Ichiban, McLean

I hadn’t been to the McLean Ichiban in awhile, and I wanted to go and give them my support today – if you scroll up, you’ll see they were closed for six weeks (a remarkably *short* six weeks) after a car ran through the front of their restaurant, causing front wall damage.

Also, if you go here, you’ll notice that there appear to be at least three independent Ichiban’s in the DC area.

Sitting at the sushi bar for a late lunch, I got a cup of hot tea (gratis), and didn’t see anything that really excited me, so I ordered a couple of rolls, thinking I’d at least keep it on the healthy end.

However, I looked over to my right, and noticed a chalkboard, and on it was written Pork Ramen ($12). Given the ramen craze in this town of late? I felt it was my *duty* to try it. I’m glad I had a book, because it was a good ten minutes before it arrived (which is perfectly reasonable, but I’m still glad I had a book).

Although one person has described it as looking like  “dirty dish water,” I can assure everyone it was a perfectly decent bowl of ramen, with two large pieces of pork – it was on the bland side, but came with some chili-sesame oil (I can’t remember the brand, but it looked like a tiny jar of iodine drops) – anyway, I didn’t use it except to give it a taste (and sure enough, it tasted like chili-sesame oil). The “dirty dishwater look” of the ramen might have been due to Hakata Tonkotsu.

Ichiban’s was a serviceable bowl of ramen – nothing great, and not bad at all. More importantly, the restaurant was full by the time I left, and even had a very short wait. This made me happy given what they had suffered earlier in the year.

I’ve never been a big fan of the McLean Ichiban, especially considering Tachibana is right down the street – it’s not cheap, and the sushi and sashimi are of middling quality.

Remember also that this is apparently *not* the Ichiban whose owners also run Asian Kitchen on Lee Highway in Arlington, better known as “the parking lot for District Taco” – that honor goes to the Ichiban in Alexandria.

Do you want a rave review? I can’t give you one. Do you want a trashing? I can’t give you that either. Ichiban is middle-of-the-road sushi, and serves a purpose for McLean workers seeking a quick and healthy lunch break that won’t break the bank.

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