Open Rice Kitchen

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Location
204 G Street
Hours
Sunday-Wednesday: 11am-Midnight
Thursday-Saturday: 11am-3am
Phone/Fax
(530) 757-2328 / (530) 757-7930
Website
[WWW]http://openricekitchen.com/
Owner
Calvin Liu
Established
2012-03-19
Payment Method(s)
Credit, Debit Card and Cash

The Open Rice Kitchen is a restaurant serving "Asian Fusion" dishes that include Cantonese, Thai, Korean and other foods.

Nestware was the previous occupant at this location before it moved to 207B F St.

ORK_beef_chow_fun.jpgbeef chow fun (crab cheese wonton pictured not normally included)

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2012-03-26 16:28:55   Truly wonderful hostess and owners. Was very surprised at how genuinely friendly everyone was. Food has some great prices, and their hours are great for those late nights. —Wes-P


2012-03-26 16:43:03   any place open late automatically warrants trying, and if Wes had good things to say I'm sold —StevenDaubert


2012-03-29 15:21:59   Some co-workers and I stopped by here for lunch the other day, looking forward to trying out a new restaurant. Unfortunately none of us were super impressed. One co-worker got the kimchi fried rice and there was a lot of rice and not much of anything else. Two of us got the singapore style noodles with chowfun and one of us got the singapore style noodles with vermicelli. The chowfun noodles were all clumped together and the vermicelli noodles were really dry. All 3 noodle dishes needed a lot of sriracha to flavor things up. Also, I wasn't a huge fan of the pork in the noodle dishes...it came in rectangular strips that seemed like ham. The food was really cheap, so I guess that's one thing this place has going for it. I'm not sure what niche they're going for with this restaurant, but if I want cheap Asian food, I'll probably head to Hometown or Silver Dragon or any of the other 20 or so Asian restaurants downtown before I come back here again. —Nerissa


2012-03-29 18:50:05   My coworkers went there for lunch today but I didn't get a chance to ask them their final thoughts on their meals. One of my coworkers got the calamari which didn't smell very fresh to me and another coworker got the crab cream cheese wontons. I LOVE crab cream cheese wontons even when they're greasy, but she let me have ONE and it was SO GREASY that I felt sick afterward. A bit much! Despite that, I decided to go there for dinner with my boyfriend, and I decided to get soup, dim sum, and an entree. Despite being on the menu, for some reason they did not have the soup OR the dim sum. So we went elsewhere. :/ —gurglemeow


2012-03-31 20:39:59   I have to unfortunately follow suit with the somewhat negative reviews. The cream cheese wontons were filled with oil, so much so that I had to flip them over and let them drain out (the folds acted as a cup for the oil). As if this wasn't bad enough the oil in the wontons was extremely dark, indicating to me that the oil had not been replaced in quite a while. My boss (fiancee) ordered the salted fish and chicken fried rice and I ordered the chow fun (soft scrambled egg style). She was very pleased with her rice, saying it was quite possibly the best salted fish fried rice she has had in Davis. My chow fun was not particularly flavorful, and there were a few noodles that were hard (indicating that they were not heated thoroughly). The whole dish was not particularly hot (with heat) when it came out also. My boss also had a "slush" which she said was great. All in all I was not impressed, that being said the service was nice. I will give them another shot, since I work over at Ace. I'll probably order a rice dish and see how that goes.

Update: Went again (4/6) and had the beef fried rice, and though it was better than the chow fun that I had previously, was still not great. With so many other great downtown restaurants you need to really set yourself apart with delicious food, and I just did not get that here. It seems as if the food is sometimes hit and miss (not consistent) because I have had coworkers say the food is delicious. I did have a bite of beef chow fun (from a coworker), and it was good. Perhaps next time I go I'll give that a shot. —JamesKrause


