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“Decent ramen to satisfy cravings”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Daikaya

Ranked #45 of 3,196 Restaurants in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Japanese, Asian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly, Cheap Eats
Dining options: Dinner, After-hours, Lunch, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Urbana, Illinois, United States
Level Contributor
59 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Decent ramen to satisfy cravings”
Reviewed 2 July 2014

I was craving for japanese ramen when I visit DC, and found Daikaya in DC Chinatown. I order spicy miso ramen and add a flavored egg. To be honest, it is only slightly above average and it's on the pricer end after tips. The flavored egg is awesome, but the broth is little dilute and could be more flavorful. The dining experience was comfortable with great prompt service.

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

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Date | Rating
  • Danish first
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  • Any
English first
bethesda, md
Level Contributor
446 reviews
290 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
“Not getting the hype”
Reviewed 18 June 2014

This was so not what I was expecting and I don't understand what the hype is all about. This review is for the downstairs Ramen portion of the restaurant.

First off the interiors are great and it is loud- music, conversation, kitchen noise, the atmosphere is very Tokyo you can feel the energy, which is great, but not good for a date or eating with someone you want to talk to. You can't make reservations, but leave your name and then get a text when your "table" is ready. Seating is all communal and we were sided side by side on stools.

Since it is a Ramen place- that is all there is- about 5 varies. Dumplings are also available but they are pork. All Ramen is pork, with the exception of the Vegetable Ramen - but when I asked if the broth was pork, the waitress didn't seem to know. So if you are a vegetarian or don't eat pork there will be nothing for you to eat here. I went with the Vegetable Ramen and opted to convince myself it was all vegetable. My bowl was extremely generous (opted for extra veggies) and actually took half of it home, and came out piping hot. It was however, very bland and not very flavorful.

My husband had one of the pork ramen bowls and he said his wasn't flavorful either. He tasted mine and said it tasted about the same.

We had to flag the waitress over several times to get drinks and finally our check. We were surprised with how expensive two bowls of Ramen and one order of dumplings were! Total, and we only drank water, was about $65 - and we double checked the bill and it was right. Overall it was disappointing, but maybe we simply don't like Ramen. The next day my husband had my leftovers and said the addition of hot sauce definitely improved it.

We won't be back.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank tikidream
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
1,119 reviews
472 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 515 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
Thank jenabaindelhi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington, DC
Level 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
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.

Thank ROXIO1973
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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