North End Shaw’s food renaissance
Photos by Tony Brown
As residential high-rises have sprung up and pumped more young people in to the Shaw neighborhood, precious ground level square footage has gone up for grabs. Three seasoned chefs jumped at the opportunity to bring their unique culinary styles to the burgeoning neighborhood.
HAZEL (808 V Street, NW)
DON’T MISS: Kampachi Crudo // Grandma’s Zucchini Bread
Happy, fun and free-spirited define Rob Rubba’s hip eatery where the concept centers around medium-sized shareable plates combining international cooking styles and ingredients. Rubba calls it “personal cuisine,” explaining that “it’s very much about what’s inspiring me at the moment. …We’re not grounded to any one cuisine here.”
BOTTOM LINE: Culinary creativity, check stuffiness at the door.
KYIRISAN (1924 8th Street, NW)
DON’T MISS: Raw Sea Bass // Freebird Wings
Expanding from hisVirginia outposts,Tim Ma instinctively took a gamble on the Shaw space years ago when it was just a hole in the ground and the neighborhood had more grit. Ma merges his team’s French training with traditional Chinese cooking techniques and ingredients to drive multi-faceted dishes, none of which take themselves too seriously.
BOTTOM LINE: “People should walk out of here full and happy,” Ma says, “at pretty much any cost.”
HAIKAN (805 V Street, NW)
DON’T MISS: Crab Rangoons // Shoyu Ramen
Chef Katsuya Fukushima values tradition above all at his Sapporo- style ramen shop where “honest and authentic” preparation forgoes “modern interpretations.” Noodles made in Sapporo exclusively for the restaurant are accompanied by a flavorful “Chintan” stock and classic toppings of pork, scallions, bean sprouts, garlic, onions and nori.
BOTTOM LINE: No-fuss ramen is good for the soul.
This article appeared in the March 2017 issue of Washington Life Magazine.