There’s a new eatery in town that carries a variety of Korean fusion cuisine you should definitely check out. Mixed Rice & Noodle Bar had its soft opening on March 7th, and this weekend, I decided to drop by. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised and satisfied, too. Mixed Rice & Noodle Bar can only be found in Elk Grove, CA and nowhere else.
Much like the concept of a poke bar, Mixed Rice & Noodle Bar is similar in that ingredients are lined up in a row and you get to make the call on the proteins and vegetables you want on your plate. All you have to do is head over to the register where the bar is located to start your order! Orders can be taken from the kitchen at a different register, too. No need for confusion! They have signs to direct customers where to order.
Seating can best be described as cafeteria style. Nothing too fancy, but simplicity is nice. Each table seats four people and there are also seats along the windows. It was just past the lunch rush when I made my stop at Mixed Rice and Noodle Bar, so there wasn’t a lot of noise or traffic. The staff is super friendly and helpful. If you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t worry! They’re patient and willing to explain the process. I got my food in a short amount of time and dug in!
The mixed rice and noodle bowl concept comes from a traditional Korean dish called bibimbap. Bibimbap is a rice bowl made up of a choice of protein, vegetables, and gochujang paste. Here, at Mixed Rice & Noodle Bar, you can mix up your own bowl the same way, or with a twist. At the bar, you start with a base of either rice or noodle, choose a protein, then select any sides and add-ons. I highly recommend the fried egg (sunny side up if you like your yolk runny like me). The last touch is the sauce. There are five different sauces to choose from, but my favorite is the traditional gochujang paste.
From the kitchen, you can order a variety of food to enjoy with your rice or noodle bowl. There are four different types of banh mi sandwiches to choose from, but be warned, they are not your traditional banh mi. Don’t let that deter you though! They’re still just as delicious with different flavors bursting in your mouth! Other items that I’d like to highlight from their menu is the musubi fried rice, udon soup, and salt & pepper wings.
If you’re like me and always curious about a restaurant’s hidden menu, ask and you shall receive! I overheard another customer asking for it, so I did, too. What was the hidden food item? Their bulgogi fries! It is on point! Crispy fries topped with bulgogi, seaweed, and furikake. My thoughts? It plays a mind game with your brain. The bulgogi and fries combination isn’t much of a surprise, but the oceanic flavor throws you into a whirlwind when brought together with the fries and bulgogi. This, of course, is a positive thing! Can you say surf and turf? The flavor reminds me of dishes of the sea.
About Mixed Rice & Noodle Bar
Mixed Rice & Noodle Bar is a Korean rice and noodle bar that specializes in Asian fusion cuisine. It is owned by Tien Huynh and Mai Pham. Tien’s vision is to provide a fast food option for Asian cuisine, since there are few, if any, elsewhere. The thought came about after working in the healthcare industry and treasuring lunch breaks because they were a way to unwind. It wasn’t always easy to get quick Asian food options, though, so they decided to open Mixed Rice & Noodle bar.
All items on the menu were created by Tien. He draws his inspiration from his creativity and children. At Tien’s restaurant, you’ll find traditional Asian cuisine and a whole new way to experience the flavor profiles that you’re already familiar with. Tien plans to add more items in the near future, but for now, he’s happy with the menu. If you’re looking for something quick, fast, and easy to eat, be sure to stop by Mixed Rice & Noodle Bar. You won’t be disappointed!