Daikaya izakaya is a hidden gem of Penn Quarter/Chinatown in Washington, DC. It’s divided into two separate restaurant spaces, the ramen shop on 1F and izakaya on 2F. From my experience Daikaya is ALWAYS packed. If you walk by, you’ll notice huge crowds waiting to get Ramen downstairs. I have never been lucky enough to experience the ramen shop; however, I believe the dark horse of Daikaya is the izakaya. If you are wondering like I was what an izakaya is, according to Wikipedia, the most reputable and reliable (sarcasm) source out there, an izakaya (居酒屋) is simply; a type of informal Japanese drinking establishment that serves food to accompany the drinks. They are casual places for after-work drinking.
“Izakaya is a type of restaurant that serves Japanese comfort food to accompany a wide range of drinks. Dining is all-purpose, perfect for after work, before a night out, as a full supper, or for a late bite with friends… In this spirit, we also like to put our twist on our dishes and drinks and embrace our role as an izakaya in DC, with international and American influences as we feel inspired.” -Daikaya Owners
Simple enough, right? Yes. That’s what I thought. And the menu is exactly that. Each dish has only a small handful of ingredients and every single item is packed with tons of flavor.
Dinner at Izakaya consists of small plates, which is good thing because it gives you an opportunity to try a lot of different things. But I absolutely think one of the stars on the menu is the grilled avocado AND as it turns out, can be made fairly quickly with very few ingredients. Annnnd you can actually find these ingredients at your local grocery store. You will notice I didn’t use measurements. I just added the ingredients to my liking. You can play around with them. Use a little more ponzu or wasabi. Use a little less. Do what you like. You really can’t go wrong here.
- Ripe avocado
- Nori Sea Salt
Heat your grill pan to medium high. Brush the flesh of the avocado with vegetable oil and place it flesh side down on the grill pan. I cooked the avocado for about 5-7 minutes. Just enough to get the grill marks going. Add as little or as much wasabi and ponzu as you want to the center and sprinkle with nori salt and that’s it! Quick and simple. Pair it with your favorite veggies and you’re good to go.
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