The Spot: House of Rice, Open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m., Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.
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What We Bought: While Lee Lee's Oriental Market in Chandler is kind of the mega-mart of Asian fare in the Valley, it's nice to stop by House of Rice in Scottsdale every so often to check out the different items they have to offer. You can certainly buy basics like sesame oil, hoisin sauce, and even fortune cookies. Our favorite finds this trip were the unique sweet ginger sugar cookies ($4.09) with a bold bite, red bean mochi ($1.49), and oodles of matcha. Anyone who's tried to buy matcha before knows it can be an expensive struggle, but it's only $3.99 per bag at House of Rice.
We totally grabbed a couple of bags of MSG-free frozen pork gyoza ($8.99 per bag) and shrimp shu mai for later eating pleasure. The selection of rice, which included purple sticky rice, red wahini rice, and forbidden China black rice also piqued our interest. One of the best odd finds of the day goes to the "X-rated" mugs ($16.95) that depict a classic geisha-looking lady whose clothes disappear when heat is applied. Definitely a great gift find for our favorite birthday guys and gals.
What We Skipped: We weren't brave enough to sample the salmon roe from House of Rice or the dehydrated squid crisps. We also passed by the two shrines to instant noodles and Sanrio/Hello Kitty wares. We like cutesy stuff, but it's got to be more unique than that.
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What We're Still Lusting Over: Many great cooking tools were unfortunately left behind this trip. A Bento cookbook ($19.95) would have spiced up our usual lunch routine. House of Rice also offered an array of Bento lunch boxes in different colors, sizes, and shapes. However, what we're really still longing for is the pickle press, which can assist in all pickle production. Unfortunately, our options were $26.99 and up.