Quick Takes: Donburi

We check out Japanese rice bowls in Adams Morgan.
Quick Takes: Donburi
Seungjoon Jang, chef/owner of Donburi in Adams Morgan, prepares a Japanese-style rice bowl. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Good things happen when chefs think small. Take this sliver of a Japanese spot in DC’s Adams Morgan, home to 14 stools and a single focus: the Japanese rice bowls that chef/owner Seungjoon Jang hands to customers across an L-shaped bar. Distractions are few in the minimalist room, including drinks (limited to sodas and tea) and sides, such as a standout salmon sashimi. Still, we’re content watching the Korean-born Jang scoop perfectly toothsome rice into deep bowls and slide sizzling skillets of crispy pork katsudon, fried egg, caramelized onions, and sweet-salty donburi sauce on top.

A plus of such a tiny menu is that it’s hard to order badly. Though if there’s a dish worth waiting an hour for on busy nights, it’s the buttery lobes of barbecued eel perked up with pickled ginger and radishes. The good news: Lunch is less chaotic, and takeout can be just as satisfying if you’re not traveling far.

This article appears in the May 2014 issue of Washingtonian.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.