Akira Ramen & Izakaya
1800 Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD 20852
Finally. A decent ramen joint on the pike. There are a bunch, but they are not of the same quality you're going to be treated to at Akira. These guys make their own noodles. No powdered stocks. They're doing the hard work and doing it well for the most part.
The picture above is their eponymous Akira Ramen with Tonkotsu broth. This is a fairly light and not too salty.
This is the Chashu Bun. A piece of pork belly on a steamed bun with some pickled veg and lettuce. Very tasty.
The Akira Volcano Ramen...this is what I came for.
Spicy, rich, awesome. The chili oil floating on top of the Tonkotsu broth had enough heat to make me break a sweat, but it was perfect for the day.
Nice touches abound in this little restaurant.
The open kitchen provides you a nice view of what's going on. If it's one or two of you going I'd recommend sitting at the counter so you can enjoy the show.
The wok is flaming, and so are the torches for the pork.
They've got a bunch of cool tools here besides torches. The noodle dunkers you see on the left are automatically timed and the device not he right was kicking up steam and keeping the ramen bowls warm.
Did I mention the torches? This guy was having fun.
The Karaage deep fried chicken is presented with what I thought was going to be horseradish mustard but turned out to be a Sriracha aioli. Inventive!
The second time I went I got to try my friend's Tonkotsu Shoyu. It was a little sweeter than I like, but he enjoyed it.
I saw this coming out of the back kitchen and snapped a pick, but didn't get to try it. One of the chefs said it was pretty good, so I'll be trying this next time as well as the gyoza. They looked awesome.
As a matter of fact, I think I'll work my way down the entire appetizer list so I can make sure I'm not missing anything else.
When you go, unless you're going off-peak you may have to wait. It's a popular place. It's definitely a hit.
Thanks for reading! If you go tell them you read about it on Pleasures of the Table.