Perhaps the second time will be the charm for ramen shops trying to gain a foothold in the Town of Vienna at 234 Maple Avenue East.
Newcomer Akai Tori Ramen and Yakitori is on track to open in the 3,000-square-foot building on Jan. 28, replacing the short-lived Shin Se Kai Ramen, as first reported by Eater DC. A spokesperson emphasized to FFXnow that the date is a soft opening.
“We just tell our followers this winter or around the end of January as we don’t want to be overwhelmed and would like to be able to provide the best customer service and quality food as we can,” they said.
Akai Tori, which translates to “red bird,” confirmed that it’s not affiliated with Shin Se Kai, whose initially temporary closure early in the Covid pandemic became permanent despite its owner’s hopes.
Instead, Akai Tori comes from a face familiar to Vienna diners: chef-owner Mark Liu is behind Sushi Yoshi, the long-standing establishment on Church Street. Restaurateur Cody Zhou, who is opening the Mochinut franchise in Reston, is also a partner.
While the Tysons area has other eateries that specialize in ramen, such as Jinya Ramen Bar in the Mosaic District and Hokkaido Ramen Santouka at The Boro, Akai Tori promises that its noodle soups will stand out.
“Our ramen is definitely the differentiator,” the business said via Instagram. “Our ramen broth is made by hand for hours using our own recipe whereas most of the ramen places in DMV use the pre-made broth purchased from the suppliers (they will mix it with water and other sauces though).”
In addition to ramen, the menu will feature traditional Japanese cuisine like yakitori, donburi and katsu rice bowls, and sushi. Specialties include cheese bomb takoyaki, salmon sashimi katsu, an akai tori sushi roll, and bacon-wrapped mochi rice cakes, according to the spokesperson.
There will also be seasonal options and desserts like tempura ice cream and matcha parfait. Japanese snacks and drinks will be available from a concession stand in the waiting area.
Inspired by Japan’s informal Izakaya bars, the restaurant will serve “a curated range of Japanese beers, sake, and spirits” and hopes to attract “night owls” by staying open a little later than many other Vienna establishments.
The planned operating hours are:
- Monday: 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5-9 p.m.
- Tuesday: Closed
- Wednesday and Thursday: 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5-10 p.m.
- Friday: 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5-11 p.m.
- Saturday: 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.
- Sunday: 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.
The spokesperson notes that the hours “might be changed later on.”
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