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Taan Noodles, Ramen on Columbia Road in Adams Morgan - Chef Michael Than Steps In for Jonathan Bisagni - Closed

Adams Morgan Japanese Asian Fusion Ramen Closed

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#1 weinoo

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 09:35 PM

Adams Morgan seems to be becoming the noodle center of the district, as Taan has joined Sakuramen in serving ramen, and Pho 14's opening is imminent.

Located smack between Cashion's and Mintwood, Taan opened its doors just last week, and we gave it a try tonight.

A wonderful greeting by the hostess (and all the servers are super nice as well) and we were led to our "table." I use the term "table" loosely, because it's all high tops or bar seats, none of which have backs and therefore, none of which are comfortable in any way, shape or form - at least not once you reach a certain age; sadly, mine.

A full bar exists, and there's an upstairs lounge which will be used as, well, a lounge area on Friday and Saturday nights as business picks up. Service will be until 2 AM.

Anyway, the food. A bit more ambitious, at least as far as the apps go, than your usual ramen joint Fried green tomatoes were a starter that I enjoyed; good frying technique and little tidbits of fried pork accompanied the 4 or 5 slices of green tomato. The duck breast over dashi risotto is an interesting concept, but I no love. Oh, the duck breast slices were nice and rare and fatty and tasty, but the risotto was a little gummy for my taste and needed salt. And I don't think the accompanying pickled daikon radish added much to the dish - nice that they're trying something different however.

On to the ramen...there are 4 or 5 ramens on the menu; 1 duck confit, 1 vegetarian, and 2 or 3 with pork...in a rare case, we both ordered the duck, since neither of us really wanted pork belly tonight. Vegetarian - well, what's the point?

I don't really know how to rate ramen, but the broth was rich and tasty. The half egg was nicely cooked; the white just set and the yolk all oozy. My portion was skimpy on the duck, while my wife's had a whole leg in it, so we shared. I don't know if the duck was confit or not, since it apparently had surrendered much of its flavor to the soup. The noodles were okay, if slightly overcooked to my taste. On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd give this ramen a 5.5 - there's room for improvement, and there's room to expand the ramen offerings as well.

I don't know if Taan will move into a regular rotation, especially with the other noodle possibilities in the neighborhood. And if it turns into a bit of a zoo, with the lounge and full bar, I'll be heading to Sakuramen instead. And who knew Adams Morgan would become a neighborhood with a multiplicity of noodle offerings - keep 'em coming, I say!



#2 Barbara

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 11:29 PM

Thanks for this. I saw the signage that this was replacing the last short-term restaurant--run by a former waiter at Napoleon's who was so bad we almost stiffed him--where the one time I was there, I thought the waitress must have been high because she was a complete ditz. This location is snake-bit, IMHO. It was previously "Evoke," which apparently didn't evoke much business. Am looking forward to the opening of Pho14, assuming they are open for lunch. Sakuramen opens for lunch only on Friday and Saturday. I noticed that Taan is only open in the evening. Still, I would rather have noodle joints than hamburger slingers any day.

#3 porcupine

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 09:37 PM

One of my favorite foods is noodle soup, of any type, so with MrP gone for the evening I met up with friends who live in AM to give Taan a try. I'm no ramen expert so I can't be of much use except to say that the triple broth was rich and delicious, and so were the perfectly cooked noodles and the soft egg. And the roast pork belly. I liked the greens, corn, and mushrooms in it as well. The corn fritters (an appetizer), were not so good, inasmuch as they didn't taste anything like corn. The dashi risotto was very good, nicely cooked, not gummy, good flavors. My friends didn't seem to think too highly of their soups (one had the pork/duck/chicken and the other had the duck broth), and said they'll be sticking with Sakuramen (where they're regulars). I'd be happy with a bowl from either place, but as I said, noodle soup is one of my favorites.

The staff were really nice, helpful, friendly.

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#4 TinaWDC

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 04:18 PM

My friends and I (Party of 5) visited Taan on Sunday....we went in very hungry and hopeful and left very disappointed and still hungry.

Even though it just opened, for the price, taste, and service quality, I think you're better off going to Sakuramen or Toki Underground in DC or Ren's Ramen in Wheaton.

We ordered the duck ramen, maze-men, and the bao appetizer. Our main dislike with both ramen dishes was lack of quantity in both noodles and broth.

