On my last day in DC, my brother and I dined at Daikaya, the city's newest ramen shop by Chef Katsuya Fukushima, former chef de cuisine to the revolutionary Spanish chef, José Andrés.
The restaurant is somewhat difficult to find. Look for a large, dark brown, wooden facade. Inside, is a small, cozy space, dominated by traditional seats you could only find in a traditional Japanese restaurant. The walls are painted in a blue and yellow hues accompanied by other Japanese style wallpapers and anime characters. A very intimate setting free from the tourist traps that allows for mingling with locals. There is also an izakaya on the second floor.
For this venture, the chef eschewed the avant-garde, molecular style of cuisine he learned for José. Instead, Katsuya-san turned his attention to the traditional comfort food of his homeland, ramen, specifically Sapporo style ramen.
The restaurant has five types of ramen to choose from priced at $11 to $13.75. Extra toppings will run from 35 cents to $2.50. The stock used is a traditional Chintan stock that takes 16 hours to prepare.
To eat your ramen, I would advise everyone to first take the spoon, and get a whiff of the complexity and richness of the stock before drinking it. Then, take your chopsticks and dig right into the noodles. I would leave the toppings alone until after you've finished the soup and noodles. The toppings will absorb all the flavors of the stock, resulting in a more tender, flavorful bite. Itadakimasu!