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Wagamama is coming to the States. I don't know how I got redirected to the site. Anyway, it piqued my curiosity: are there any ramen noodle bars in the DC area. I did a quick search on the board alas to no avail.
Odd, I wound up at that site a couple weeks ago too, for reasons I cannot recall.

I don't know of any ramen-only places in the area, but you can get quite respectable ramen at Temari Cafe in Rockville (on Rt 355 south of Wintergreen, north of A&J Restaurant) and the Daruma grocery store in downtown Bethesda.

Wagamama's ramen menu - in fact, its entire menu - has a distinct lack of pork. Bah.

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Odd, I wound up at that site a couple weeks ago too, for reasons I cannot recall.

I don't know of any ramen-only places in the area, but you can get quite respectable ramen at Temari Cafe in Rockville (on Rt 355 south of Wintergreen, north of A&J Restaurant) and the Daruma grocery store in downtown Bethesda.

Wagamama's ramen menu - in fact, its entire menu - has a distinct lack of pork. Bah.

I loves the Temari Cafe. Lately, I've been sticking with their donburi bowls, but if I'm feeling the ramen, I usually get the miso-based broth. I'm gonna have to try their tonkatsu broth ramen some days soon though.

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Had lunch there today. I ordered ramen noodles, uni, and saba. I don't know why I expect real ramen...

Is there any place in town that serves a credible, reasonably authentic ramen? I've had it in NYC (which has long had the critical mass of expat salarymen needed to sustain such a thing), but found only failure in the DC area. Tachibana in Arlington doesn't cut it. Neither does Temari Café in Rockville. Bueller? Bueller?

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Is there any place in town that serves a credible, reasonably authentic ramen? I've had it in NYC (which has long had the critical mass of expat salarymen needed to sustain such a thing), but found only failure in the DC area. Tachibana in Arlington doesn't cut it. Neither does Temari Café in Rockville. Bueller? Bueller?
The new Todd English place, Cha, opening up after the election sounds like it may be about right. They're going to have a noodle bar. And since it's an original and not just another Olives, I imagine it won't suck as much.
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Is there any place in town that serves a credible, reasonably authentic ramen? I've had it in NYC (which has long had the critical mass of expat salarymen needed to sustain such a thing), but found only failure in the DC area. Tachibana in Arlington doesn't cut it. Neither does Temari Café in Rockville. Bueller? Bueller?

My wife -- Japanese -- and I have been searching for the past three years with no success. The closest decent ramen is in Edgewater, NJ, at Santouka Ramen, in the Mitsuwa Market Place food court.

Daruma's ramen blows, as does Temari's.

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I consider this one of the great restaurant mysteries of Washington. A colleague recently moved from NYC to join our agency, located near L'enfant Plaza, and the second day at lunch said, "let's go get ramen." We are still laughing/crying, 4 months later. I just do not get it.

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Oh geez, now Ramen is "hot" (pun intended)? Lord help us all... It may be a good thing because of the severe recession, but not because it's gourmet or worthy of showcasing on a menu.
Instant ramen, no. The real stuff? Even seeing it on a menu in the DC area is rare enough that it should be pointed out.

Back to the discussion at hand, Hama Sushi in Herndon does a passable version, and is the only place down here I've run across that offers the choice of miso or shoyu broth. The roast pork bits in the soup are pretty good, and while I don't think the noodles are made on site, they don't look or taste like Nissin's finest either. Hama does regular business with the ANA crews on layover at Dulles, so I've always taken that as a pretty good vote of confidence.

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Sushi Taro had decent ramen, lunch only, sept-may only, mon-weds only. Unfortunately, they are closed for renovations to go upscale (I think the owner has been eating at Komi too much), and probably will not have lunch service when they reopen. Mikaku Sushi Taro in Herndon (sushi taro invested, but they are not affiliated) should still have ramen on the lunch menu. also bukkake.

Bukkake SOUP, people. It's soup. geeez.

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I'm missing my ramen. NYC has lots and lots of great ramen joints, from Momofuku Noodle Bar, to Setagaya, to Ippudo, to Menchanko, to Rai Rai Ken...well, you get the picture.

Excellent varieties of soup, high quality noodles, and nice toppings like good roast pork. What are the best places in DC where my Japanese noodle fix might be satisfied?

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I'm missing my ramen. NYC has lots and lots of great ramen joints, from Momofuku Noodle Bar, to Setagaya, to Ippudo, to Menchanko, to Rai Rai Ken...well, you get the picture.

Excellent varieties of soup, high quality noodles, and nice toppings like good roast pork. What are the best places in DC where my Japanese noodle fix might be satisfied?