2012-04-07 18:17:24   I sent the boyfriend in last time but I went in this time. First thoughts: The atmosphere is bad. No decor whatsoever except four really loud TVs, and they weren't even playing entertaining foreign music videos like at Quickly or Old Teahouse. The staff was friendly and helpful and brought my to-go order to me even though they could've just called my name, so that was nice. But the important part is the food, of course... I got lo mai gai dim sum, popcorn chicken, and a milk tea, and the Kung Pao with tofu for the boyfriend. The dim sum was alright, except the mushrooms tasted like they were out of a can and were pretty salty. The popcorn chicken was me saying to hell with my usual healthy vegetarian eating and feeling like being bad. Disappointment! When I first opened the container I thought they'd given me POPCORN TOFU by mistake. But no, that's just how it looks. But it was about as bland as unflavored tofu, yet much dryer than tofu would ever be. Wished I'd gone to Old Teahouse instead. The boyfriend's Kung Pao was also bland. Another thing that I noticed while in the restaurant that dawned on me slowly and then struck me as incredibly strange: Even though all sorts of food was being made (there were at least three other groups in the restaurant) and you could hear sizzling and lots of kitchen noises, THERE WAS NO SMELL. I just found that really weird as every time I cook at home you can smell it from outside the door (and I don't mean because it's burning, I swear! it's actually because the ingredients are fresh... fresh garlic, other fresh veggies, EVOO, being cooked = super strong delicious smell). So I just found that odd. Oh, and the milk tea was alright but the ratio of milk to tea was super milk-heavy, which gave me a bit of a stomach ache (to be sure, it's not their fault that I'm lactose sensitive but I just wish there had been more tea in it). In summation.
Atmosphere: 1/10
Service: 10/10
Food: 4/10
Prices: If it was good food it would 10/10. For 4/10 food the prices are 6/10.
I am still not giving up on them though, they did just open up. I'm going to check back in a couple months. I think it's a place I will go to when I am feeling too lazy to cook and am therefore willing to lower my standards, but also don't want to sit in a restaurant or spend a lot of money. (So a very "once in a while" kind of place.) —gurglemeow


2012-04-11 22:04:51   My co-worker buddies and I love to try out new restaurants in town, so a group of us went here for lunch one day last week and, I’m happy to say, had a great experience. You walk in, order and pay at the counter, get a number, seat yourself, and then the food is brought out to you when it’s ready. I got the beef chow fun, one co-worker got the Thai basil with chicken, two others ordered the fried rice with chicken, and the last person in our group ordered the kimchee fried rice. While we were seated and waiting for our food to come out, the gal who had taken our order at the register brought to our table a plate of cream cheese wontons, complements of the chef to make up for the long wait. I thought that was a very nice gesture.

The person who ordered the kimchee fried rice liked his dish, but the rest of us all REALLY liked each of our dishes. The beef chow fun was one of the best wide rice noodle dishes that I’ve had from anywhere, including pad see ew and pad kee mow from Thai restaurants. The noodles were cooked very well and every bite was full of flavor (even the bean sprouts, which I normally do not like!). I also tried some of my co-worker’s Thai basil with chicken and that was very tasty, as well. In fact, that co-worker said it was the best Thai basil with chicken that she’d had from anywhere, including at an actual Thai restaurant. As for the portions, everyone else in the group thought the portions were generous - I thought the portions were just right for the price. They certainly weren't stingy with the amount of beef in my chow fun, though!

All in all, I highly recommend this place, especially because the owner is a UCD alum. Enjoy good food at a good price, and support your fellow Aggie! :) —pvo


2012-04-14 12:26:28   What's not to like? We had the salty chicken & fish fried rice which was indeed salty, and the fish ball soup. good, simple food! The hostess was very friendly and price was right. Will be back. —AceDarling


2012-04-18 20:33:07   I ordered the pot stickers and the kimchi fried rice. Both were excellent. The staff was very friendly and although it is a bit dark inside and rather unadorned, I would highly recommend it —JamesMulalley


2012-04-18 23:14:01   Came here with my folks last week on kind of a whim/desire to check out a new business. We were pretty pleased all in all. The food was good, Asian-ish without being overly greasy or salty, and reasonably priced. The atmosphere does need a bit of work; there were two TVs on the same wall playing ESPN, and one was 2 seconds behind the other at all times (constant instant replay?). My one big complaint was that the cashier/server wasn't as helpful as she could've been in explaining the noodle options to my mom, who ordered the pan-fried noodles but was a bit dismayed when they arrived crispy on the outside. When the server followed up to ask us how the meal was, and my mom explained her confusion, the server said that a lot of customers have similar reactions to the pan-fried noodles. To me, that means that the staff aren't explaining things as well as they should. I'm willing to call that a rookie mistake, though; I'll definitely return here the next time I'm in the mood for good, reasonably-priced Asian. —DanVillarreal


