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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Anthony Zappola’s Rice Shop Will Open at Van Aken District Next Thursday, October 28

Posted By on Thu, Oct 21, 2021 at 5:08 PM

click to enlarge Food from the Rice Shop. - THE RICE SHOP
  • The Rice Shop
  • Food from the Rice Shop.

Back in May, we shared the news that Anthony Zappola would be reviving his popular Asian-fusion concept the Rice Shop at the Van Aken District. That shop, located in the former Restore juice property (3403 Tuttle Rd.), will open next Thursday, October 28.

Zappola originally launched the business in Las Vegas. He later resurrected it at the Ohio City Galley after relocating to Cleveland but shuttered it nine months later when the demands of running it and Lox, Stock and Brisket in University Heights become too burdensome. He launched it again briefly in the former Lox, Stock and Brisket space after that business moved to Van Aken, but again closed it when he handed over the keys to the space to Chicken Ranch owner Demetrios Atheneos.

“I love the concept and it’s always done good, even at the Galley,” Zappola explains. “It just seems like I’m always looking to find a better location. We’re definitely moving in the right direction. I think this one is going to do really well. I have no problem making changes and I have no problem taking risks.”

The 837-square-foot space features an open kitchen, counter service and seating for about 20 guests. A dramatic design feature comprised of 9,000 wooden chopsticks that jut out from the wall and decrease in length until nearly flush with the surface makes quite the impact.

The deliberately compact menu comprised of only a handful of dishes is nearly unchanged since the Las Vegas days, says the chef. Diners can look forward to flavorful plates of mochiko chicken with kung pao broccoli, steak fried rice with bok choi and yum-yum sauce, BBQ pork belly with honey-mustard kale and the ever-popular Kentucky fried fish with cabbage slaw and hot sauce aioli.

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