Oki Bowl and Sake Bar, Downtown

Porcupine, on 20 Nov 2014 – 8:16 AM, said: I had an excellent miso ramen, with flavorful broth, springy noodles, awesomely porky and not too fatty chashu [I think that’s the spelling they used].  Definitely one of the better ramens I’ve had in awhile.

Gadarene, on 20 Nov 2014 – 10:30 AM, said: Yeah, I ate here for lunch a couple of days ago and was VERY impressed by the miso ramen.  The noodles were wonderfully chewy and tasty, and the broth was rich and delicious; I finished every drop.  The corn was also very nicely cooked.  I’d say the other toppings, including the chashu, were only okay, but on the whole I’m already comfortable ranking them above Sakuramen and most other non-Toki places in DC.

I had dinner at Oki Bowl and Sake Bar recently, and liked it in a Dickson Wine Bar sort of way.

When you walk into the restaurant, you feel like you’re part of an Erector Set.

I started with a small Sapporo ($6), whimsically served in a Mason jar, as I looked around me in a childlike awe – using the restroom here is a must.

For starters, I got the Fried Oyster Tempura ($10.95) and the Lotus Root Ship ($7), and I’m still not quite sure if “Ship” is a typo or not, but it says the same thing on Oki’s website. These were rectangular plates with a line of fried oysters, and thick-cut lotus root, respectively – the thickest-cut lotus root I think I’ve ever had, and although I enjoyed them both, I would give the nod to the lotus root which went spectacularly well with the ponzu-like dipping sauce.

Then I ordered the Miso Ramen ($10), and can only rate it in the “good, not great” category, the noodles being dried and ordinary, and the half-egg too hard for its own good (I’m not looking for a runny egg, but this was a little overcooked). The decent broth elevated this ramen from something close to middling, from where I was sitting.

I had a pretty good laugh when, sitting at the bar, I was able to see through the pass at the person assembling my ramen (but only the torso), and the entire bowl was assembled with the left hand while sitting down, as the cook was typing in text messages with the right – the entire assemblage took place while texting or surfing. and it was pretty funny to watch.

There was an initial grimey, 1980s, Times-Square feeling having just walked by Camelot and Bell’s before slinking down into a basement to sneak into Oki Bowl, but it passed after a few sips of beer, Erector Set notwithstanding.

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