Yes, this is a restaurant in a mall, yes, it is one of a chain of three, others in CA and PA, but the chain was launched here and this isn't exactly food court fare. Rice & Company is a pan Asian theme establishment, serving sushi, Chinese, Japanese and Thai dishes. It is a very pretty restaurant, nice urban feeling decor, clean, a white tablecloth kind of spot.
As to the food: pretty decent. We split pot stickers for $5.50, six large ones, and chose the option of fried over steamed, although my understanding of pot stickers is that they should really be both. Generous portion, great, sweet dipping sauce, very nice. Followed that up with chicken penang curry and orange beef at around $11 each. The Thai dish had lots of fresh vegetables, including eggplant, red and green peppers, mushrooms, onions, and an ample amount of white meat chicken. I'd have liked a little more of the curry/coconut sauce, nice to have extra to dump the last of the white rice into. The orange beef was over the top sweet, but with nice citrus notes, again a generous portion, and quite tasty. That dish came with no vegetables at all; I'm used to having some broccoli on the side at other restaurants. None of the dishes had anything much in the way of spiciness, we were not asked what level of hotness we like, although in fairness we also did not volunteer that we expected some heat. The food kind of reminded me of P.F. Chang, the same absence of spiciness, excess of sweetness. However, a generally pleasant enough overall experience.
Fair warning on a couple of issues: this restaurant is all flat surfaces that bounce noise, including wood floors, and several noisy infants, as would be expected in a mall restaurant, meant the sound level was quite elevated for what looked like a pretty high end spot. Also, the dinner menu ONLY is available on weekends at lunch, higher priced, of course, than the weekday lunch menu. I'd likely go back if I had to be at the mall around lunch during the week, better value and quieter.
Rice & Company - Tampa
7982 Citrus Park
Town Center Mall
Tampa, FL 33625
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