Ramen, udon, pho – Asian soups are all the rage. After some really good luck with ramen at Daikaya in Chinatown last winter, we decided to try some more around town and check out Sakuramen in Adams Morgan.
The best part: making it a picnic!
The worst part: tie between the cost and that mine had pork belly in it
Sakuramen is located in the basement of a converted townhouse in Adams Morgan, on 18th Street. It’s a small restaurant with communal seating, but as I mentioned, we got ours to go and went on a picnic with it because the day was about as pleasant as it could possibly be in DC. I’m glad we did, because as I was waiting near the register to order, I got an unmistakeable whiff of urine from the nearby bathroom. I don’t know if you could smell it from any of the tables.
I ordered the namesake sakuramen, which is on the menu as containing kombu broth with menma, corn, green onion, mushrooms, curly noodles. I just looked up with menma is. It’s bamboo shoots. This is touted as being their signature vegetarian ramen. Christopher got the shoki bowl, which was basically a bunch of different kinds of meats in broth. To share, I also ordered the shroom buns, which are steamed Buns with fresh soy marinated organic Lancaster mushrooms and some slaw inside, and kimchi for the side. For two bowls of soup, an appetizer, and cold pickled cabbage, guess how much.
$42. Forty two dollars.
We added rose, of course. Pedroncelli, which I really enjoyed. It was fairly sweet.
The shroom buns were $8 for two, which is simply too much money for what you get. They were good, but not at $4 apiece. The shoki bowl earned a decent review, with the broth tasting like pot roast broth, that is to say, without much depth or surprise, but good, solid flavor. My vegetarian sakuramen was very good, the broth was delicious. About halfway through the bowl, I discovered why: there was meat in it.
And with that, my review must end. I can’t give this place a positive review when they made a mistake like pork in the vegetarian broth. Is this place terrible? Of course not. But truthfully, it wasn’t as good as Daikaya anyway, so just go there instead.
The dark side of outdoor eating: the wildlife.
2441 18th Street NW