The first time I went to Toki Underground, I fell in love with its small, eclectically decorated space, friendly staff, and bowls of steaming broth filled with noodles, vegetables, an egg and various other ingredients you may choose.
When my friend Cecilia suggested we go to Toki for a second visit last week, I said YES. Toki is located in the growing H Street neighborhood, which as bad as this might sound, is not my typical hangout. I can't wait for the H Street trolley (bus?) to start operating so I can visit that part of DC more often.
The night was windy and gray, and the rain was out of control. We thought we'd have no trouble snatching a few seats. We were wrong. Even at 6:30 on a random Wednesday night, the wait was about 45 minutes. Trust me: it's WORTH it.
We went back out into the rain to cross the street to Smith Commons for drinks.
We decided to share an order of steamed seafood dumplings adn an asparagus salad, and then order a bowl of ramen each.
We sat at the bar overlooking the pots bubbling with the delicious broth and got to see the masters at work. Each bowl went through a taste test before it was served to customers.
Please don't judge the food by my yellowish photos. The flavor of the asparagus salad with pickled ramps was fresh and acidic. The dumplings were light, and a steal for $5.
But the star of the night was definitely the ramen. For the second time in a row, I ordered Kimchi Hakata: Tonkotsu noodle soup with pork loin, chashu, seasonal vegetables, boiled egg, sesame, scallions, nori and locally made kimchi.
Cecilia ordered a Curry Chicken Hakata (not pictured). After trying the original flavor and the curry flavor, I think my choice was the best :) The spiciness of the kimchi cut through the fattiness of the broth, pork and egg, freshening up the entire dish.
I'm not sure how, but I managed to save half of my bowl for lunch the next day. If Toki Underground were open for lunch, I'd be in trouble since I work in (sort of) walking distance of them ;)
Thanks for a great night!!