Local chefs are injecting new life into the ramen craze. D.C. is now home to Thai ramen, salad ramen, and another unique flavor from a brand new restaurant. Of course, there's nothing better than a bowl of tonkotsu or shoyu broth as the temperatures drop, but also consider these wacky flavors for an alternative ramen fix.
The dish: Peruvian Ramen
Where to find it: Nazca Mochica
The lowdown: This newcomer does an ode to the Asian influence on Peruvian food thanks to Japanese and Chinese immigration in the 1900's. Based on the classic street food caldo de gallina, this chicken soup is full of ginger, scallions, potatoes, and ramen noodles. Aji sauce and lime are served on the side.
The dish: Classic American Salad Hiyashi Chuka Ramen
Where to find it: Daikaya
The lowdown: The combination izakaya and ramen shop serves one special ramen each Friday. It's only available upstairs at the bar during lunch. On December 4, they did a cold ramen with eggs, bacon, mushrooms, blue cheese, and spinach. Other flavors have included tomato curry ramen with eggplant, garlic yogurt, and mint, as well as chili ramen with cheddar, scallions, and jalapeños. Check the restaurant's Facebook page for more out-there offerings.
The dish: Dan Dan Noodles Ramen
Where to find it: Crane & Turtle
The lowdown: Chef Makoto Hamamura serves a special ramen every Tuesday from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the counter as part of the Tuesday Ramen Project. On December 22 it was Dan Dan Noodles ramen inspired by the spicy Sichuan dish, and he's doing it again this Tuesday. It's a pork miso soup with bok choy, sesame, zasai, and rayu. Follow Crane & Turtle's Instagram for future ramen flavors.
The dish: Tom Yum Ramen
Where to find it: Oki Bowl
The Lowdown: Chef May Lieppert might specialize in Japan cuisine, but this spicy soup with prawns, mushrooms floating in a broth flavored with lemongrass and kaffir lime leaf is a tribute to her native Thailand.