Sunday, May 27, 2012

Toki Underground Revisited - It ain't just soup.

1234 H St. N.E.
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 388-3085
More than just Ramen.  Toki chef Erik Bruner-Yang is flavor master.  He takes some fairly humble ingredients and creates magic at his tiny restaurant in the Atlas District.  The picture above is the pan-fried dumpling dish that was recommended in the Washingtonian Cheap Eats 2012 that just came out.

Three very satisfied diners.  L to R me, Cheryl Bolen aka my wife, and Chef Jayson Lewellyn.

Don't skip the sake!  They have a very nice selection and John behind the bar was happy to discuss the finer points of each with us.
Here is a bowl of beauty. The flavors he coaxes out of bones, beaks, and whatever else he's throwing in his stock pots is amazing.  I went with the Miso base, while Cheryl got the original and Jayson got the Curry.
They had a couple of specials Saturday.  This was the first one we tried:  Pork Cheek.  Perfect and tender, served with some pickled veg and bbq sauce.

This was a special they were running that the guy sitting next to me had.  He saw me taking pictures and offered up his bowl.  Lots of crawfish in a steamy, fragrant sauce.  It looked great too. 
Crispy, perfect pork belly.
The finishing touch to the evening was the dessert.  Cheryl absolutely LOVED this.  It was coconut ice cream with shortbread, strawberries and raspberries.  She licked the bowl....not really, but almost.  This night was special for another reason:  There was enough light for me to take pictures!  Sweet.

Some notes about this restaurant.  It's small, but it is absolutely worth the wait.
This restaurant is unique and one of the best bargains in the city. 
They could charge twice what they do and I would say the same thing. 
 They have engaged CityEats to do their seating coordination and reservations, so  you stand a better chance of getting a seat these days.  Good news for everyone.
If you go, tell Joe, John, Erik and crew you read about it here.
Happy dining.

Toki Underground on Urbanspoon
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