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I ate here tonight based on Tim Carman's enthusiastic review and was very disappointed (Carman, you've misled for me for the last time...). The Akira Ramen (tonkatsu broth, with a couple thin slices of chasu, veggies, fish cake, and half an egg) was deeply mediocre. The broth, thin and bland, had little discernible pork flavor and mainly served as a carrier for the bitter char of the chasu. The curly noodles were little to write home about (or wax poetic about in the Post). Overall, a nothing bowl of ramen. I ordered the grilled yellowtail collar as an appetizer, was told it'd take 15 to 20 minutes, so asked for it to come out before the ramen. After about 25 minutes, the ramen came out first, and the yellowtail a few minutes later. The fish was moist and nicely grilled, but it won't bring me back on its own. Sitting at the bar, you could see bowls of ramen being plated sluggishly by an inexperienced kitchen staff -- nothing like the well-oiled machine at Daikaya.
Urban Hot Pot, which has a Facebook Page but no website yet, soft-opened last night in Twinbrook, right next door to Akira Ramen & Izakaya. It's a make-your-own hot pot restaurant, and appears to be family-friendly. Jul 24, 2007 - "Small Bites: Ramen and Hot Pot Coming to Rockville This Fall" by Joe Zimmerman on bethesdamagazine.com