Eating around the O: Sticky Rice

When chef and owner Kevin Kel and his wife opened Sticky Rice on Colonial Drive in Mills 50 nearly two years ago, they designed the space with the country they love so much in mind

From the long tables for communal breaking of bread to the authentic menu, Chef Kevin hopes you’ll feel like you’re being transported to Laos.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when trying Lao food and “eating like you live here”:

  • The food is traditionally spicy… like really spicy BUT everything is made to order, so just let them know how hot you can handle. 
  • You’re encouraged to use your hands. When at Sticky Rice, do as the Laotians do and forgo chopsticks and forks. 
  • “Sticky rice” in a ton of dishes so get ready for some carbs. If you’re feeling adventurous give them a try. 

There aren’t many Lao cuisine spots in Central Florida. Chef Kevin said many Lao-Americans open Thai or Chinese restaurants because they’re more mainstream, but it was important to him and his family to stay true to their Lao culture and help educate people on their history.  

“Growing up in America, I was always picked on you know for being different, for being Asian,” Kevin said. “Fast forward now, it’s rewarding for me to teach about my culture and I get a sense of pride.” 

Check out Sticky Rice Street Food at 1915 East Colonial Drive. It’s open 7 days a week, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mon. – Sat. and 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Sundays.