LOS ANGELES | RiceBar Downtown Los Angeles is a perfect example of the joys that come from simple food that’s cooked with love. Head chef and co-owner Charles Olalia, who hails from Manila and has worked in the kitchens of Guy Savoy in Las Vegas, French Laundry in Napa Valley, and Patina in Walt Disney Concert Hall, yet its at this seven seat, 275 square foot venue, where he is cooking the food that’s closest to his heart.
It’s all about the humble Philippine rice bowl at RiceBar, created using quality ingredients sourced from local farmer’s markets where possible. The dishes here might be simple, but much thought has gone into every aspect of each. Four steamers cook four different kinds of heirloom rice that form the base for each bowl – one such rice is Kalinga Unoy, a red rice grown on ancient terraced fields in Kalinga in the Philippines, then sun-dried. It goes perfectly with bistek tagalog: tender, pan-seared, soy-marinated beef with chunks of vinegar-braised onion.
A more subtle dish, poached chicken tinola, is served over fragrant jasmine rice, in a ginger broth with young papaya. Another favourite, the pork longganisa comes with house made sweet and spicy pork sausage, pickled vegetables, and friend garlic chips served atop garlic fried rice. You can mix and match whatever rice and topping you want, but we recommend going for the suggested matches.
It’s easy to walk straight past the small, unassuming street frontage of RiceBar, but go inside and pull up a chair at the counter, and you’ll be rewarded with one of the best meals you’ll have Downtown.
419 W 7th Sreet
Mon: 11:00am to 5:00pm
Tue – Fri: 11:00am to 7:30pm
Sat: 10:30am to 3:00pm