Daikaya – Izakaya

Heyyyyy foodies!! I recently discovered another place to get a pretty good bowl of ramen. In Chinatown, DC there is a popular restaurant called Daikaya. I’ve never heard of this place until my friend Ebonie told me she wanted to try it out.

When you call Daikaya to see if you can make a reservation, the automated recording starts off in Japanese. I thought that was pretty cool but it threw me off guard and I completely missed the instructions. Daikaya is the downstairs section where only ramen is served. Izakaya is the upstairs section where they have small plates and more seating but don’t serve ramen.

We walked passed Daikaya without realizing it, and spent about 10 minutes looking at google maps trying to figure out its location. The conversation went basically like this, “Left. Right. No, wait it’s back there! OMG nooo it’s closed they must have moved. No, wait here it is!” We totally missed it because the sign isn’t big.

It was packed (granted it was a Saturday night) but we still put our name on the list. Thankfully, it was only a 45 minute wait (yeah I am saying only like its a short time in 30 degree weather). I gave the host my number so they could text us when our table was ready. I also got a link for an app called No Wait App. It tells you how many parties are in front of you. I liked that because I hate having to walk around, especially in the cold, wandering into stores I don’t want to shop in. Recently, most restaurants have been giving wait times but when you come back right at the time they give you, THE TABLE STILL ISN’T READY. Foodie pet peeve.

Daikaya is cool because you can see how they make the ramen from wherever you sit. The only protein option they have for meat eaters is pork. They do have a vegetable ramen for all my vegetarians and vegans out there. The flavor of the miso ramen was pretty good. I like my ramen to have a little bit more of a kick to it but where the ramen lacked in flavor it made up for it in portion size. You get one piece of pork, ground pork, veggies, nori (dried seaweed), and about a palm size of ramen.

Oh yeah! Almost forgot, the music they were playing wass 90’s to 2000’s hip hop. I loved it. I tried hard to not to dance but they were playing some hits so I couldn’t resist. I’m not sure what the correlation is between hip hop and Japanese style ramen restaurants but I’ve noticed the trend and I’m here for it.

Ebonie is a food inspector so watching her food being cooked in front of her is an inspectors worst nightmare. I thought it was funny how much she cringed. She had to cover her eyes since we sat right in front of the kitchen. Don’t worry they didn’t break any health codes but she didn’t want to see any if they did.

I enjoyed my ramen, and want to go back to try the food upstairs in Izakaya. I’m a huge fan of Japanese food so don’t be surprised to see more of it in the future.

Daikaya-Izakaya is located at 705 6th St NW, Washington, DC 20001. Business hours are 11am – 10pm M-F and 11am – 12am Saturday and Sunday

Until next time,

Lin Alishia


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