Japanese noodles in Chinatown

Washington DC

Japanese noodles in Chinatown
Japanese noodles in Chinatown

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Don't bring your uptight cotillion instructor to Daikaya's Ramen Shop, whose chef asserts that not only is it acceptable to slurp your noodle soup in Japanese culture, it's also highly encouraged. On the first floor of what will eventually be a multi-level emporium of Japanese flavors, the 40-seat broth house's hanging bulbs bounce light off all-oak seating and tables perfect for enjoying: Ramen's done one of four ways: miso, shio, shoyu, and this, vegan, piled with all sorts of bean sprouts, carrots, onions, and mushrooms. Pork Gyoza: The Other White... Gyoza. And here's the ever popular shoyu, a soy broth made with pork, beef, & chicken stock, 1/2 nitamago (soy marinated egg), nori, scallions, and sliced roast pork called "chashu", which your cotillion instructor will insist you follow with "God bless you".

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1. Daikaya 705 6th St NW, Washington, DC 20001 (Chinatown)

Authenticity is the name of the game at this warm and vibrant (think yellow and blue stripes on the wall) Chinatown ramen shop: they import their noodles from Japan, use a special recipe they concocted themselves, and make their flavorful chintan stock over 16 hours. Among their five varieties of Sapporo-style ramen is a vegan choice topped with veggies like brussel sprouts, snow peas, carrots, and braised shiitake mushrooms that -- even against the classic pork-based bowls -- reigns supreme.

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