Restaurants are often trapped in decoration cliches, such as sombreros for Mexican and red checkered table cloths for Italian. Viewed as setting an ethnic ambiance, they do the opposite, these cliches come off as predictable and boring and are almost always a guarantee of a lack luster meal to be served.
Sticky Rice, specializing in Northern Thai cuisine, is one of those delightful exceptions to the usual Chicago Thai restaurant. I started with the deep fried bananas wrapped in wontons. Normally I'd think of this as a dessert, but it was perfect as an appetizer. The wonton wrappers were crispy while the inside was warm and soft to the bite. It was followed with the Pad See Ewe which was beautifully spiced. I love it when restaurants add vegetarian sections with appropriate warnings of which dishes may contain dairy, egg or fish. LOVE it!
Sticky Rice is bright and cheerful. The dining room is painted yellow and orange and filled with crafty touches. I adored the ceiling with suspended open umbrellas adding dots of color. The wall by our table had these sweet paper flowers made of tagboard, yarn, styrofoam and glitter.
Even the lamp shades were clever. I'm thinking of a version to update my front hallway.
Sticky Rice hit all the marks for me to return - great food with a good vegetarian selection, fun environment and under $10 for an entree. They receive extra bonus points for providing crafty inspiration.