highly reccd the 2nd outpost- and will always be an Ambassador for their food overall.
  • Post #89 - September 15th, 2014, 8:04 pm
    Post #89 - September 15th, 2014, 8:04 pm Post #89 - September 15th, 2014, 8:04 pm
    Thanks for the report Hombre de Acero, I appreciate the commentary. I need to get in here in the next couple of weeks, good Nam Khao Tod south of Fullerton is a wonderful thing.
    For what we choose is what we are. He should not miss this second opportunity to re-create himself with food. Jim Crace "The Devil's Larder"
  • Post #90 - April 4th, 2015, 3:28 pm
    Post #90 - April 4th, 2015, 3:28 pm Post #90 - April 4th, 2015, 3:28 pm
    Love going to The ORIGINAL Sticky Rice for this soup.....
    Savory- Spicy- Sweet from The Star Anise.....and so wonderfully comforting-
    now if you are "above" bone suckin'- this dish isn't for you!
    But-
    if you happen to be like my gal-pal,
    and never met a bone ya can't clean-til-it's-like-a-Museum-Mount-Specimin.....
    then you will enjoy the Ox-Tail Soup at Sticky Rice
    as well as The Garlic Spare Ribs (more like Thai Rib Tips- yummmmmmm!)

    Image
    Thai OX-Tail Soup w/ Star Anise & Celery by Man_of Steel, on Flickr

    as well as their tasty rendition of Nam Khao Tod (requested "Thai Spicy" please...). :)
    Image
    Nam Khao Tod @ Sticky Rice-on Western Ave. by Man_of Steel, on Flickr
    which features a rice that's slightly sweet and sticky- not as crispy as I make it-
    or as crispy as the Chiang Mai location further south on Western Avenue.

    I like both versions - but if I had to chose one's- over another-
    it would be the newer (Chiang Mai) Sticky Rice's rendition
    of this dish. :D

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