Cari Taylor-Carlson

Sticky Rice Boasts Authentic Thai and Laotian Food

Brady Street restaurant offers tasty fare in a cheerful interior.

By - Feb 28th, 2024 04:25 pm
Sticky Rice, 707 E. Brady St. Photo by Cari Taylor-Carlson.

Sticky Rice, 707 E. Brady St. Photo by Cari Taylor-Carlson.

If you are in a hurry, you might want to call in your takeout order ahead of time at Sticky Rice. They are very busy at lunch and I can attest to that after I watched a stream of Door Dash runners pick up and leave with bags that left behind an enticing aroma.

On my first visit, my companion and I split a Thai Chili Passion Fruit Paloma which turned out to be an ideal antidote to our spicy meals. Split, because our server offered to put one Paloma in two glasses, an unexpected and appreciated offer. Other specialty cocktail choices include a Moscow Mule, a Sticky Old Fashioned, a Thai Basil Gin Fizz, and a Blackberry Mojito.

After several visits to Sticky Rice, friends and I have checked out a few appetizers and found each one tasty and a generous portion, usually enough for two. You could put three or four together and call it a meal. Here is what we found. For Thai Firecracker Shrimp, the “firecracker” refers to the shape, not an explosion of fiery heat. Four fat juicy shrimp were wrapped and deep fried. The crispy Veggie Egg Rolls were stuffed with cabbage, carrots, and noodles. They were especially tasty when we dipped them in the sweet-and-sour sauce which was on the table. If you order appetizers to take out, you might want to request extra sauce. Three Thai Samosas were stuffed with potato and the five Crab Rangoons were creamy and melted at my first bite. Each appetizer was fresh, hot, and exactly what we had hoped for when we ordered them. Four tender pieces of Chicken Satay were served with a dense peanut sauce and like the sweet and sour sauce, a tasty addition that will leave you wanting more — more satay and more sauce.

From the three soup choices we ordered Tom Kha and Tom Yum. Wonton Soup will have to wait for next time. The Tom Kha was creamy from coconut milk and had a hint of citrus from galanga. The Tom Yum was a little bit sour as it should be but not creamy like the Tom Kha. We found the soup surprisingly spicy.

Lad Nah, a popular street-food in Thailand, had the traditional rice noodles and broccoli along with thick slabs of large carrots. Like all the dishes at Sticky Rice, you have your choice of protein, chicken, tofu, beef, shrimp, or squid. The wide flat rice noodles in the Lad Nah were soft and silky smooth; the carrots and the broccoli were fresh and crisp; and the abundant serving of chicken white meat was tender.

Drunken Noodles had more veggies than the Lad Nah. For this dish the noodles were pan-fried with egg and basil. Like Lad Nah, this is a popular street-food in Thailand and like Lad Nah, the rice noodles were velvety soft and inviting.

When you eat inside the restaurant, you order at the counter and wait for the server to deliver your meal. You want to remember to ask about the spice level of the dish you order as you can have it mild, medium, hot, or extra hot. I was glad the server steered me away from hot as even medium at Sticky Rice had enough heat to spice up the dish without the burn.

We also learned that almost all the Thai and Laotian dishes have fish sauce in the base sauce. If you chose to avoid that strong flavor, or, if you are a vegetarian, you can request a dish without the fish sauce and the chef will substitute a mushroom base without compromising the flavor.

The Massaman Curry was a delight. It was rich and creamy from coconut milk and loaded with shrimp, potatoes, carrots, cashews, and if all that isn’t enough to fill you up, it also came with a bowl of Jasmine rice.

In addition to Thai specialties, you will see dishes commonly found in Laos on the menu such as Laab, minced meat with rice powder, Lau Sausage with Papaya Salad, and two popular street-foods, Nam Khao, deep-fried sticky rice, and Khao Jee, pan-fried sticky rice dipped in egg.

If you come at lunchtime, you can order the Lunch Special, a smaller entrée portion along with an egg roll and a soda. “Smaller” is relative. The lunch portions are generous.

The restaurant is cheerful with its fire engine red chairs, black tables, four hi-tops, and seven stools at the bar. It sits at the west end of Brady at the corner of Brady and Holton, a site that has seen several restaurants come and go including Dancing Ganesha and most recently The Truck Stop. Sticky Rice with its authentic Thai and Laotian food is a fine addition to Brady Street’s eclectic group of international restaurants.

On The Menu

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The Rundown

  • Location: 707 E. Brady St.
  • Phone: 414-488-8668
  • Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tue-Thu, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Fri-Sat, 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sun
  • Neighborhood:
  • Website:
  • UM Rating: stars (average of Yelp, Trip Advisor and Zomato)

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Categories: Dining, Food & Drink, Review

One thought on “Dining: Sticky Rice Boasts Authentic Thai and Laotian Food”

  1. Kate says:

    Thanks for the review. Helpful regarding level of heat. Sounds like a welcome addition to Brady St. and the Eastside. I’ll give it a try.

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