Ramen joints seem to be popping up all over DC lately. Taan in Adams Morgan is one of the latest, and it’s delightfully different from neighboring Sakuramen so I’m likely to have separate cravings for both.
The vegetarian ramen at Taan is actually more like borscht-meets-ramen. Beautiful beet red broth is topped with creme fraiche and pickled cabbage (that’s the borscht part) plus noodles, basil, spiced dried tomatoes, pickled carrots, soft little cubes of purple potatoes, and fresh off the cob grilled corn. The sweet and sour flavors meld nicely and the creme fraiche adds the right amount of richness. Vegans need not despair – your order can be de-dairified on request.
UPDATE: There’s now an expressly vegan ramen on the menu that looks equally delicious, with a soy milk base!
The ramen is a little pricey at $12, but that seems to be the going rate in DC (why, I’m not sure, since pho at nearby Pho 14 is $8.50). My other standing complaint is that I’d like to see a protein in vegetarian ramen and so far we’re still coming up short.
Two vegetarian appetizers are also available – sweet corn kakiage and fried green tomatoes without bacon. We went with corn, which is crunchy and fried with a spicy thousand island type dressing. It’s good but a bit heavy and not necessarily something I need to eat again. Since the semi-dried tomatoes in the ramen were so well done, I’ll give the fried green tomatoes a go next time.
Taan also has a complicated and ambitious cocktail menu, full of non-traditional ingredients like yuzu and soy sauce. I wasn’t convinced that they were worth the $12 so I didn’t take the plunge. Let us know what you think if you do!
1817 Columbia Road NW