"It's a family business," the young man behind the counter explains, "but we're all invested." That's evident in the way the small, bright Thai restaurant in North Park operates: Mom is in the kitchen, overseeing the operation, various siblings staff the front counter answering the phone and taking orders, and grandpa himself carries the meal he just prepared out to you on a tray.
That's just part of the vibe at Rice N Roll, now occupying a storefront on the sparsely populated north side of Foster, just across from North Park University. The friendly and welcoming decor, consisting of nuclear orange plastic benches, is perfect for the college set. And the prices are nothing anyone is going to have to take out extra student loans for, either.
The food itself is pretty tasty, featuring generous portions at very reasonable prices. The crab rangoon ($5) are little bells of hot cream cheese and chives, and practically melt in your mouth. The peanut chicken dish is awash in a brown, nutty and slightly spicy sauce, with huge chunks of chicken and vegetables that won't let you walk away hungry.
In case you're tuckered out after tucking in to a meal this big, check out the Thai iced tea for a dessert, as well as a few ice creams. At $2 a glass, the Thai ice tea is some of the best around.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Bill Burman