Kodaiko Ramen & Bar
In the tradition of under-the-radar Japanese ramen-yas comes this basement noodle shop from Kru chef-owner Billy Ngo and ramen ace Takumi Abe. An illuminated neon sign of a steaming ramen bowl is your signal to descend into the historic brick-lined K Street space, updated with concrete floors and glittery indigo walls featuring gold bolts of kintsugi. The soup options are slim by design and minimally adorned. The tonkotsu gyokai features a rich, flavorful pork-and-fish broth, and the vegan mushroom paitan, a favorite of all dietary persuasions, has a luxurious finish, thanks to house-made cashew cream—adding a slice of the pork chashu is a popular meat hack for carnivores. Other toppings, such as a 64-degree onsen egg and roasted kabocha squash, are also optional. Additional snacking, however, is required: Don’t miss the hiyayakko tofu strewn with seasonal vegetables, a plate of house-made pickles (think salt-cured kohlrabi and kimchi), and the golden-fried chicken karaage—an izakaya staple—lifted by a zingy Tajín mayo in true fusion flair.