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“creative combos and good service”
Review of Daikaya

Daikaya
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Ranked #43 of 3,236 Restaurants in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Japanese
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Reservations
Level 6 Contributor
1,194 reviews
510 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 531 helpful votes
“creative combos and good service”
Reviewed 17 June 2014

Had dinner with a friend here tonight upstairs in the nicer restaurant (although the bottom shop looks cute too. will be back to try that) We had several nice smaller plates, esp the japanese eggplant, tuna, salmon, stuffed cabbage, rice ball, mushroom/tofu, etc. Desserts were limited-- about 4-5 choices, and some odd combos. We had chocolate+banana combo, which worked surprisingly well. Service was good, fast and friendly. There was a large dinner group near us, and the acoustics were such that it was a bit too noisy at times. The ambiance is charming, simple and inviting. It's not a cheap place-- our bill was $84 without tip, including one sake and one glass of wine. Definitely would go back---esp to try the ramen shop.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank jenabaintheworld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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409 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Washington, DC
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Fusion izakaya with amazing desserts”
Reviewed 1 June 2014

(this is for the upstairs restaurant; we did not eat at the ramen shop, but would like to try to sometime)

Daikaya was a fun American take on the Japanese "izakaya" style of pub. I had a delicious and not too expensive dinner there.

Although the decor, including bathroom signs seemingly straight from Japan, tends towards an appearance of authenticity, the food is more Japanese-inspired than traditional Japanese. If you are looking for a "Just Like Tokyo" experience, this will disappoint. It shouldn't, though; the food is amazing.

I went with a strict vegetarian, and although some items (marked on the menu) are potential minefields for fussy eaters due to the presence of fish roe in on otherwise "normal"-seeming dish - I, who will eat pretty much anything, really enjoyed the spaghetti with cream sauce, nori, and fish roe - there's plenty for vegetarians to eat, including the amazingly tasty fried garlic. On special when we went was a vegetable croquette with two sauces: a Japanese curry and Japanese tonkatsu sauce (tonkatsu is a pork cutlet; there's a traditional sweet brown sauce that goes with it). It was delicious. Also notable, although not quite as amazing, was the grilled avocado.

I enjoyed the tuna poke; Daikaya's take on the Hawaiian cubed raw tuna dish was meaty and refreshing, and served in a chilled bowl.

For most dishes at Daikaya, because they are small plates, if you have more than two people likely to really love a dish, you will probably need to order two so that everyone who wants can have.

We had low expectations for dessert, but both desserts we ordered were quite tasty (and relatively inexpensive for desserts at DC restaurants). The black sesame panna cotta with toasted rice on top was a great mix of sweet and creamy and nutty and crunchy. Even better, though, was the dessert from the downstairs shop, regular soft-serve vanilla ice cream with a chocolate-ichimi (spicy pepper) sauce and toasted hazelnut halves. It made vanilla soft-serve ice cream better than it ever deserves to be, and if you are having dessert at Daikaya, I recommend it (your server probably will too; mine did).

Service was relatively prompt; water glasses never were empty. Bathrooms were super-clean, although the nod to authenticity by using the Mitsubishi version of the Dyson Airblade hand dryers was a little irritating to me because, like in Japan, they're a little too small for my American man-hands and they don't dry quite as quickly (that said; they're still pretty decent hand dryers, better than the old "push button and rub hands" versions you might remember from public school).

All-in-all, had a lot of fun here, spent less than I expected (under $35/pp, but didn't order alcohol), and would definitely go again, particularly for the soft serve.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Benjamin C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, California
1 review
“Reservation is misleading but ramen is good.”
Reviewed 26 May 2014 via mobile

I made a reservation and thought that was for the ramen restaurant. Upon arrival, I realized there are two separated two different restaurants. The restaurant is only for the Japanese Tapa style restaurant upstairs. The downstairs ramen place only accept walk-in. My friend and I ended up going to give the Tapa place a try even though we thought our reservation was made for the Japanese ramens. The tapa one has decent food quality but is pricy. Most of dishes we tried were good but the eggplant. It has a unique taste so it is not for everyone. After the meal upstairs, we left a little bit hungry and decide to give it a try with the ramen downstairs. The waitress was nice to call downstairs and put our names down for us. The ramen and soup are decent and flavorful. I had spicy miso ramen. However, it is rather pricy comparing with similar quality of spicy miso ramen I usually have in San Diego. I may come back to the ramen place if I am in DC and hunger for a bowl of ramen.

Helpful?
Thank ROXIO1973
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bar Harbor, Maine
Level 6 Contributor
127 reviews
67 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Delicious, great service, good value”
Reviewed 15 May 2014

I dined at Daikaya solo and was offered a seat at the bar, right in front of the open kitchen. It was a lot of fun watching the cooks in action. The made bowl after bowl of ramen with precision, and seemed to enjoy the process. My noodles were delicious. In addition to noodles, I also ordered the dumplings, which were delicious. The food was great and I had a fun time, even by myself.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Mike M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
McLean, Virginia
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Excellent ramen”
Reviewed 11 May 2014

great ramen and a very tasty broth with good roasted pork. I got the shiyo and the extra spice and gobbled it up in minutes. Really great

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank LDMclean_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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