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DC and Ramen

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Here's an article from today's New York Times that will leave you desperate for some ramen. Not the packet kind, but the real deal:

Anybody know of a real Japanese ramen in DC?


Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/10/din...

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  1. Just read it, I'm with you!!! I need Ramen now!!!

    1 Reply
    1. re: red or green

      I read the article this afternoon too, and having been to Japan only 6 months ago, I still crave the good stuff. Are there ANY ramen soup places in the entire DC metro area...you know, the small counter ones? Had a couple of times at various DC restaurants, but it's just not the same.

    2. I don't know that they're world-class (or NYC) quality, but both Daruma in Bethesda and Temari in Rockville make ramens that are quite tasty and restorative. I believe I've heard that Aji-Nippon (Bethesda) has some good noodle soups, as well, which might well include ramen -- but I haven't been yet, although I keep meaning to get over there for lunch.

      1. I lived in Japan for two years and ate a lot of ramen there.... but I have to admit, I'm not a huge fan of Japanese ramen-- I think it's a watered down version of Chinese ramen. However, if you want Japanese ramen, I've had a good bowl at Cafe Asia on I Street. Temari in Rockville is a good place to go (also check out thier omuraisu... the place is great at homey Japanese cooking).

        4 Replies
        1. re: aiyree

          I've been to Rai Rai Ken and Honmura An mentioned in the NYT article, I have to agree with aiyree that I prefer the Chinese version, if by that she (he) means the egg noodles typically served with bbq pork. When I take a break from my low carbing, I will do pizza and ramen, Chinese and Japanese style.

          Where's the best place for Chinese soup noodles, particularly NoVA? I think I had it once at Full Kee in Chinatown, a few times at Hope Kee before it closed down in Clarendon and once or twice at Full Kee in Falls Church. Others? Better?

          1. re: Minger

            It's not NoVA, but Chinatown Express in Chinatown is hands-down the best place for what I think you're looking for.

            China Town Express
            746 6th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

            1. re: sweth

              Just to clarify, I meant that Chinatown Express is the best place for Chinese soup noodles, not for ramen. I've yet to find a good ramen-ya in the DC area, although I've also yet to make it to Daruma or Temari.

            2. re: Minger

              For Chinese noodle soups I am partial to Miu Kee on Rte 50 in Falls Church in the same plaza as the IHOP/frozen dairy bar.

          2. Same here!!!! I had been in touch with an older woman I met on craigslist (her ex lived in japan) who recommended a place to me out in VA, but we lost contact before we could ever go out to eat....

            That does it! I am going up to Maryland THIS WEEKEND and I am gonna get me a bowl of ramen!

            1. real japanese style ramen is great. read the article and wish a ramenya was located near the balt./d.c region. nyc is def. undergoing a japanese flavored culinary direction.

              1. Had lunch today at the Blue Ocean Japanese restaurant in Fairfax, in the Pickett Street mall a couple of doors down from the Trader Joes (it's across Pickett Street from Fair City Mall where China Star is). Anyway, was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the food. Noticed that the sushi chef and waitress were Japanese, spoke Japanese to each other, and a number of the clients were also Japanese, so not a bad sign. Anyway the lunch menu had ramen and sushi combo, and since the subject here was the ramen, I would rate their ramen as good as any I've had in NYC and LA. Good quality noodles, firm to the mouth, with the usual ingredients and nice broth. Only downside was that the bowl as a bit smaller than I'm used to. But for about $10, good sushi and ramen is a good deal.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Pan

                  Sushi Taro offers this as well on days they offer ramen... why haven't I ever gotten it before?? Oh well... now that it's cold, maybe I will.

                2. I have been on the same quest since I moved to DC 7 years ago from California. Nothing here quite compares to the noodle joints I've been to in LA and San Fran, but if I had to recommend: no. 1 is Daruma in Bethesda, though I'm not a fan of the owners (kind of gruff and not very courteous), their ramen is top notch. I take the consistency of the noodles very seriously, and Daruma has the right stuff. Their noodles are firm and have a lot of body, and their broth is good to. You should also try their "kimchi" ramen if you're into to kimchi and spice. No.2 is Temari Cafe in Rockville. This restaurant reminds me of a small ma and pop Japanese eatery in Berkeley, CA, called Noriko-Noko. Their ramen is not quite as good as that of Daruma, but their homey Japanese cuisine is a real delight. Other than those 2 restaurants, I'm afraid it's slim pickings. I'll have to try the place in Fairfax.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: chibi_nekoba

                    kimchi ramen, sigh... ;-) i'm a dc resident but will try to get to daruma. in hawaii, where i'm from, the locals call ramen, saimin. and there are still noodle factories (actually, mom and pop joints) that make fresh saimin noodles for the many many saimin joints around the islands. even macdonald's serves saimin on their menu! many a term paper night while i was at university was spent in a saimin joint for a $3 bowl of saimin (ramen) and a $1 dollar burger. and yes, many of the owners were gruff but gentle proprieters of a tough way to make a living. heh. ;-)

                  2. I've been to Temari quite a few times and their ramen is pretty close to the real thing. The noodle, however still isn't quite the right firmness and consistency. The broth is sometimes a little too salty. But 8 out of 10 times it's going to be a good bowl of ramen.

                    Some of the other posters also got it right because this place is as cozy and as a mom-and-pop place as it comes. Some of the other japanese home cooking is spot on. From any of the broiled fish (goes so well with sake) to the omuraisu, to the japanese style curry (very different from what you think is curry) it's all pretty good.