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Found 159 results

  1. Samurai Noodle, on Durham in the Heights opened in 2015 as the 1st Houston location of a small Seattle, Washington chain of ramen joints. I stopped in for lunch yesterday, and was surprised to find a nearly full restaurant. Given the heat/humidity, a steaming bowl of tonkotsu didn't really grab me, but Samurai offers 3 tsukemen options: a cold fish-based broth (described as "sweet"), a "peppery" chicken broth, and a spicy version of the chicken. I went with the basic peppery chicken broth ("Tetsu-max"), with "firm" noodles (you can specify the chewiness of your noodles, from soft to extra-firm). The house-made noodles were indeed firm, and I would not recommend venturing below this level, if you aren't into mushy noodles. The broth was strong and salty, as it should be, augmented with shredded pork, bamboo, and bits of nori. Condiments on the table included pickled ginger and chili sauce if you cared to dress up your bowl further. The portion of noodles was reasonable for lunch, though I imagine if I were here for dinner, I might ask for an extra serving, or maybe order some gyoza or karaage to start. There were a couple families with small children, and they have high chairs available if you need that sort of thing.
  2. I understand last night was the soft opening. Looking forward to trying it..... "SEI Restaurant Opening Soon ... Real Soon (444 7th St NW)" by pqresident on pqliving.com
  3. Homemade Ramen Noodles by Sho Spaeth on seriouseats.com.
  4. If you're looking for Alexandria Sushi I am a huge fan of Momo Sushi on Queen Street. It used to be a tiny tiny little 17 seat place but recently had the upper floor renovated to more than double their capacity. Personally I think you need to stray *much* further to find good mexican or a good cannoli.
  5. I didn't see a thread on this so I thought I'd start one. This place serves one dish, Donburi, a Japanese comfort food - basically fried something over rice with egg. Donburi DC is in Adams Morgan next to Meskerem, and opened a few weeks ago. Seats maybe 15 people, sushi bar style in front of the prep area. Modern Asian atmosphere, lots of nice wood and blacks everywhere. I went last night, and it's clear they're still working the kinks out, so I would DEFINITELY withhold final judgement until they get everything in gear. Service was a tad slow, one of our orders got maybe lost? (I actually think someone else claimed our party's bowl as theirs, but either way, there was definite disorganization), and it was one guys' first time operating the cash register. They were very apologetic about all the issues, but I'm sure it'll get going soon. Finally I will say I am no expert on Japanese food, let alone donburi. This would be a first for me. Appetizer You order before you take a seat, and have a small variety of drink options, some Japanese ones included. There's also a free chilled tea to drink.They have 3 appetizer options, we got the sashimi and chicken karaage (fried chicken) ($6 each). Both were good, the sashimi was 4 hefty portions of salmon, the chicken was a little overbattered but overall quite juicy and tender with a crispy exterior, but then again I am a total sucker for fried chicken. Entree I only tried the katsudon, the fried pork cutlet option (forget price, but around $10+?). It's served with a fried egg ontop, with onions simmered in a dark, sweet soy sauce. It also came with pickled spicy peppers and pickled daikon(?) It was good. It was not great. The pork was a little flavorless and it could have overall used a bit more sauce. I think it may have a sat out for a little (could not have been long though as party turnover was high) and lost a bit of its luster after being fried (as I said, there were technical difficulties). The gooey, savory egg however, was doing some fantastic work and really brought the whole dish together. I don't feel like the pepper or daikon lent much to the whole dish, but they added a little variety to each bite. Anyway, it was good, and totally hit the comfort food spot for me. I think, given a months time or so, I'd definitely consider returning to see what's improved. As it is now, its a pretty good price for some pretty good food. I wouldn't destination dine there though, at least not yet. For now, I'd give it 7/10.
  6. I find ARLNow's comment section really really funny. Sometimes it turns up interesting information. Since I am a regular at OKI Ramen downtown, I just might have to check out our local option. Has anyone been? "Family-Friendly Ramen Shop Opens in Cherrydale" by Heather Mongilio on arlnow.com
  7. I cut the above from Eater, which got the info from Washington City Paper. I think the concept is pretty awesome for people who haven't had a lot of different types of instant ramen and don't have high blood pressure (them instant ramen are generally pretty salty). One can go by and try a couple of packs per meal. It would be even better if they have some veggies and fishballs that can be added in addition to an egg. As an experienced international instant ramen noodle eater, I'd be willing to offer my consulting services for a small fee.
