I was in DC on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week for a work conference, and got the chance to hit up a couple of awesome spots in the District. First up was Haikan, the new-ish ramen joint from the Daikaya team. It’s in Shaw near the Howard University campus, on the bottom floor of the Atlantic Plumbing apartment building in a slick, modern, light-filled space.
I started with the Smoke Show cocktail: Ryukyu Awamori, a rice-based spirit similar to shoju that hails from Okinawa, mixed with Dolin Blanc vermouth and black peppercorn tincture with a torched cedar chip in the glass. The aroma of the smoke mingled with the sweet and savory notes of the other ingredients and elevated the drink (plus I’m a sucker for a smoked cocktail). I got the Smashed Cucumber Salad and the Shoyu ramen with spicebomb, nori and bamboo. The salad was delicious, in a sweet, soy-sauce based Rayu-Shoyu dressing, but the ramen was the star of the show. The broth was rich, and the spicebomb lived up to its name, adding a ton of heat and flavor. As with everything the Daikaya team does, Haikan hits the sweet spot of Asian flavors that are hot right now, with the authenticity and attention to detail that will please any ramen purist.
The next night, after my work event, my husband headed up to meet me so we could go to a show at The Fillmore in Silver Spring, one of our favorite venues. We always stay at the Hampton Inn or Homewood Suites (they’re in the same building) the next block over from The Fillmore. We parked the car, checked into the hotel and headed out to find somewhere to eat dinner.
A block away from the hotel, we found Sushi Jin, a narrow sushi spot sandwiched between a hair salon and a Quizno’s. They had a bunch of special rolls on the menu. We got a roll called “Lobster Lasagna” and a bunch of other rolls and some Japanese craft beer – Hitachino White Ale from Kiuchi Brewery in Ibaraki.
The sushi rolls were all delicious and filling. The Lobster Lasagna was topped with mounds and mounds of fresh lobster, and the other special roll we ordered was full of Maryland crab. Sushi Jin was a hit – my new favorite sushi restaurant in Silver Spring.
On the way out of DC the next day, we made a point of stopping at Metro Center where the food trucks line 12th Street at lunch, so that we could grab lunch from the DC outpost of the always-delicious Red Hook Lobster Pound. My husband and I visited the original Red Hook location on our last NYC trip, and when I found out they had a DC food truck, I decided I had to give it a try.
It was pricey, but it is lobster after all (funny considering lobster used to be so plentiful it was considered the food of the poor). I got the BLT lobster roll and my husband got the Maine Style. Both were served on a warm, buttered roll with a huge pickle spear. We got some Cape Cod chips and the truck had Maine Root fountain beverages, so we got a Mexi-Vanilla Cola.
This was a delicious DC trip. I can’t wait to return to try out more food spots!