Last minute visit from a couple of friends this weekend and I scrambled a bit at first wondering where we could possibly eat on a Saturday night with no reservations to be had? That is, until I remembered RICE Sake and Real Food on Manhattan Avenue and 9th Street in downtown Manhattan Beach. I called and of course they gladly made room for us. How can you not love a place with such friendly and outstanding service right from the start? Not to mention being far enough away from the crowds of people a few blocks over enduring two-hour wait lists at other establishments. Ridiculous.
RICE is housed in a classy, simple and quiet atmosphere. Definitely not pretentious, loud or overcrowded. You are greeted at the door and treated with 5-Star customer service all the way.
Owner Hiroyuki Igarashi, born and raised in Tokyo, Japan spent 10 years working in Los Angeles restaurants and mentoring under some of the best before stepping out and opening his own place in 2012. RICE offers healthy, vegan and macrobiotic food with no use of chemical preservatives, artificial colors, or chemical seasonings. All dishes are created originally and made to order from scratch using organic ingredients whenever possible. And this attention to every last healthful detail shows. The brussels sprouts and Kabocha pumpkin appetizers are beyond equisiste…you MUST order them both. Scrumptious!!
We got a bottle of the Dassai Nigori unfiltered sake (my favorite and always an excellent compliment with sushi) and a homemade gingerale. Who doesn’t love all natural gingerale? Add to that the Sunset, MB Rainbow, S.G.A. and White Sand sushi rolls and we were ready to indulge in this magnificent feast. The food is absolutely flawless! Could not be any better. Our waitress was very pleasant and would check in on us occasionally without hovering. Of course we had to share a vegan and gluten free Coco Chocolate cake, Pineapple Mousse and Cream Brulee for dessert. Just the right fininshing touch! Hands down… a sensational dining experience!