  8. Just wanted to bump this thread and let people know that Himitsu had its official opening last night. I was lucky enough to attend a preview dinner on Wednesday; raw fish preps and the entire beverage program are absolutely going to be highlights. Not really fair to "review" or critique, as they weren't even really open yet, but multiple plates are priced substantially lower than they should be. Happy to post photos of the menus and / or food if helpful. A super talented young duo, and one that should do quite well in the space. Cheers!
  9. Does anyone know when the JINYA Ramen Bar will be opening? They are shown on the Mosaic Center map, but I can't find anything else relating to this new location. Here's the Mosaic portion of their website.
  10. While we wait for our moving truck to arrive, we are staying with family in Memorial, in the Western part of Houston. The whole family, 2 small kids in tow, had dinner at Izaykaya Wa on Memorial Dr. last night. I luckily called ahead and made a reservation, as it was packed to the gills with a boisterous group of drinkers/noshers when we arrived. This is a true Izakaya, being a great place to throw down a few beers and munch on yakitori and kushiage. It reminded Cristina and I of our old NYC haunt, Village Yokocho. We shared a number of things, mainly standards (edamame, vegetable tempura, takoyaki, seaweed salad). All were done well, especially the takoyaki, which were thankfully not drowning in Kewpie mayo. The chirashi and special rolls we shared were fine for a place that is not focussed on sushi. Chicken skin and chicken thigh skewers were nicely grilled, the skin deliciously crispy and salty. A whole grilled squid served alongside grilled slices of jalapeño (we are in TX after all) was mildly flavored and a bit too chewy...the only real miss of the night. Everything was washed down with several rounds of Asahi and Sapporo, and thankfully the exuberance of our fellow diners drowned out any squeals of protestation from our smaller dining companions.
  11. "No Peeking!" That's what it says on the bright orange envelope I was handed at Sushi-Zen as I picked up my carryout Vegetarian Sushi ($9.49) lunch special. I've been to Sushi-Zen a couple times in the past, and have never cared for either the fish or the sushi rice. Again, I didn't like the rice, but I was pretty taken by the artful carryout presentation of the (tired-looking but well-cut and colorful) vegetables, about six or seven different types. Visually, it was a really nice effort by the sushi chef. Back to the orange envelope. "Come back to Sushi-Zen November 1st through November 30th, and bring this envelope UNOPENED [in big, bold letters] to receive one of five secret prizes. Envelope needs to be opened in front of your server to be valid." * A $50 Gift Certificate * 25% off your bill * $3.50 off your bill * A free appetizer value up to $7.00 * A free dessert My envelope remains unopened. However, a close scrutiny under bright sunlight reveals that I have a free appetizer (value up to $7.00) coming my way in November, should I wish to go back. Cheers, Rocks.
  12. In case someone's really dying for Ramen in NoVa and can't drive to DC/MD for their fix, Tanpopo is now open. Some photos are on Yelp. A hand written message regarding their hours indicate that they open at 11:30 Tuesday to Sunday. For the avoidance of doubt, they're closed on Monday. The same hand scribbled message states they're only serving ramen and a few appetizers at this point.
  13. My uncle's wife and her friend were in town for a visit and wanted to meet up with @MichaelBDC and me for dinner. They requested sushi but our #1 place, Sushi Ogawa, was booked and not knowing their budget, we decided not to push our luck with Sushi Taro. I ended up booking Sushi Gakyu after reading Tim Carman's review in the Washington Post. I used to walk by there everyday when I worked in the area, almost willing it to open, so I was very excited to finally be able to check the place out. When I made our reservations, I indicated that the four of us would like to sit at the counter and order omakase. The day of, the restaurant called to confirm our reservation and asked if we would like the $100 omakase option or $150 omakase option. As one could guess, the higher price meant more and higher quality fish. I selected the $100 omakase option but mentioned that we may order more if we were still hungry. We arrived right at 7:30pm to a mostly empty restaurant and our dining partners already seated at the counter. We would be the only ones at the counter the entire evening though there were 3-4 other tables seated and we did overhear one of the servers mention something about a party upstairs (perhaps Sushi Gakyu was catering it). Within five minutes of sitting down, we realized we were in for a treat. One of our dining partners was speaking in Japanese to Chef Ota and she insisted on ordering a bottle of sake from the "featured sake" list rather than the regular one. We started off with a bottle of Kotsuzumi "bloom on the Path" Junmai Daiginjo. It was so smooth and clear. We started with a refreshing salad of tomato, cucumber, seaweed, and dashi jelly. We also ordered edamame. That was followed by fried salmon cheek which was very good. Sashimi of sea bass with ponzu came next. Then came a taste of fugu/puffer fish (though I forget what part of the fish we got). A second bottle of sake. Four different slices of salmon nigiri. Three different pieces of tuna nigiri. Nigiri of seared prawn, raw scallop, and raw prawn was next. Finally, eel and a sweetened omelet. That was supposed to be the end, but we added small bites of uni from Maine and California as well as a little marinated squid. It was all fantastic. My only quibble with the meal is that the rice seemed a bit dry or undercooked, but the variety of the fish really made up for that. Our dining companions picked up the bill so the real price of dinner is unknown. Sushi Gakyu is certainly another option for sushi lovers out there and I definitely see us going back for another round of omakase.
