Usually when you think of ramen, you think of the 50-cent packages with the super salty “spice” mix bag. However, Toki Underground on H Street will erase that from your memory. The spot serves Taiwanese-style ramen and dumplings plus Asian-themed cocktails in a small, hip spot decorated with East Asian touches like small action figures and beers from the region.
My favorite item on the menu is their staple, the Toki classic with thick noodles, pulled pork, vegetables, an egg, sesame, seaweed and herbs. The broth is hearty (and really has the toasted sesame flavor) the noodles are perfectly cooked and it’s good all around. I recommend asking for extra noodles. Everything else is good too, you basically can’t go wrong.
Drinks-wise, they have beer from Asia, like Taiwanese, Okinawan and Korean beer for $ 5, plus more expensive big cans of Japanese beer. There’s also a lot of sake, which goes well with the salty, herby ramen, plus a big selection of Japanese whiskey and Asian-inspired cocktails with ingredients like oolong tea, ginger, plus Asian takes on traditional cocktails. They have Japanese whiskey sometimes too, which can be hard to come by. The bartenders really know their stuff, too, and are happy to talk about the drinks.
The place can get crowded, so you may want to get there early, get on the list and then have a drink somewhere nearby while you wait, but it’s worth it. One of my favorite restaurants in D.C.! Great for cold days, too.