Black Rice at Sushi Ran

Black Rice is the New Brown: Reported health benefits bring black rice to local eateries.

Sushi-seeking in Toluca Lake led The Sauce to Izakaya Sushi Ran, located in a Riverside Drive strip mall due west of the more trendy (read: expensive and crowded) Sushi Yuzu. There I had my first taste of black rice, touted by the restaurant (and the internet) as the most antioxidant food choice since the blueberry. Sushi Ran offers the black rice option in many dishes, including its wonderful bibimbap hot stone bowls.

Does this “slow food,” as the restaurant calls it, really provide "awesome benefits" including lowering cholesterol and preventing cancer, diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimer’s? The Sauce makes no such claims—but the stuff is chewy, sticky and tasty and has the proven health benefit of keeping you from grabbing a Cinnabon instead, at least while you are eating it. If yoga was a food, this is how it would taste. Black rice dishes are also available at Studio City’s Vegan World. Let us know if you find it elsewhere in the 'hood.

Izakaya Sushi Ran, 10658 Riverside Dr., Toluca Lake. 818-623-0567. Mondays-Saturdays 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Sundays 1 to 10 p.m.

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