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The Early Word on Daikaya's Anticipated Ramen

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Photo: R. Lopez
Missy Frederick is the Cities Director for Eater.

It's no secret that expectations for the ramen portion of Daikaya, the new restaurant from Daisuke Utagawa, Katsuya Fukushima, Yama Jewayni, are sky-high. The anticipated restaurant, which is only half open (the izakaya upstairs will follow next month), has been more than a year in the making, and drew lines out the door on opening day. How does Daikaya live up to its own hype, as well as inevitable comparisons to the city's other ramen-based phenomenon? Here's what the first bloggers, Yelpers and other critics had to say about the restaurant, which started serving its noodles Feb. 14.

The Learn About Sapporo Style News: Daikaya is currently earning 3.5 stars on Yelp, with 31 reviews in. One of those is from Elly H., who prefers the miso broth over the Shoyu. "Our server did give a good explanation of where the style of Daikaya's ramen comes from -basically they didn't want us to be comparing their ramens with Toki Underground or Sakuramen, Also, I really enjoyed the open kitchen and being able to watch what the cooks were doing." [Yelp]

The Seating Policy Warning News: Another Yelp critic, V L., thinks it's important to note this particular policy of Daikaya's: "A surprising "policy" was that the receptionist would not put my name on the list until both my husband and I arrived.  He was parking the car and I had hopped down to put our name on the list, but ALL party members have to be there before your name will even go on the list.  So keep this in mind when you send one representative from your group thinking you might get ahead on the list -- you won't." [Yelp]

The Toki Comparison News: Bobby D. prefers the H Street hot spot to the new Daikaya. "I'll cut to the chase and answer the question that the majority of you are dying to find out - "Does it stack up to Toki Underground?" Absolutely not." [Yelp]

The Beats Out The Competition News: Yelper Erin F., meanwhile, would choose Daikaya over Toki or Sakuramen any day. "I am in love with Daikaya. LOVE. " [Yelp]

The Steaming Soup News: Brightest Young Things tries out Daikaya early on, and is pleased with the results. "I overheard co-owner Daisuke Utagawa say they had to perfect the shio dish, because it is the type of ramen in which flaws can be easily exposed. Well, the broth was clean and not too salty, the bowl was piping hot (a personal pet peeve if not) and the noodles curled into your mouth. " [BYT]

The Ramen Tastes Like A Burger News: The Georgetown Voice finds the ramen flavor to be very meaty. "My bowl of ramen came out in about five minutes, and I quickly realized within a few seconds of my first bite that my waitress wasn't lying about its flavor. Although my order was tasty, I felt like I was eating a giant slab of steak or a big juicy hamburger in noodle soup form. The gyoza, which came out a few minutes later, was much more subtle in flavor than the Mugi-Miso; it took me a few bites and several long minutes of chewing to conclude that I liked it. " [GV]

The Looking For More Add-Ons News: Forking DC is a big fan of the Shoyu ramen. "The broth was peppery with a lot of depth; the noodles were chewy; and I especially loved the subtle depth and creaminess that the marinated egg brought to the dish.  My only disappointment was that I expected and hoped to see the menu offer more adventurous options or add-ons." [FDC]

The Japan Native Endorsement: Never Turn Down A Cupcake, whose author was born in Japan, likes Daikaya. "The broth was super flavorful and rich without tasting greasy.  Lots of times you'll get a slick of oil pooling on the top of the broth, but this had none of that excess oil at all." [NTDAC]

The Dope Ramen News: Here's a shoutout for Daikaya on foursquare from Sila D. "The ramen soup with the egg is so dope. i could drink that broth all day..." [FS]

The Moving On From the Microwave News: On Twitter, @foodobsessed6 realizes what real ramen is like. "After eating @Daikayadc & @TokiUnderground I realize it's time to toss the microwave ramen noodles I've been hoarding. #notrealramen." [Twitter]

The Vegetarian News: @CapitalSpice Tweets, "How does @daikayadc get such flavor into their vegan ramen? Light and satisfying, not too salty. Hello new go-to lunch option for us!" [Twitter]

The Authentic News: On Facebook, Jenny shares that, "Daikaya is the real deal. The mugi miso ramen is one of the most memorable meals I've had in a long, long time. The silky texture of the broth, the toasty notes from the wok-char, the perfectly springy noodles...I am so absolutely thrilled to have this place in DC, and I can't wait to go back." [Facebook]

The Springy Noodles News: On Don Rockwell, Cheesepowder calls the noodles "springy chewy" and says the broth wasn't too salty. User spaztic1215 seconds the springy noodles remark and says the shoyu broth has "both texture and depth of flavor." [DR]

· All Previous Daikaya Coverage [-EDC-]


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