While working the on the computer I spotted tonkatsu on the local news foodie segment. So I headed out for dinner tonight to Toki Underground, which opened earlier this year. The restaurant is small, above a pub which greets you with the smell of stale beer. However, upon entering the upstairs restaurant, you are transported by sound and sight into a hip asian noodle house. It was nearly full when I arrived a quarter past five.
I started with miso kiwi red potatoes, one of the specials. I did not really tast the kiwi, but the flavor was good, and the potatoes were cooked perfectly. Forgetting my tonkatsu ramen mission, I ordered another special instead. That is okay, I had a feeling I would be back.
Above is the abura tsukemen dish, a soba dish served with an oily, soy based sauce on the side, for dipping. The noodles were cooked in pork fat and included a generous portion of pork that tasted as if it were cooked in the tonkatsu broth. The dish also contained sesame and scallions. The broth tasted like salty tonkatsu broth. Not really one to follow directions, I ended up pouring the broth into the noodles - tasted awesome.
Quite reasonable and delicious, I will definitely be back. As with much of DC, parking can be a challenge, and similar to the Ramen places in Taiwan, Japan, and Korea, the restaurant is small and seating does not provide much personal space. I think my area on the shelf off one of the walls was about 14" by 20". Like in Asia, I sat on my coat and put my bag on the little shelf for your feet. The experience may be a little too cozy for some.
Regardless, the food is terrific and the atmosphere is authentic.