The duck ramen comes with more broth than the mazen-men, which seemed like it was almost served dry. Due to the fact that all 3 of us that ordered the maze-men found it completely too salty to eat on its own, we asked for more broth. There is an up-charge for more broth ($2 each), but our server did not inform us of this charge before we ordered extra broth for all 3 orders. Even with the extra broth, the dish was still saltier than preferred. The pork belly, duck confit, and chicken confit that came with the maze-men were well prepared and tasty on their own and the noodles were on the chewier side.

My two friends that ordered the duck ramen were split, one really like it and one really disliked it. No one was impressed with the 24 hour tomato. I think the duck confit was prepared well, but for the one friend that didn't like it, she thought the duck ramen lacked enough duck flavor, and also found the dish to be oversalted.

I ordered the bao appetizer which comes with Pork Belly, Duck Liver, Pickles, and Cilantro. The individual ingredients on their own were well prepared and tasty. My main issue with the dish was that it was essentially the ingredients for a banh mi, but served on a bao. I think I would have preferred a bahn mi.

Another issue we had was the quality of service. As noted earlier, our server did not inform us about the up-charge for extra broth. I also found a piece of metal (almost like a piece of metal shaving from a can) in my mazen-men. Thankfully I noticed it chewing and did not swallow it. When I showed it to our server, he apologized and said he actually recognized it as something from the kitchen and will make sure to let the kitchen staff know about the incident. There was no additional follow-up from the kitchen or management about what happened and we did not get anything comp'ed off the bill. That was a bit surprisingly to us...we weren't looking for a free meal, but you would think additional follow-up from the kitchen or a manager would be expected in this kind of situation.

#5 turbogrrl

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 10:58 PM

Taan had some definitely good bits- I found the duck breast + dashi risotto to be lovely. OTOH, the liver really overpowered the pork belly in the bao- I couldn't finish half an order. I am of the order of "no bao left behind," so... this was problematic. Fortunately Nick helped me out. The duck broth was rich, but the dish as a whole left me a bit flat. The pickled eggs are... enh, and the poached yolk add-on was just gelatinously floating there.

Service was friendly and attentive. The real problem, for me, was that the bill for three people nearly came to $110. If I'm going to spend $75 on dinner for two... I've got a list of restaurants already. The fact that the cocktails cost nearly as much as a bowl of soup is also problematic; A/M requires that the alcohol receipts be less than half of the restaurant's intake.

Even if Sakuramen weren't a block away, this would not be a once a week place for me, and probably not even once a month. It's just too expensive.

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#6 DonRocks

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 08:05 PM

Who knew porcupine had a quill? :lol:

"The Early Word on Taan Ramen in Adams Morgan" from Eater DC.

Is anyone able to classify this style of ramen? Their Facebook page says "Asian Fusion," but I hate to call it that unless there's nothing else to call it (I haven't been).

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#7 cjsadler

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 10:39 AM

I'm definitely no ramen expert, but after having been to most of the other new places (Daikaya, Sakuramen, Toki), I still like Taan.  From what I understand, the broths are a bit richer and more non-traditional here.  All I know is that I find the pork and duck ramen to be delicious. Both have lots of nice little additions to them.  Besides a leg of confit, the duck ramen has fried shallots, tomato confit, pickled cucumbers and a few other things that make it interesting.  I've found that I get tired of eating a giant bowl of relatively plain ramen. Only issue I've had here is that the broths have tended to be very salty. I mentioned this to them, and maybe some other people did as well, as the salt levels seem to have come down a bit.  

 

Now I'm not one to usually pass up duck confit and pork belly, but the vegetarian ramen, made with a beet broth and topped with pickled vegetables, might actually be the best one.  In hot weather, I'd definitely opt for it over the heavy meat ramens.

 

I noted turbogrrl's comment about the prices.  From 5-7, all beer and wine is half price (and on other certain nights sake and cocktails are half price as well).  On Mondays you can combine that with all ramen being $10. 


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#8 cjsadler

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 01:46 PM

Damn.


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#9 Waitman

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 03:34 PM

I'm bummed out and surprised.  On my first trip to Taan a couple of months ago, Bisagni kind of randomly wandered behind the bar towards the end of service, and my friend and I had a long and illuminating chat about noodles, broth, life and stuff. He was quite a friendly and committed guy, and I liked his ramen quite a bit.  The bartenders was pretty pleasant, too. 

 

We were back in on Friday night and Bisagni remembered us, chiding us for not having been in for a while in a friendly sort of way (we had been, but it's always nice to be appreciated).  Nothing seemed amiss, but in retrosepct, maybe the reason so very much food and drink was left off the tab was that the bartender was trying to rack up a few extra bucks (we tipped about 80%) before the place closed down. 

