The Rice Shop + Lox, Stock & Brisket at the Van Aken District

The Ridge Lane from Lox, Stock & Brisket, which is lox, cream cheese, cucumbers, dill and red onion on a bagel. Jstyle photo

By Jane Kaufman

You could say that to chef Anthony Zappola, small and complex are beautiful. Zappola, the award-winning chef/owner of The Rice Shop and Lox, Stock & Brisket Delicatessen at the Van Aken District, uses a similar approach to the menu at his two restaurants.

With a short, focused menu, each relies on a strong, singular theme or concept. And each has a limited menu: The Rice Shop has just six items, with dishes like Mochiko Chicken, Kentucky Fried Fish, Steak Fried Rice and Tuna Poke.

Emphasis is on flavorful sauces – such as yum yum, sambal sour cream and mostly cold sides like cabbage slaw and sesame salad. The concept, Zappola says, was to use American cooking technique and to add Asian flavors. Specials include straight-up Asian favorites such as won ton soup and egg rolls.

Lox, Stock & Brisket’s menu includes just seven classic, and slightly reimagined, sandwiches. For example, the Lincoln Park, #2 has chicken schnitzel and features hot sauce aioli. Sides include matzo ball soup, potato salad and slaw.

The menu also includes four breakfast sandwiches. Most include scrambled eggs. And the Ridge Lane – lox, cream cheese, cucumbers, dill and red onion on a bagel – makes an appearance on both breakfast and lunch menus. The singular breakfast side offering is home fries.

The menu also includes quotations from actor Adam Driver, and this one from actor Michael J. Fox: “I’m going to marry a Jewish woman because I like the idea of getting up Sunday morning and going to the deli.”

Zappola speaks of a similarity between top favorites on each menu, Kentucky Fried Fish from The Rice Shop and the Lincoln Park from Lox, Stock & Brisket. 

“The sauce is the same, the spices that we use, the chicken spices in the flour are the same,” Zappola tells Jstyle. “Both have coleslaw (and) one has pickles and one has like a fish sauce vinaigrette, but they both use cabbage. And then obviously one has rice and one has bread.”

Cleveland native Zappola worked in New York, Dallas and Las Vegas, where he opened The Rice Shop to rave reviews, according to The Rice Shop’s website. In 2018, he sold The Rice Shop in Vegas to return to Cleveland and open The Rice Shop, located at 3403 Tuttle Road, and Lox, Stock & Brisket, which had its first location in University Heights in 2018 before moving inside Van Aken’s Market Hall in 2020.

See more photos and fashion from the Van Aken District.

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