2012-04-22 19:07:35   I had the wonton soup. It is a good price at $5 but I was disappointed by the wontons, they were too greasy and salty with not enough flavor, more like sausage than wontons. They reminded me of the cheap pork shu mai in San Francisco. Overall not too bad but not too good. The presentation was nice and the staff were very friendly. —DagonJones


2012-04-26 11:35:42   I think this place is awesome. Restaurants should remain focused on THE FOOD, and this one does just that. Potstickers? Excellent (btw, I asked for them steamed rather than pan fried. ORK accomodated my request graciously - TWO THUMBS WAY UP!). Prices are very fair, or on the cheap side, in my opinion. Calamari was top notch; small steak pieces, rather than the usual rings. Fried rice was delicious. Kung Pao was very tastey. Beef chow fun was awesome. All 4 members of my party were all very impressed and will all definitely be back. —browneyedblues


2012-04-30 10:31:57   Tried for the first time. I'm not a big chinese food fan and haven't found one that I really like in Davis. However, I really enjoyed the food here and the wait staff was very good. Will be back. Liked the casual atmoshpere too. —LokiAbbi


2012-05-02 23:29:07   First off, it's super affordable for really decent sized portions. Also, it's open late- so I forgive the maybe that's MSG flavor. Gas induction aside, the food was really great. I noticed some people disappointed in the crab wontons for being greasy- mine were fine, though lacking in crab, I will not complain about a cream cheese wonton. The salt and pepper calamari was cooked perfectly- tender and well seasoned with a little kick. The Singapore style noodle was also mouth-shovel inducing. My favorite dish though was the wanton soup. There were so many large pork dumplings floating with baby bok choi friends and large chunks of Korean BBQ style pork. Aside from all of our food being delicious, the staff was so very kind and the food came out quickly after ordering. While this is not what I would call cuisine, I can tell you without a doubt that the next time I am hungry late, be it alcohol induced or otherwise, I have a new favorite place. —AshleyThomas


2012-05-06 18:59:20   I would not go back here. The people were very nice but the food wasn't. Everything tasted cheap and even my milk tea was too sweet and tasted weird. I went with three other people and we ordered a bunch of stuff and were the only customers there. It still took a long time and was not worth it. Never again! —MaryMurphy


2012-05-24 22:46:06   Today was my first time here. My initial impression of this place was a Chinese fast-food type place, similar to Old Tea House. Like Old Tea House, you will need to know what you want to order in advance since they don't have a fixed menu in place. What's nice though was that they accepted credit cards, and OTH only takes cash.
I ordered the Mongolian chicken and a small drink, and the total came out to a little bit more than $10. While I wouldn't call that expensive, I think it is relatively more expensive than the other places in Davis (or Downtown, for that matter), especially when other places may have discounted specials available and/or have student discounts.
While sitting waiting for my food (a little after 9pm), this place reminds me of the environment that one is subjected to when they go to a Chinese restaurant for dim-sum. The place was filled with people, and many of them were screaming their lungs out when they talk. Doesn't really bother me that much, but just an interesting observation.
Food took around 20 minutes to make - kind of expected since the place was packed with people and the comments here mostly suggested this.
When I looked at my plate though, I was somewhat disappointed. The food was delivered on a paper plate, and can be described as: 1.5 scoops of rice, a lot of green onions, a lot of regular onions, some chicken bits, and everything soaked in oil. The chicken themselves didn't have much taste to it, besides the oil and salt that you taste since everything was soaked in that (something I would describe as frozen chicken packs reheated and soaked in oil, then lightly seasoned with salt). The whole plate also didn't have much taste to it, as there wasn't any batter/sauce, but rather just oil and salt. The only spice in the Mongolian chicken dish you can taste is if you pick up a piece of onion up from your plate and actually bite on it, other than that the whole plate was pretty much tasteless.
The plate itself was also mostly filled with filler (green onions and regular onions), and had only about 10 small bits of chicken in it. Even with the oil, this wasn't able to get me full afterwards and I remained hungry 30 minutes after I finished my meal (along with 2 cups of soda, which didn't really help).
Overall, I would agree with the majority of the comments here. The people are nice, although the food really isn't. Given that plus the wait times and price, I don't think I will be visiting very often. —Wiiman


