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Four Restaurants on Long Island with Outstanding Rice

By: Olivia Barris

Rice: A grain that has been a central component of food dishes among numerous cultures for centuries. This grain has found its place in global cuisines, offering a unique blend of nutrition, texture, and flavor, thus making it a suitable option for many cooking styles. Whether featured in sushi, stir-fries, or pilafs, rice serves as a testament to bridging the gap between tradition and modern culinary tastes. With that being said, here are four restaurants on Long Island with notable rice.

Sushi 1 Westhampton
Credit: Sushi 1 Westhampton

Sushi 1, located in Westhampton Beach, serves Japanese fare and sushi. Locally renowned since 1995, the restaurant creates high-quality rolls in a cozy and welcoming space. They note on their menu that the only rice they use in their kitchen and sushi bar is known as haiga rice, an intermediary between brown and white rice. When milling haiga rice, it retains the nutritious rice-germ while removing the bran layers, thus making it just as healthy as brown rice while being as flavorful as white rice. Not only that, but this rice is easier to digest and contains many nutrients such as dietary fiber, Vitamin B1, B2, and B6. Make sure to try it for yourself and see what you think!

MEET Bar and Izakaya
MEET Bar and Izakaya
Credit: MEET Bar and Izakaya

MEET Bar and Izakaya in Rockville Centre takes the izakaya approach to drinking and dining. In Japan, izakayas is meant to be a Japanese tavern that serves as a place of gathering, food, and culture, which is MEET’s restaurant concept. They serve a wide variety of cuisine and menu items in a bustling atmosphere, similar to that of izakayas. Guests of MEET rave about their basil fried rice, a fan-favorite. The basil fried rice, served with onions, carrots, and snow peas, can also be accompanied with a choice of protein: Shrimp, beef or chicken. Make note to order the rice dish along with their short ribs, another popular item.

Saaz Southampton
Saaz Southampton
Credit: Saaz Southampton

Saaz in Southampton is one of the few restaurants on the East End offering delicious and genuine Indian cuisine. The restaurant prides itself on convenience, as it’s located right off Route 27 and ensures customers that they use top-notch ingredients. Offering take-out and delivery, Saaz is the one-stop-shop to satisfy all your Indian food cravings. In terms of their rice, they use basmati rice that comes in different flavors. Saaz serves coconut rice, lemon and herb rice, peas pilaf, fried rice with vegetables, and the usual brown and white rice.

Sushi Ko
Credit: Sushi Ko

Sushi Ko in Merrick is famously known for its authentic yet contemporary Japanese food and sushi. The restaurant sources high-quality ingredients from around the world while also utilizing Japanese cooking techniques. The chef and owner, James, has over three years of experience in one of the largest tuna fishing companies in the world and made an appearance in the movie, “Failure to Launch,” where he made a plate of sushi shared by Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew McConaughey. Sushi Ko is the first restaurant in the area to use black rice, which is known to be healthier and provide multiple benefits: fighting cancer, weight loss, diabetes, heart disease, anti-aging, digestion and more.

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