I had the chance to check out Dashi today for lunch and it was well worth the wait. The space is cozy – bright bar, beautiful wood benches and tables and music that’s at the perfect volume for both enjoying and being able to actually hear your dinner companions. It was packed today but the servers were able to move easily through the space and it didn’t feel packed. They managed to have tables at the perfect distance that you didn’t feel crowded by your neighbors. The service was friendly, attentive and it was great to see Kelli, one of the owners and whom you will recognize from Toast, working the floor and greeting folks with her usual cheery disposition. There is a well curated wine list, brought to you by Wine Authorities and if you’re a sake lover this is your place.
The food however is the star. I ordered the Tonkotsu – roasted pork belly, black kale, wood ear mushrooms, pickled ginger and scallion in an amazingly rich, full-bodied broth made from pork bones simmered for over 10 hours. The bowl was beautiful. The spoon – beautiful. The ramen – deliciously chewy noodles with that ringlet shape you’ll recall from your 10 for a dollar college ramen days but that’s where the comparison stops. This broth and the noodles – perfect. The pork belly was truly amazing – rich but not greasy and packed with flavor.
My friend had the Miso, ground pork, soy-marinated soft egg, pickled cabbage, sweet potato, bean sprouts and scallion in miso broth. This however is not the miso I’m accustomed to as it was more fully flavored, lightly salted and much fresher and brighter in taste than any miso I’ve ever had before. Each individual component of the dish was perfectly seasoned and differed in taste but combined to make a perfect bite each time.
I really enjoyed my meal here. As for the price point, it is worth the cost for the quality of food you’re getting, the quantity and the level of care and attention you receive from the servers. I look forward to trying the upstairs bar and the small plates offered there. Here’s a link to the menu: http://www.dashiramen.com/menu-3/
Dashi Ramen, 415 E. Chapel Hill Street, Ramen Shop 11:30-2:30; 5:30-10:30 M-Sat.; Isakaya 5-2AM