Cheap Eats 2015: Donburi

Where we go for our favorite Japanese comfort food.


Seungjoon Jang, chef/owner of Donburi in Adams Morgan, prepares a Japanese-style rice bowl. Photograph by Scott Suchman

About Donburi


2438 18th St NW
Washington, DC 20009
1134 19th St NW
Washington, DC 20036

The rice bowls at this minimalist Japanese eatery in Adams Morgan aren’t as trendy as ramen—which is a good thing, given that the counter-style setup here fits only 14 stools. But the dish packs just as much comfort as a good noodle soup. Chef/owner James Jang scoops toothsome grains into deep ceramic bowls; tops them with crispy pork loin, caramelized onions, and a runny egg from a hissing skillet; and finishes the whole thing with house-made pickles and umami-rich donburi sauce—like a robust, sweet/salty soy—or spicy Japanese beef curry. Panko-coated shrimp and fried chicken are also options, though we’re partial to the non-fried side of the menu, which includes tender sous-vide chicken thighs and roasted Asian mushrooms (the latter carry out particularly well).

Cuisine: Japanese

Where you can get it: 2438 18th St., NW; 202-629-1047

Also good: Donburi with salmon sashimi and ginger, shaved brisket, or barbecue eel; uzaku, a side of barbecue eel with cucumbers.

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 Petworth.

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.