The Daikaya team is back with their latest Sapporo-style ramen outpost, this time at 805 V St. NW in Shaw.
The 2,100-square-foot space is an ode to the Japanese post-World War II architecture movement known as Metabolism. Edit Lab at Streetsense's Brian Miller, who also designed Daikaya and Bantam King, took multiple research trips to Japan and says those 1960s-era buildings had great quality, depth, and beautiful masonry work.
Partner Yama Jewayni is not a fan of D.C.'s brutalist era, per se, but he thinks some newer D.C. buildings today lack character: "The new ugly made the old ugly look cool," he said. Haikan's housed inside the Atlantic Plumbing building, and its interior aims to mimic the exterior's "muscular" feel, says Miller. A split-face concrete block with semicircular indentations—a common way to add texture to walls decades ago—stands strong behind the bar. A triangular ceiling grid with lights inside was inspired by the iconic East Wing of the National Gallery of Art.
Haikan has the longest ramen counter the team has done yet, contributing to a total of 55 seats inside. The owners figure large groups go out in the neighborhood (Haikan's right next to the 9:30 Club and tons of bars), so a long 40-seat communal table outside was the right route to take. Some of the restaurant's shapes, tiling, and colors throughout are reminiscent of Daikaya and their recently-opened Bantam King, but Jewayni views each independently, just as no two noodle bowls are alike. "We aren't building a chain," he said. Stay tuned for more menu details in Eater's upcoming opening report — Haikan plans to open Saturday for dinner, with brunch and lunch to eventually follow.
Haikan, 805 V St. NW, website