 

I am no ramen expert, but as an all-too-rare source of moderately-priced, tasty cooking in Adams-Morgan, served by charming staff without attitude and with real enthusiasm for their product, it will be missed.


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#10 Marty L.

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 06:32 PM

I'm bummed out and surprised.  On my first trip to Taan a couple of months ago, Bisagni kind of randomly wandered behind the bar towards the end of service, and my friend and I had a long and illuminating chat about noodles, broth, life and stuff. He was quite a friendly and committed guy, and I liked his ramen quite a bit.  The bartenders was pretty pleasant, too. 

 

We were back in on Friday night and Bisagni remembered us, chiding us for not having been in for a while in a friendly sort of way (we had been, but it's always nice to be appreciated).  Nothing seemed amiss, but in retrosepct, maybe the reason so very much food and drink was left off the tab was that the bartender was trying to rack up a few extra bucks (we tipped about 80%) before the place closed down. 

 

I am no ramen expert, but as an all-too-rare source of moderately-priced, tasty cooking in Adams-Morgan, served by charming staff without attitude and with real enthusiasm for their product, it will be missed.

 

 

Notice, however, how the owner (apparently) wrote a comment to the article stating "Taan is not closed we will be open tomorrow at 4pm for dinner." 



#11 Ericandblueboy

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 07:03 PM

Earlier today, Taan chef Jonathan Bisagni tweeted from the restaurant's account that the ramen shop was closing indefinitely. He then told Y&H that owner Ahmed Ouihman fired him this morning and planned to replace Taan with a new concept.
 
But according to Ouihman, the only part of that story that's true is that he fired Bisagni. Ouihman says Taan will be open as usual tomorrow and that sous chef Michael Than is taking over the kitchen. He says he never told Bisagni that the restaurant was closing or changing concepts. Ouihman previously ran Marrakech Lounge at the same address.
 
Bisagni is sticking to his story, saying Ouihman "definitely" told him that Taan was finished. "I'm sorry that I called you and gave you false information, I'm learning all this from you," he told Y&H.

 

http://www.washingto...sing-after-all/



#12 Barbara

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 08:51 PM

Well! Who knew? That jerk owner was the worst waiter in the world when he was at Napoleon. Managed to ruin a birthday party gathering a bunch of us had there because of his sheer incompetence. Then, I went with a friend to Marrakech soon after it opened and she recognized him as the culprit. Our waitress was a real Space Cadet, the unfood was overpriced and unremarkable, and it didn't stay open long. To find out that this fool had a hand in Taan is a real bummer. So long, $10 lunch-time, innovative bowls of noodle soup. It was good while it lasted.

#13 weinoo

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 05:16 PM

Just go to the joint on 18th Street...Sakuramen.  It's much better anyways and the staff are all very nice.  Now, if they only could get a beer/wine license.



#14 DanielK

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 10:26 AM

Anyone been since the breakup? It's on an Amazon Local deal today.



#15 clchurch

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 11:50 AM

Anyone been since the breakup? It's on an Amazon Local deal today.

 

I stopped in for lunch yesterday (yes, it is now open for lunch/brunch on Saturdays and Sundays).  I hadn't been under the previous chef, but I can say that the triple stock ramen they are currently serving is definately worth a visit; it's rich and has much in common with Hakata (tonkotsu) style broth in my opinion.



#16 Gadarene

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 05:58 PM

Just dropped by Taan for the first time in a long time. Sat at the bar. Funky smell. Saw a small cockroach crawling across the bar in my direction. Not wanting to make a huge fuss, I flicked it away. Bartender came over to take my order, and before I could tell her about it, I saw another small cockroach crawling across the bar in my direction. We both watched it drop somewhere near my stool.

I'm now at Sakuramen.

Edit: I feel compelled to add that I spent Thanskgiving week in Portland. The restaurants they have there... The prices... The quality of the interesting, interesting food.

Sigh.
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#17 dinoue

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 04:31 PM

Is closed

 

From their website:

To our wonderful patrons and ramen lovers, we’re sad to announce that Taan Noodles has closed. Thank you for all your support over the last couple of years. We will miss the wonderful community of Adams Morgan.



#18 Gadarene

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 08:55 AM

I cannot say I'm sorry to see it.





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Adams Morgan, Japanese, Asian Fusion, Ramen, Closed

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