I have a confession, and there is no place like the internet to do such a thing. Here it goes (dramatic pause), I have never had real ramen before.
Enter: Daikaya Ramen House which is below its small-plates partner, Izakaya. Everyone in the DMV area has always raved about the place. However, they have also complained about the wait time (some have waited for an hour and a half). My friend convinced me to go on a Sunday around 15:30 because she suspected the line would not be too bad. We ended up having an hour wait. Fortunately, we were able to give them our number and they said they would text us when it was our turn. We went and had drinks across the street at Penn Commons, and before we knew it, the wait was over.
The menu at Daikaya is quite simple. They have a few versions of ramen and add-ons such as an egg marinated in pork fat, bamboo shoots, vegetables, etc. The staff are quite helpful and know their ramen inside and out, so if you are like me and have only had the Cup of Noodles version, trust their judgment. I ended up getting the spicy miso ramen and regret absolutely NOTHING about that decision.
The service was very fast and the ambiance was very casual. Daikaya is quite small and has a quick turnaround, so you do not want to go there with a big party nor expect a long drawn out meal.