Monday, January 6, 2014

Daikaya Ramen, DC

After visiting the Daikaya Izakaya, I wanted to see what the downstairs ramen shop was all about. Ramen noodles bring back memories of college when I used to buy packages of ramen -- 6 for $1. I seriously lived off of these and loved them. Fast forward to today and ramen shops are taking this country by storm as trendy hipsters get into the ramen phenomena.

Inside the glass doors, you find a funky, loud ramen shop with lightbulbs hanging from red coiled rope strewn across the ceiling and a bar painted with blue and yellow stripes. There is communal seating for about 16 people across two bar-style tables and seating for 8 others in booths. It is a very small space.

The menu is about as simple as can be -- ramen noodles, a few sides, and a few drinks. Of the ramen noodle bowls, only one is vegan, so that was an easy choice. For drinks, you can choose Sapporo beer, sake, or other non-alcoholic drinks. They recommended Sapporo to go with the ramen and who am I to argue?

The shop is very loud with loud music playing while the cooks and patrons sing along. If you are looking for a romantic date spot, this is not the place. If you are looking for a low-key, hip spot to eat noodles and sing, then you've found it.

The noodle bowl is humongous and delicious. In a vegan broth with carrots, Brussels sprouts, onions, snow peas, wood ear mushrooms, marinated shiitake mushrooms, and bean sprouts, this is ramen fit for a full dinner. I topped it with their spicy hot pepper powder, which gave it the oomph it needed. And it did pair well with the Sapporo.

For $12.95, this isn't as cheap as the ramen that got me through college, but if you consider that you are paying for the fun atmosphere and a bowl loaded with good-for-you veggies and mushrooms, it ain't so bad. The staff are courteous and the beer is good. Just be sure to get there early as the place fills up quickly and they don't take reservations. I, for one, will be back for more.

Daikaya (1st floor)
705 6th Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 589-1600

Daikaya on Urbanspoon

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