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San Francisco’s Most Famous $72 Bowl of Fried Rice Is Coming Back

Written by Peter-Astrid KanePublished Dec. 05, 2022 • 5:28pm
Inner Richmond Vietnamese restaurant Lily announced that its will sell it’s DB Fried Rice which clocks in $72 Bowl. The dish included rock shrimp, Hokkaido uni, A5 wagyu beef, trout roe from Tsar Nicoulai caviar and Urbani truffle caviar, as well as both king crab and Dungeness crab. | Courtesy @thefoodiemon

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In an Instagram post on Monday, Inner Richmond Vietnamese restaurant Lily announced that its most notoriously pricey dish is set to return.

It’s called DB Fried Rice, and it is certainly a decadent option, replete with rock shrimp, Hokkaido uni, A5 wagyu beef, trout roe from Tsar Nicoulai caviar and Urbani truffle caviar, as well as both king crab and Dungeness crab. Served as part of a five-course, New Year’s Eve tasting menu, it will also be available for 50 to-go orders.

Its origin was the “DB” officially stands for “Dac Biết,” or “something special,” but could also be read as a slangy abbreviation for a type of unpleasant customer who likes to throw cash around and act like a big shot.

You’d better pre-order some now, big shot. While the post didn’t specify the price, Lily famously sold it for $72 a bowl when it debuted last summer. Initially something of a joke—and, by Chef Rob Lam’s admission, hardly an authentically Vietnamese menu item—it more or less engulfed the entire operation. The Clement Street restaurant soon found itself churning out 20 to 25 portions of DB Fried Rice on the regular, and Lam had to kill it off before its virality permanently altered Lily’s customer base.

DB Fried Rice is part of a long San Francisco tradition of charging top dollar for fancy versions of otherwise commonly available dishes. But Lily is also arguably serving a little more braggadocio than most.

“Don’t call us if you lose feeling in your nether regions. It’ll come back by Valentine’s,” the Instagram post said. “Hopefully.”

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Peter-Astrid Kane can be reached at [email protected]


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