[image-1]I’ve been loving Short Grain food truck since the first moment Shuai and Corrie Wang’s O.G. bowl hit my lips last year. The heaping helping of locally caught sashimi paired with the zing of pickled cucumbers, the crunch of puffed rice, and furikake has become something of an obsession for me over the past few months (though I recently discovered the Ebi Don bowl with fried shrimp which is equally as good). I’m not alone, of course. When Short Grain parked at Blue Acorn last week I figured I was getting there early arriving at the truck 30 minutes after they opened. Fat chance. The queue was already 20-deep. Suffice it to say, the rice might be short, but the lines are long.
But it takes more than a city-wide obsession to make the gourmet big leagues. You have to to deliver excellent food consistently while earning the respect of your culinary peers. So when FIG’s Jason Stanhope, Le Farfalle’s Michael Toscano, and Xiao Bao Biscuit’s Josh Walker volunteered to cook with Short Grain— as they all did back in January at The Daily’s ramen pop-up — we paid attention.
Looks like big media did too. Last month Shuai was named an Eater Young Gun thanks to his being an “ambitious up-and-coming standout in the culinary world.” If that wasn’t enough, today Short Grain shot into the food world stratosphere. Bon Appétit Restaurant Editor Andrew Knowlton and Senior Editor Julia Kramer have named Short Grain to “America’s 50 Best New Restaurants 2016” list. Past Charleston list members include Artisan Meat Share and Leon’s Oyster Shop (2015), Edmund’s Oast (2014), The Ordinary and Xiao Bao Biscuit (2013), Husk (2011).
In the write-up the editors say:
“As the truck’s name indicates, rice is the thread that binds this menu. It stars in the onigiri (those triangular rice cakes), here stuffed with everything from spicy local yellowfin tuna to pickled green tomatoes. It’s the base for Short Grain’s “O.G.,” a chirashi bowl topped with the very best local fish the Wangs can find (could be mahimahi, could be skipjack), plus crunchy puffed rice, pickled cucumbers and ginger, and spicy mayo. It even sneaks underneath the deep-golden karaage, Japanese-style fried chicken. Find a patch of shaded sidewalk underneath a palmetto tree, and enjoy the new essential low-country lunch.”
We couldn’t agree more. Congrats to Shuai and Corrie, but listen you two, don’t let this national love go to your heads. If you leave Charleston, we don’t know what we’ll do for lunch.
On August 16 Bon Appétit will announce which spots earned a place on the Hot 10 list.