2012-06-06 17:43:17   I had food from here for the first time yesterday for lunch. I ordered the Singapore style chow fun and a friend had the tofu and eggplant in spicy garlic sauce. I had a bite of the tofu, and it was fine. The piece was a little dry in the middle for my taste: the dish would probably benefit from having smaller pieces of tofu. As for the Singapore style noodles, I was surprised to see that the food and tray had the typical yellow stain of a curry. This was misleading though, as after taking a couple bites, I realized that the yellow color, and moreso the taste of the sauce, reminded me of the classic dorm food, Maruchan Ramen! Every bite thereafter convinced me more and more that I wasn't imagining things. I'm not much of a food deconstructionist (this is probably not a real thing; I mean that I'm not very good at breaking down individual tastes of sauces or whatnot in a dish that I'm eating) or an expert in 10-cent chicken ramen packs to make the claim that it was indeed a ramen seasoning packet all over the food. But, it tasted enough like the seasoning packet and a bunch of oil that I can't help but imagine that it's either the packet or a painstaking recreation of one. The dish wasn't at all bad; just a bizarre experience that thoroughly amused me. The shrimp and pork in it weren't very impressive either, but the chow fun noodles were pretty good. I'd be willing to try their food again, but I'll definitely order something else. —dobrin


2012-06-12 15:56:30   Having eaten at every Chinese restaurant in Davis, this place is hands down the best!!! Service is wonderful and fast. Highly recommend the Mongolian Chicken or Kung Pao chicken. I've been hitting this place at least once a week since it open and it's always been wonderful. -Pete Kumler —kumi


2012-06-23 12:08:28   The most decent place to serve my beloved Cantonese staples. Thank you for being in Davis! <3 —kg18


2012-07-17 18:01:31   Hot and sour soup was very yummy and very affordable! —CatherineEnsman


2012-10-11 11:52:17   The ambiance might be better if they added some appropriate music and art, rather than silent TVs with closed-captioning(though I really do appreciate the silent part). But they have fair prices, very friendly service, a good selection of food and drinks, and good food! What more can you really ask of a restaurant? —ToNils


2012-11-21 21:37:46   This place has possibly the best anytime beer special: 2 pints for $5, and that's including decent brews like Deschutes and 21st Amendment. —argyle


2012-12-21 01:18:18   So I have now been here twice. One earlier in the week and the 2nd time just yesterday.

The first time I went here, I got the kimchi fried rice. The 2nd time I got the Satay Beef over rice (plain) along with the popcorn chicken.

Kimchi fried rice:
Pros: Good portion. Definitely hot/warm when it came out (indicating it was made recently and not microwaved food).
Cons: The kimchi taste wasn't very strong. I definitely prefer having a stronger kimchi taste if I wanted kimchi fried rice. Also, it is stated as spicy, but it was not spicy at all for me. (Subjective)

Satay Beef over rice (plain rice):
Pros: The satay sauce came out tasting great and hot (indicating it was made recently and not microwaved).
In-between: The beef - some pieces tasted better than others. What I mean is that some pieces tasted like genuine beef that were not tenderized, while other pieces did taste like tenderized meat. To me, not tenderized meat is better as it gives a better taste.
Cons: The portion was much smaller than the kimchi fried rice. The rice was verging on warm and cold - some portions of the rice were cold, while other portions were warm.

Popcorn chicken:
Pro: First few bites tastes good, but the taste started going bad after I ate half the plate. I believe this is due to the amount of frying oil I ate from the popcorn chicken.
Cons: The pieces themselves had very little meat and several pieces were just batter pieces. The only pieces with meat were the larger pieces.

Overall:
The place is definitely nice. The decor looks nice, the place has comfortable seating, and the staff is very friendly. I would definitely give this place another try - either try something I've had already before or something new.