  14. Takohachi opened on December 11 in the Westmont Shopping Center at the corner of Columbia Pike and S. Glebe Road. My wife and I decided to eat lunch there today to test this new dining option after reading several positive comments from our neighbors on the Douglas Park community bulletin board. Owned and run by a Japanese chef, the space is simple and open (in the good Japanese way), with plenty of space between the tables and contemporary Japanese music playing softly in the room. We ordered from the lunch menu, which offered everything from Nigiri Shushi (at $1 per piece), to a number of Udons, Donburis and a large selection of Bento Boxes. We each ordered a Bento - Marianne had the California Roll and Spiced Tuna, I ordered the Sukiyaki. Both came with Tea, Miso Soup, Salad and a Shrimp and Vegetable Tempura portion in addition to the aforementioned Mains. All I can say is that if the quality of our lunch is the baseline for the other items on their menu, this is now our go-to spot for Japanese in South Arlington. They don't have an active social media profile, or a website yet. Here's hoping they can grow thru word of mouth - I want to be able to come back often. TSchaad
  15. I saw "Onibaba" a couple of days after I saw the Oscar-winning "Best Picture" of 2017, "The Shape of Water." While the latter disappointed me, the former was a delightful surprise--a gripping tale of human survival. The film is set in the 14th Century, during a Civil War In Japan. Beautifully shot in black-and-white, it tells the harrowing story of a middle-aged woman and her daughter-in-law who must resort to drastic measures to survive in their war-ravaged world. Basic human needs--food, water and sex--are the things the pair desire, and they do what they must to acquire them. Although it is set in Medieval times, "Onibaba" has a timeless quality, and could take place in any war, at any time. The women's hut is surrounded by fields of tall grass. Much of the film is shot low in this grass, creating a claustrophobic mood. The viewer feels anxious and trapped, just as the women surely felt hiding there. The acting is wonderful. The story is gritty, intense, erotic, and full of suspense. I highly recommend this film. I saw "Onibaba" for free at the Freer Gallery of Art as a part of their Japanese Film Classics, offered at 2 p.m. on the first Wednesday of the Month. The next screening scheduled is "Drunken Angel," a 1948 film directed by Akira Kurosawa, on June 6.
  16. Have not yet seen anything reported here on an exciting new restaurant from Chef Daisuke Itagawa of Sushi Ko and restaurateur Yama Jewayni (Marvin, Local 16, etc.). The project just got a whole lot more interesting with the announcement that Chef Katsuya Fukushima of Minibar fame will head the kitchen. The space is being built in the empty lot next door to Graffiato and reportedly will be offering ramen on the ground level and izakaya on the second floor. Sounds awesome - anticipated opening early 2012. http://www.washingto...going-out-gurus
  17. Had dinner last night at Samurai teppanyaki grill in the GMU shopping center. I had the chicken and shrimp combo, dining companion had the lobster-filet-shrimp, plus the typical miso soup, salad, fried rice, grilled veggies and noodles. It was clean, everything was cooked properly, not the best show by the chef but certainly adequate, and thankfully not oversalted (which is something that I find happens at a teppanyaki with chefs using the salt shakers in their show). A lot of food -- I took fully half of mine home even after eating until I was stuffed, so I think a fair value for the price, which I believe was about $24 for my choice, maybe about $31-$32 for my companion? Plus a sake appletini for me that balanced on the line between sweet and sour. I would have been happy with a tad more sour but was relieved that it wasn't too sweet. Not fine dining by any stretch, but I think a better choice than Kilroy's (which was the other option I was offered).
