Daikaya was greeted with long lines when it opened the doors of its first floor ramen shop on Valentine’s Day. With the Sushiko chef/owner Daisuke Utagawa and co-founder of Eighteenth Street Lounge Yama Jewayni at its helm, it’s no surprise that the restaurant is off to a good start.
Daikaya offers four types of ramen: shio [salt ramen], shoyu [soy sauce ramen], mugi miso [barley-miso], and vegetable shio [salt ramen with vegetable stock].
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Do you ramen? You should. Ramen shops are popping up everywhere so get on the noodle train, people. The latest addition to the DC ramen scene is Taan Noodles, officially opening this Friday in one of my favorite neighborhoods (AdMo).
Taan Noodles is the creation of Executive Chef Jonathan Bisagni, whose resume includes stints at Kushi, Morimoto Waikiki, Sticky Rice, and Toki Underground.
The menu is simple. A small selection of appetizers/small plates and four types of ramen. There’s a vegetarian ramen, a duck ramen, a pork belly ramen with three types of broth, and what I like to call the meat-lover’s option — chicken confit, duck confit, and pork belly.
In addition to the food, Taan has an interesting selection of specialty cocktails, saki, and beer. I tried the Dr. Sun cocktail made with Japanese whiskey, simple syrup and bitters. I was pleasantly surprised at how the right proportion of each of these ingredients transformed the whiskey into an almost different spirit altogether.
I thought the corn fritters (sweet corn “kakiage”), served over a spicy yuzu and shiso sauce, were solid as was the duck ramen. While I would have liked a little bit more “pow” from the duck ramen, I’m not holding it against anyone since they haven’t even officially opened yet. What I do know is that Taan is an exciting new addition to the neighborhood and I look forward to trying more dishes and seeing where this noodle takes me.
1817 Columbia Rd. NW
Tel: (202) 450-2416
Hours: Mon. Closed
It’s Taiwanese, not Japanese. It’s Hakata-style, not Hakata. I just call it — damn good. However you describe it, the fact is that Toki Underground’s ramen hits the spot especially on those cold, winter nights. And at $10 a bowl, it’s a deal. The extra money in my pocket can now go to staples like wine, shoes, and my US Weekly subscription. Oh, and bills.
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