Note: They don't always open on time I believe. I went to eat at 11:00 am yesterday, but they didn't open until 11:30am - even though the store said they open at 11:00am. Perhaps it was just that day, but just a heads-up to everybody that wants to try them out. —AWai


2013-02-24 19:39:34   They may hate me for this, but the wireless password is here.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-vufVTxDEvPw/USrQR1vOeKI/AAAAAAAALRY/pwYrAx-vujY/s902/IMG_2863.JPG

It's not hidden, and I'm not typing it out here. (you actually have to look) Sorry if this pisses you guys off... —DavidBarnum


2013-03-19 23:02:33   The service is terrible!!! My girlfriend has been waiting for her food for almost two hours!!!! That's inexcusable. —frankym


2013-03-20 12:29:17   I've had a few dishes here - all were pretty good and the portions are generous. I love the fried rice plates especially. Major plus is that they're open late. They also have fair prices on beers (I think it's 2 beers for $5?) and have a few on tap. The crab&creamcheese wontons are also great but my friend told me they changed them recently.

The service is never that bad - even when the place is full it didn't take unreasonably long. The staff has been nothing but friendly. —RyanMeyerhoff


2013-04-10 08:30:00   I've been a big fan of this place for a while. Some dishes I've ordered included Satay/Mongolian Chicken over Rice, Beef Chow Fun, Kimchi Fried Rice......etc. Until I stopped by here with one of my best friends late March, I can finally summarize my thought on this place.

For all Open Rice Kitchen workers, and customers who used to or haven't stopped by this place, please allow me to break my conclusion to you first:

"This place is making progress and can be impressive in every aspect, but the quality control of food is still shaky and need more works."

When I stopped by this place alone in the beginning of this year, I ordered a Satay chicken over rice, and I really enjoyed eating right here - the food was hot, tasty, and unique as opposed to other Americanized Chinese restaurant in Davis. (I didn't find MSG, either) I also liked their atmosphere, free-wifi, and most importantly, their fast and passionate service! I've found out that most Chinese restaurants in Davis has slow-service issues, but this place was different! I met a female waiter and another Chinese chef. I told them how I liked this place, and how they can improve. (e.g. increase the food portion) They truly appreciated, and I promised them I will come back again.

Truth be told, this restaurant reminds me of some restaurants with their unique, fast-paced stir fried style in Taiwan, so it was added as one of my personal favorites in mind. After the first time, I stopped by here myself or with my roommate for a couple of more dishes - the food portion was getting greater and greater, and the quality was getting better and better. So I kept recommending ORK to my friends.

"Hey, you got to try their authentic food in this place. It is my treat!"

However, until last time , I brought one of my best friends in late March to let him give a try, and the overall impression suddenly turned to a let-down. I met a waiter and chef who I've never seen before, but we just went ahead and ordered as usual. Surprisingly, the service became relatively slow, and I got cold Soft Scrambled Egg over a scoop of stiff & overnight rice. My friend's Broccoli Chicken over Rice was OK, but it didn't taste impressive as it used to be. When that waiter came over our table and asked me how everything tastes, I finally decided not to tell him the truth, since I don't know him much yet. I walked out with a depressing and disappointing expression, and I don't know what to say to my friend. He doesn't care that much though.

Once again, "this place is making progress and can be impressive in every aspect, but the quality control of food is still shaky and need more works."

I might have to stay away from this place after a sudden let-down from last time. I guessed weekend time is when their quality gets shaky, since I always have great experience in weekday evening. So I will still recommend this place to everyone. Keep it up, Open Rice Kitchen! :) —thebigshow500


2013-05-16 09:54:07   I love this place. I always enjoy what I order and they have large portions. However the last time I went there (yesterday) they changed their crab wontons, and I do not like the change. They changed the shape and the paper they are made with. They use to be my favorite crab wontons in davis, and I won't be ordering them anymore, unless they change back. Everything else is great though! —elliottPollard


2013-11-19 00:29:09   Food was great for the price though it seems like it's all pre-packaged food from somewhere that is heated up there. Service was great for the most part. The beer was good and cheap.

What's up with the one angry chef that seems to be a manager or owner? He pounded on the bathroom door like he would knock it down when my friend and I used the bathroom together. Yelling, "One at a time!" It's not like there's a sign or anything. There happened to be two girls using the girl's room at the exact same time, and he beat on their door too so that they came out looking sheepish and a little scared. I explained to him that there was no sign and it was just friends trying to save time and that word gets around in a small town fast. He wasn't having it though. —davidcreamer

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