Food News Review: Daikaya Opens, Bad Signs at Hell-Burger, NoPa Picks a Chef

Plus: Old Ebbitt Express shutters after nearly two decades in business.

A steak and cheese by Ray’s Hell-Burger owner Michael Landrum. The restaurant’s former home at 1725 Wilson Boulevard is up for rent. Photograph by Erik Uecke.

It finally happened.
Daisuke Utagawa debuted his long-awaited Daikaya on Thursday—well, half of it, anyway. The upstairs
izakaya is still a work in progress, but you can now slurp Sapporo-style ramen downstairs.
Eater DC’s
Missy Frederick got a tour of the new space from its architect,
Brian Miller of Edit Lab at Streetsense; we’re digging those bright blue-and-yellow tile stripes.
[Eater DC]

Inauspicious signs in Arlington: There are “for rent” notices outside Ray’s Hell-Burger
and Ray’s Hell-Burger Too, dashing hopes that the dispute between owner
Michael Landrum and his landlord might be resolved. The property owner confirms the spaces are available;
no word yet from Landrum on Hell-Burger’s future. [Washingtonian]

Friday is the last day of business at Old Ebbitt Express. The fast-casual sibling
of one of Washington’s most storied spots has been serving breakfast and lunch to downtown worker types for almost 19 years.
An unnamed employee told Popville that Old Ebbitt Express was simply not making enough
money. [Popville]

Ashok Bajaj has selected Newfoundland native
Greg McCarty as the chef for his anticipated Penn Quarter brasserie NoPa. McCarty has worked for
Jean-Georges Vongerichten at Jean-Georges and Nobu Matsuhisa at Nobu 57. [Eater DC]

In other chef news,
Ed Hardy has been tapped to cook at Bistro Vivant in McLean. No, he’s not the guy that makes skull-and-roses T-shirts for bros to wear
to the club. He is a Virginia native who came up under
Marcus Samuelsson. Hardy replaces
Driss Zahidi at the French restaurant at 1394 Chain Bridge Road. [Washingtonian]

Remember when it was hard to find a really good hoagie or po’ boy downtown? Those
days are gone, thanks to a proliferation of excellent ’wich options in the slice of
Washington between Dupont Circle and the White House. It’s often referred to as the
Golden Triangle, but Anna Spiegel proposes we now refer to it as the Sandwich Triangle.
Anyway, here’s a preview of new sub joint Bub and Pop’s and a photo that will make
you want to eat lunch early. [Washingtonian]

So you’ve always wanted to pay $1,500 for a cocktail. Great news! New nightclub Heist
will be offering one on Friday and Saturday. The three-part drink features a “palate
cleanser” of Ace of Spades (very pricey Champagne), sorbet, and grapefruit; a Remy Martin
XO Cognac cocktail with white fig jam, chocolate bitters, and—this is why it is so
expensive—a clean-cut diamond; and a glass of Ace of Spaces with frozen Champagne
grapes. Part of the proceeds from the drink will go to charity. [Young & Hungry]

Popular neighborhood coffee shop Sova is closing on Sunday, but should reopen Monday
under new ownership. The guys behind neighbor Biergarten Haus will be redecorating
the coffee shop and introducing a menu of panini, fresh soups, and salad. [Frozen

Congratulations to Maple Avenue toque
Tim Ma, voted DC’s Hottest Chef by readers of Eater. Ma was also voted one of the city’s
three top chefs this year in
Washingtonian reader restaurant survey.
[Eater DC]

Expansion complete, Wilson Tavern has reopened at 2403 Wilson Boulevard in Arlington.
ArlNow reports that owner
Reese Gardner plans to use the added space as an opportunity to focus on the food program at the
two-year-old spot—Wilson Tavern has been mostly booze-centric since its relaunch in
May of 2012. [ArlNow]

Currently cooking at Shaw “restaurant incubator” Hogo? Jewish deli fare from local
real estate professional
Renee Peres. There is a brisket sandwich, a whitefish salad, stuffed cabbage, and more. Following
Peres at the Hogo stove will be Rose’s Luxury toque
Aaron Silverman.
[Young & Hungry]