The ONLY decent place in D.C. and environs for a steaming, hot bowl of goodness is Ren's Ramen inside Daruma Market in Bethesda. It's a bit pricey, though. One thing -- stay away from the roasted pork. It's a little on the tough side. Instead, opt for the stewed fatty pork.

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The ONLY decent place in D.C. and environs for a steaming, hot bowl of goodness is Ren's Ramen inside Daruma Market in Bethesda. It's a bit pricey, though. One thing -- stay away from the roasted pork. It's a little on the tough side. Instead, opt for the stewed fatty pork.

Okay, okay, that works. What's a little pricey?

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Just back from what I think is my first true Ramen experience. I have had the Ramen at Momufuko in New York but had NO idea what the deal with ramen was until I ate at Umaido outside of Atlanta tonight. The spicy ramen was one of the Atlanta Journal's critics top dishes of 2009 so I trekked out the burbs for a taste. Wow. I am seriously in awe. It really cleared my sinuses!

Until posting on dr.com I did not realize it is, perhaps, a Korean chain.

Oh and now I am glad I haven't made it to Ren's because a bountiful bowl of Ramen at Umaido was $9.00 with great green barley tea.

ETA: Okay, I can't stop thinking about the Ramen I had tonight. I have leftovers waiting for me tomorrow and wonder if having them for breakfast would be appropriate. Already planning a return trip to Umaido but am wondering what I'm going to do when I get back to DC. Also, I noticed someone upthread said they don't expect real ramen anymore... what makes ramen real (like I had tonight)

Thanks!

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A lady in NYC I know brought me, my mom and my cousin to Ippudo in late October. It was a rainy day and we waited for more than an hour to be seated. She told us that Ippudo is a good ramen place but Setagaya is more famous in Japan. However, I was told that she doesn't understand that people in NY seem to prefer this place to Setagaya and there is always a long waiting line. We ordered steamed buns stuffed with roasted porkbelly, cucumber salad and ramens. All of them were very tasty. I didn't try Momofuku's yet but did Menchanko's. Ippudo's ramen is more delicious to me. the soup has deeper flavor and the noodle has better texture. I don't remember the exact price but it is worth to try if you are in the city and please be there before 11:30 AM.

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ETA: Okay, I can't stop thinking about the Ramen I had tonight. I have leftovers waiting for me tomorrow and wonder if having them for breakfast would be appropriate. Already planning a return trip to Umaido but am wondering what I'm going to do when I get back to DC. Also, I noticed someone upthread said they don't expect real ramen anymore... what makes ramen real (like I had tonight)

Thanks!

Toki Underground is a little Ramen and Dumplings spot coming to H Street (above the Pug), opening some time early 2010.

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Instant ramen, no. The real stuff? Even seeing it on a menu in the DC area is rare enough that it should be pointed out.

Back to the discussion at hand, Hama Sushi in Herndon does a passable version, and is the only place down here I've run across that offers the choice of miso or shoyu broth. The roast pork bits in the soup are pretty good, and while I don't think the noodles are made on site, they don't look or taste like Nissin's finest either. Hama does regular business with the ANA crews on layover at Dulles, so I've always taken that as a pretty good vote of confidence.

Maneki Neko in Falls Church has a choice of Miso and Shoyu... unfortunately, they're both terrible.

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Oh geez, now Ramen is "hot" (pun intended)? Lord help us all... It may be a good thing because of the severe recession, but not because it's gourmet or worthy of showcasing on a menu.

The real stuff can be amazing. off all the noodle soup, I would guess that ramen has the most fanatic of following. Do a search on youtube for "ramen Top30"

As for the variety of noodles and stock types, it is large. I miss a good bowl. Might be worth making a trip to NY just for that and soup dumplings.

Thank goodness their are at least good pho places to take up the slack.

BTW, DC is lacking a great laksa place as well. Had laksa at a janpanese place in chinatown. I have to say it wasn't bad but $12 for a small bowl is just too pricy.

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Ren's was no match for Ippudo, but much better than I expected.

I wish I'd gone with the fatty pork as I see suggested above. The standard pork was most definitely the weakest link -- rubbery and flavorless. I also found the broth to be a little too salty, but not to any serious detriment.

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My dentist is located across the street from Tachibana so I went there for lunch yesterday. I saw ramen on their menu so I ordered it, along with spanish mackerel, horse mackerel, and sea urchin sushi. The miso ramen was pretty bland, with half of a hard boiled egg, some dry pork, a chunk of fish cake, a ball of spinach, and some bean sprouts. I will hit Ren this weekend to find out how much better they are and then next week I'll try Ippudo.

