Quick Takes: Donburi

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