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“Tasty and un-fussy” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Rice & Spice

Rice & Spice
Ranked #261 of 733 Restaurants in Alexandria
Cuisines: Asian, Thai
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Seating, Takeout, Waitstaff
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Seating, Takeout, Waitstaff
Alexandria, Virginia, United States
Level Contributor
43 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Tasty and un-fussy”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 8, 2013

Great place for lunch - but come early, this place gets packed! And no wonder: the food is tasty, the prices are great, and it's across the street from Ft. Belvoir.
The place is emptier on weeknights, but does a very brisk take-out business as well.

If you're looking for some place pretty to relax and hang out, this probably isn't it - the tables are close together, and the decor is basic. Come for the food -- take it home for the ambiance.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Anna U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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15 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    9
    4
    2
    0
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Good Thai food in a very pleasant space”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 25, 2013

There's something to be said for the beauty of the space inside Rice & Spice. Structural lamps overhead echo the famous shapes of architecture and stylized costume hats. Brightly executed wall pictures mix swirls of color with detailed symmetry on one wall, while a sort of monster painting on another wall provides a totally different vibe.

Somehow it all works together, even with the adjacent bar area's glowing lights and another wall covered with a barely-covered oversized bas relief sculptress of a beautiful woman.

Oh, and it's a restaurant. With good food.

Many of the Thai restaurants in the area are rather bland places. Sure you can explore the beauty of the food, but the tables and the space are just background. At Rice & Spice, your eyes start the feast when you first walk in the door.

Small placemats await on polished wooden tabletops. Substantial cutlery wrapped in equally substantial cloth napkins. Tea served in individual porcelin pots (and unexpectedly western-style cup/saucer sets). Soundtracks of reasonable music round out the space, loud enough to hear yet not so loud as to intrude on conversation.

We have been to this eatery a few times now, and have a lot of experience at other Thai restaurants. Appetizer of larb (chicken with chilies) was a bit zippier than some, but still good. Beef noodle dish (pad see eaw) was nicely balanced, more interesting than the same meal elsewhere. Curry dishes here are good -- they have a pair of curry sauces that they mark with two-pepper spiciness ratings: red curry (wonderful!), green curry (less spicy than elsewhere). They also offer panang curry and ka-ree curry (each with a one-pepper spiciness rating). Fried rice dishes were good.

This establishment may be having a tough time (as they are slightly more expensive than some of their competition), but the visual enjoyment of making a $2 extra investment in a beautiful space is worth supporting. Great food on a formica tabletop has its place, but so does the chance to be reminded of the difference between "dining" and "eating."

  • Visited January 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank 1MoreReviewer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairborn, Ohio
Level Contributor
62 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Wonderful”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 22, 2012

I love thai food, and am always enjoy trying new places. I was in the area for work, so I ordered the spring rolls and pad thai for takeout. The spring rolls were good, not the best, but very tasty. But the pad thai was terrific! I had mine with pork, medium spicy, and it was just the right spiciness level, had great flavor and was very fresh. One of the best pad thai dishes I've ever had!
The restaurant is in a strip mall area, and the inside is pretty small, but the food is excellent. Good prices too!

  • Visited August 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank andrew_sa1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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