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Genuine Ramen (yes, I know there are many kinds, but I'll take "genuine enough") in the greater Springfield-Burke-Annandale-Fairfax area, please? Suggestions for the best bowls available? Something that David Chang might actually order?

Will be very interested to learn if such a thing exists that far out. It took a long time for DC to sprout some serious ramen shops (aside from Ren's) and, even now, can count them on one hand.

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Here's a link to my google map of restaurants serving ramen in the DC metropolitan area.  No recommendations are implied, no rankings, it's just a map.  If you know of a place that's not on the map please reply here and I'll include it -thanks.

Daikaya not included? Or am I being stupid?

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Daikaya not included? Or am I being stupid?

Serious oversight on my part - thanks for catching it!

Love the map! People should have those for other items, very handy!

Add "Streets Market" off Mt. Vernon in Del Ray. Had it the other night. Details later. Toki is gold standard of 10 for me. Daikaya 8. This was a 4-5 (only tried pork).

In the past I've made similar maps (and posted links to them on dr) for cheeses, bakeries, restaurants in western Virginia, and coffee.  The coffee map is pinned in that subforum.

I don't see how you get, from my comment, that I thought that porcupine was clueless.  I was responding to the request for suggestions, while noting that I might have just failed to see it.

No worries!  I didn't read it in a negative way.  :-)

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If you know of a place that's not on the map please reply here and I'll include it -thanks.

Zento on N Washington in Alexandria (bad, but for completeness), and Ichiban on King St in Old Town Alexandria (decent). Still have to go to Tanpopo for reasonably good ramen, if we don't want to go to or through DC.

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Zento on N Washington in Alexandria (bad, but for completeness), and Ichiban on King St in Old Town Alexandria (decent). Still have to go to Tanpopo for reasonably good ramen, if we don't want to go to or through DC.

Thanks.  I didn't see ramen on Ichiban's menu (plenty of udon, but that's different) so I didn't include it.

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Tried the Crane & Turtle pork shoyu ramen yesterday.  It's definitely in our top 3 for DC, with Toki and Daikaya being the other 2.  The noodles are perfectly cooked and spring-y.  The broth is porky but clean tasting.  The toppings are half an egg, 3 perfect thin slices of pork, and a generous toss of scallions.

They're going to do dandan noodles next week.  We plan to go back.

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We tried the Momofuku pork ramen and hozon ramen on Sunday.  The pork ramen was okay but had some definite shortcomings "“ a broth that's overpowered by the salty smoke of Benton's Ham (I love Benton's bacon but never liked their ham in any manifestation), the noodles were a little overdone, the noodle to broth ratio was off, and the broth was not hot enough.  Didn't like the hoson ramen - the noodles were too thick and the noodle to broth ratio seems even more off, plus I was not a fan of the panisse topping.

I liked their baos (tried shrimp, pork, and beef) much better, though considering that they work up to almost $10 per bao after tax and tip, I doubt I'd go back unless a friend specifically request a dinner there.  A trip to Crane & Turtle's Tuesday ramen combined with more afterwards eating at Petworth Citizen is a more appealing and cheaper plan.

The Ssam sauce was excellent, especially on the pork rinds.  So good to know he sells a bottled version on his website.

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Since there are apparently 3 Ramen places in Rockville within a very short distance of one another (Temari, Maki, Ki No Spoon), would anyone care to chime in on if any of them are particularly worth a visit and/or which one is the best of the bunch?

Take this for what it's worth: I've been to all three.  It's been several years since I went to Temari and have never been back.  I had completely forgotten about the existence of Ki No Spoon until creating the map.  I ate at Maki last week with a friend and enjoyed it, and would consider going back, but it was nowhere near as good as Toki, Daikaya, SUshi Taro, or even Marumen.  (I had tonkatsu; the broth was not overly rich or fatty, nice flavor, but the noodles didn't have the characteristic springiness that makes ramen so delightful.)

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Since there are apparently 3 Ramen places in Rockville within a very short distance of one another (Temari, Maki, Ki No Spoon), would anyone care to chime in on if any of them are particularly worth a visit and/or which one is the best of the bunch?

Temari is worth the visit, but for the curry, katsu, black cod, and takoyaki, not the ramen. It's also worth the stop because of Maruichi Grocery upstairs as well as the Kielbasa Factory.

The only decent ramen I've had in that area was at Ren's and that was ages ago.

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I was in Rockville and in the mood for ramen, so decided to check out Kino Spoon.  I had the volcano ramen and enjoyed it, but once you get down to the bottom of the broth, it is quite spicy. As one of my friends is now allergic to four-legged critters, the vegetarian and chicken options on the menu were appreciated as well.

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