Cheap Eats 2012: Toki Underground

Toki Hakata Classic Ramen. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Cheap Eats 2012

Soothing as a bowl of ramen may sound, there’s little that’s relaxing about this 23-seat perch, which features graffiti-scrawled walls, Wu-Tang Clan on the speakers, and frequently long waits. Servers hustle with the frenzied purpose of contestants on The Amazing Race, delivering sakes and shareable trays of dumplings—best ordered pan-fried—before dropping off deep bowls of the excellent Taiwanese-style noodle soup. Of the pork-based broths, the Hakata Classic is our favorite. It comes with pulled pork shoulder and egg, and we doll it up with a side of Endorphin Sauce, a riff on fiery Sriracha. Don’t overlook the ambitious specials menu, which recently showcased a lovely blue-crab-and-papaya salad and a hearty round of duck wings.

Also good: Pork-fat noodles (a special); pork and beef dumplings; miso ramen; five-spice snickerdoodle cookies with milk.

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.