  18. Kukuri received a moderate amount of hype when it opened, based on the presence of sushi chef Shimao Ishikawa. Ishikawa was behind the (sushi) bar at Michelin-starred Jewel Bako in New York, where I had a memorable meal years ago. I had omakase reservations last week ($175 per person), but ultimately cancelled after hearing rumors that Ishikawa was no longer in the kitchen. I asked a couple of the food critics in town, neither of which had heard anything. A perusal of the Kukuri Facebook page showed that Ishikawa responded to a negative review from his personal account, claiming to have been out of the kitchen since an automobile accident in November. I sent him (or at least whoever is behind the "Shimao Ishikawa" Facebook account) a personal message, and he confirmed that he is no longer associated with Kukuri. While their website still lists him, their frequently updated Facebook page now lists Masayuki Kawai as the head chef. I haven't been able to find out any information on his past work.
  19. After a couple "meh" experiences at other sushi spots around town, I have seen the truth, and it is Hori-san's sushi rice. I absolutely cannot bring myself to get excited about eating sushi anywhere else. Yes, yes, the fish is superb, impeccably prepared, and seasoned such that your soy sauce and freshly grated wasabi stare on longingly as you neglect them throughout the meal. But that rice. So perfectly seasoned, juuuuust sweet enough, and never overpacked or structurally unsound. I honestly think you do yourself a disservice by ordering sashimi at Kata. As far as I can tell, the play is to get an appetizer or two (chicken skewers 3 ways, miso eggplant, and the ceviche wouldn't be a bad way to go), and then ask for an omakase sushi from the chef with as few or many pieces as you feel like. We've done this both from the sushi bar and the tables.
  20. Hmmm . . . everything I've ever read about Yamazoto emphasizes that it's a place specializing in, well, humongous "specialty" rolls, which I've found to be a surefire sign that I won't like it. But if other Rockwellians would confirm its quality . . .
  21. I decided to finally try out Kaz Sushi Bistro (1915 I Street NW). More to the point, this was the first Wednesday I could make it there to get the Maki and Nigiri lunch combo, after learning of it's existance. The combo consisted of a spicy tuna roll, a California roll, and a piece each of maguro, sake, and ebi nigiri. Right from the start, I knew I was on to something good: the little cup of soy sauce was taped to the top to prevent spillage in transit, there were two packets of those little M&M-like mints, and the gari was clearly home-made. Trivial touches, yes, but they're obviously thinking this lunch-special thing through. I like that. It bodes well. On to the main event, the sushi itself was visually very nice, and clearly carefully made. The tuna in particular was the most beautiful shade of deep red. I can say very easily that this was the best sushi I can recall having, in the U.S. and in Japan (Granted, I never went for a hard-core Edomae dinner, but there you go). Incredible. Even the California roll was good. Even the soy sauce was good. They are absolutely not trying to cut corners with the lunch special, and if they are, the stuff right at the bar must be positively mind-blowing. I don't mind saying I was having a pretty insane day at work to this point, but after this lunch, everything seemed good and right with the world.
  22. Well, f**k. I hate writing about restaurants any more, but decided to start this thread anyway, and twenty minutes later I was almost done and f**king Invision or whoever lost the post. Pardon my language. I'm not going to re-create all that. The basics: Nice, cozy ambiance for a quick nosh on a cold evening. I didn't take notes or play Investigative Reporter. I think there were four ramens, four rice bowls, and some number of appetizers on the menu. I had an excellent miso ramen, with flavorful broth, springy noodles, awesomely porky and not too fatty chashu . Definitely one of the better ramens I've had in awhile. Better than the tonkatsu (weak flavor, not-chewy-enough noodles) from Nagomi the day before. Two things to note: the other patrons (at 8:30 - 9:00 on a weeknight) were loud, possibly drunken 20-somethings who talked in their "HEY WE'D BETTER SHOUT 'CAUSE WE MAY STILL BE IN A LOUD BAR" voices. I'm not a cranky old lady yet; if that's the clientele, fine, I'll enjoy my ramen, pay the bill and get out quickly. The other thing: scented candles do not belong in restaurants. Seriously, restaurateurs: don't you want your customers to enjoy their food? Isn't smelling that food a significant part of tasting it? If I push the apple-cinnamon candle to the other end of the communal table, that's not a signal for your hostess to come light the other one. Anyway: great ramen. Really hoping ramen catches on in DC.
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