Rice Box LA is a Cantonese pop up and catering service that focuses on quality ingredients and a modern take on Cantonese cuisine. Leo, the chef, used to work in a Patina Group restaurant, and moved away to start his own brand. They offer vegan, gluten free options on top of their organic, no GMO, and hormone free products. As a Chinese American, I have grown up eating Chinese food, and am rarely wowed when going to the restaurants. At this tasting Rice Box LA, we were able to try various appetizers and entrees served by Lydia and Leo.
Sesame Cold Noodle, house pickled carrots & cucumbers, organic tofu, sesame dressing, house made chili oil- this appetizer was refreshing as it came cold, and the flavors were crisp and tasty. I loved how they added crunchy textures into the noodles so it wasn't all soft, and it reminded me a little of dan dan noodles, but a lighter, more refreshing version. Drizzle some chili oil for a kick!
Daikon Cake (gf), Daikon, rice flour, bacon (hormone/antibiotic free), dried scallop & shrimp& shiitake, house made chili oil and garlic sweet soy sauce- this daikon cake tasted so much better than the ones offered at dim sum, and although I am typically not a big fan of daikon, this one was delicious! The outside was fried crispy, while the inside was steaming hot and soft. The cake had a heavier tone of bacon to it which made it more unique and flavorful.
Hashtag Daikon Fries (vegan, gf), Daikon, rice flour, dried wild porcini, oyster mushroom, wood ear, shiitake, house made chili oil and garlic sweet soy sauce- this was my favorite dish of the tasting even though everything was fantastic! It was basically a fried mushroom stick, and the inside basically melted in my mouth. I love mushrooms, and this only emphasized my love for it! So bomb.
Jalapeño Salt and Pepper Tofu (vegan, gf), tofu (organic), jalapeño, scallion, garlic, salt and pepper- I love my spice, and this dish nailed it! It's basically a deep fried soft tofu that I grew up eating. The jalapeno, garlic, and the other toppings added the perfect tingle to my taste buds, and I could not have had a better tofu dish!
Soy Sauce Chicken, chicken breast (organic, cage free, hormone&antibiotic free) with house ginger scallion sauce, and charred Gai Lan with sesame seeds on organic quinoa rice: This dish reminded me of hai nan chicken with the ginger sauce but with a stronger flavor and quinoa rice! The chicken was extremely tender and soft, and I was impressed at the overall taste.
Cha Siu, pork shoulder (organic, hormone&antibiotic free), organic egg and charred Gai Lan with sesame seeds on organic quinoa rice- The Cha Siu was marinated perfectly, and had a great overall texture and tenderness. It reminds me of the food I ate growing up!
5 Spiced Pork Belly (organic, hormone & antibiotic free), house made hoisin sauce, organic egg and charred Gai Lan with sesame seeds on organic quinoa rice- another fantastic dish our group thoroughly enjoyed. This one felt more traditional, but of course the egg is always a nice addition!
I had a delicious meal with Rice Box LA, and I'm glad I got to try their food! Hopefully they open up a brick & mortar in LA soon as their dishes are yummy. I really like how they infuse a modern approach to traditional Cantonese cuisine, and they do it well. They will also be serving their food at Smorgasburg LA in June, so stop by and check it out!