Rice 1 Roll's very slick takeout menu proudly announces the "Indian Chinese Café" serves Indian, Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese foods.
It's a strange claim to make, because there's nothing but south Indian food on the menu. There's no half-hearted pho or lackluster pad Thai at this strip-mall eatery in Plano: Just biryani, dosas, curries and some fabulous-looking daily thali specials.
The claim's even stranger because the restaurant's made a modest specialty of a category that's far more interesting than "all flavors from around the world." Rice 1 Roll produces its own pastries and traditional Indian desserts.
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The restaurant was out of gulab jamun (the Indian equivalent of a doughnut hall, usually soaked in rosewater) and rasmallai (sugary balls of paneer) when I visited, so I had the rava kesari, a sweet block of semolina pocked with golden raisins and slivers of nuts. Dyed the color of pumpkin flesh and served warm, the dish shares a milkiness and cardamom aroma with the kheer, or rice pudding, that usually shows up at the end of Indian buffets.
The rava kesari at Rice 1 Roll, a family spot that keeps an incense stick burning, is lovely - and certainly a sight better than another plate of chicken lo mein.
Rice 1 Roll 2411 Coit Road, No. 160, Plano 469-467-9525
7750 N. MacArthur Blvd., Irving 972-506-7423