Hopefully the first of many, Hump Day Chomp is a new weekly posting that intends, perhaps unsuccessfully, to make your Hump day a bit less humpy. We’ve found restaurants that are (mostly) cheap, rarely visited by our Georgetown amigos and, above all, pretty freaking good to get you through the week. So without further ado, I would like to presenteth our first Hump Day Chomp, Toki Underground.
Toki Underground is a small, cozy restaurant located at 1234 H St. NE, nuzzled between another Asian restaurant and one of those dark bars with scary tattooed bartenders. As you go up the narrow stairs, you can hear 90s music playing and Toki’s red lighting infiltrate the walkway. For a split second, I wondered if I was being taken into some sort of Red Light District, praying that I wouldn’t get deported if I somehow got caught. Thankfully, my friend and I were greeted by a smiling hostess.
Toki does not have any tables — only limited bar seating. The dangling lamps and awesome wall art make you feel as though you are in a hip, hole-in-the-wall in central Kyoto. All germaphobes can rejoice because there is an open kitchen to the left, in case you are worried about the noodle-making process. The waiter behind the bar also happens to be the bartender, which is cool but might lead to poor choices considering you have class on Thursday.
Their menu is pretty short and their specialty is Taiwanese ramen, but they also have different types of dumplings. We ordered the pork dumplings to share and I had the vegetarian ramen that had roasted root vegetables soup, tofu, daikon and shitake mushrooms. My friend had the Toki Classic, with pulled pork and pickled ginger. I immediately regretted my decision.
Ramen bowls cost $11 or $12, and they are HUGE. You will feel fuller than Chris Christie after an all-you-can-eat buffet at Friday’s, so believe me when I say it’s worth it. They also offer an assortment of Japanese beers and sakes that the waiter/bartender will gladly pair with whatever you decide to order.
All in all, Toki Underground was fan-freaking-tastic. Although you might have to wait a while for the limited bar seating, H Street is a good place to explore while you kill time. They also offer take-out, so give ‘em a call if you’re in a hurry. Once we sat down, however, the food came very quickly. Get out of the Gtown Bubble and have some fun. Remember, winter is coming.
1234 H St NE
Nearest metro stop: Union Station on the red line. You might want to share an Uber once you get there, as H St. is more than a mile from the stop.