The year was 2009. Wadiya, Orange County’s first and only Sri Lankan restaurant, debuted in Anaheim and brought with it the wonderful and unique cuisine of this island country near the southern tip of India. There was lampriam (curried rice and meat on a banana leaf) and hoppers (bowl-shaped crepes). And to eat with all of it, there was the coconut sambol, which Gustavo described this way:
I have just experienced the world’s greatest condiment: sambol. It’s a Sri Lankan specialty involving lime juice, onions, dried fish, coconut shavings and enough chiles to constitute a baby nuke. Bracing, fiery, sweet, fresh—once you taste it, you’ll discard pepper and salt forever.
But then 2011 came. That was a dark year because Wadiya called it quits. Its departure left Orange County again without any Sri Lankan food. Sure, there was Save Mart, a supermarket run by Wadiya’s former owner that sold some the restaurant’s food in frozen form—but it wasn’t the same.
Now, 5 years later, Sri Lankan food lovers can again rejoice. A new Sri Lankan restaurant called Rice n’ Spice has now opened in Anaheim. Actually, it’s now been in business for about a month. And yes, they do serve lampriam and hoppers. And yes! They do have coconut sambol!
1732 S Euclid St., Anaheim, California, (657) 230-9275; https://www.facebook.com/ricenspice416