I don't take nearly enough walks or drives along SE Hawthorne, but the stretch between SE 32nd and Cesar Chavez has a boatload of food spots, including a couple of mini food cart pods. While my friends and I took a stroll, we looked up Rice Cafe and saw it had some good reviews. Had to try it for science.
The menu has Korean and Japanese dishes, including Bibimbap, teriyaki chicken, and yaki soba.
The Dolsot Bibimbap (starts at $10.95) is for dine-in only because it uses the hot stone bowl. Many bibimbap fans also prefer the stone bowl because that gives you the "crispy rice" experience (rice staying directly on the temperature-hot bowl for some time). Excellent pickled veggies here, and you can add meat for a few bucks more. The pork is a wonderful option. It's juicy, tender, and full of flavor from being marinated in a sweet-savory sauce.
(the red bibimbap sauce usually comes separately but already added on here)
Not surprisingly, I went with the Hot & Spicy Chicken ($8.45), a mix of sliced chicken and veggies in a spicy sauce over a bed of rice. You can ask for it anywhere from mild to spicy - and we all know which option I chose. While even the spiciest option will only produce trace heat for my taste buds, it's delicious and a decent portion for the price.
Sauces here include fire sauce and spicy mayo. Neither are real spicy. The fire sauce has a slight smoky flavor that I like. Spicy mayo is always a winner.
I'd recommend parking on one of the side streets and walking here. Hawthorne itself gets nuts if you want to park there.
Rice Cafe is a wonderful spot to stop at on Hawthorne! 8.5/10
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