2411 18th St.
If you’ve lived in D.C. for long, you know ramen is no longer just a cube of crunchy noodles that you mix with a seasoning packet.
But of all the ramen joints in the city, Sakuramen in Adams Morgan truly reigns supreme. This cozy venue is the perfect place for a date, a winter warmup or a relaxing night with friends – just be prepared to talk loudly over the eclectic playlist.
If you’re hoping for fussy appetizers or cocktails that would fit in a Sex and the City scene, you won’t find them here. Ramen is king at Sakuramen, and we’re all better for it. Pick between seven delectable, and slightly different, versions. For $13, the chosun is a filling and savory option – it’s salty and piled with slices of ribeye. The broth is a deep brown, and is almost more delicious than the combination of scallions, spicy kimchi, soft boiled egg and noodles. The spicy miso, with corn and scallions, will certainly open your sinuses. Be sure to ask the waiter how spicy they’d suggest making it.
Before you dive headfirst into noodle bliss, get the bulgogi buns for $8. The moist bulgogi beef is topped with zesty peppered scallions and buttery lettuce. Enveloped in a soft, chewy bun, they’re the best buns in the city. If you still have room after your meal, order the green tea mochi. Served on a skewer, these tiny, velvety balls of rice paste melt in your mouth.
Just come prepared to wait awhile. Sakuramen recently added a second floor, but it’s packed every night, especially after 7 p.m. Don’t worry too much though – the manager remembers faces and rewards frequent customers. If the weather looks questionable, bring an umbrella to wait outside and people watch on 18th Street.
Readers’ pick: D.C. Noodles