DTLA: New Lunch Eats at Ricebox



Ricebox, not to be confused with Ricebar, is now open at the Spring Arcade Building. It’s also the home of Uli GelatoGuisados, Claytons, Don Francisco’s, Kai Japanese and more.


3-item combo; mapo eggplant, char siu, soy sauce chicken


My family got Chinese BBQ take out once or twice a week. My dad usually got char siu (Chinese BBQ pork), Peking duck and roast chicken. Occasionally he’d get roast pork. Then as we got older, he’d throw in some sausage as well. We never got soy sauce chicken which my dad felt was inferior to roast chicken. He said it was just the roast chicken that didn’t sell and so they were then glazed with the soy sauce. He was also the type who didn’t get fried rice either believing it’s just old rice and bits and pieces of leftover meats that didn’t sell. My dad obviously worked in Chinese restaurants all his life.

When I spotted Ricebox, it brought back all the memories of watching Hong Kong action flicks and seeing people eating BBQ over rice on the streets. It’s a quick and cheap meal. When my family had it at home or even in a restaurant, we never quite had it “lunch box” style. Sure, there’s rice but it was just part of the many dishes we’d have. I was always a Peking duck and wonton noodle soup girl at lunch.

I felt going to Ricebox was fun because although it reminded me of a lot of stuff, it was still a new experience.

I decided to pick a 3-item combo. I got mapo eggplant which was vegan, char siu and soy sauce chicken. I actually wanted the crispy pork but they were out of it as it was a soft open. I didn’t particularly want the char siu as I always found it too sweet as a kid. It turns out Ricebox’s version was not too sweet and very tender.

As for the chicken, I am going to commit a sin by telling you I took off the skin. I don’t generally eat any sort of skin but I did taste a tiny piece. It was pretty good. I usually don’t like chicken skin as I find it fatty. These skin pieces were like silk. You’ll love it! Oh, and I liked the ginger-scallion sauce which wasn’t oily at all.

I really liked the vegan eggplant. I just love eggplant and it was spicy but not too spicy. After all, Cantonese people aren’t that into spicy. Not like the Sichuanese.

Ricebox also has baos including an interesting cheesy char siu bao but I didn’t try any as I’m more of a rice person. Actually, I’m more into noodles. It would be a dream to get wonton noodle soup here (hint, hint!).

I’m looking forward to adding this spot into the DTLA lunch rotation.


541 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90013 —  626-360-6912

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