Image: Stir-Fried Noodles with pork belly.
Last Updated: June 2023
Current Status: Closed for good.
Hatoba does ramen like the other excellent shops in the Daikaya constellation, specifically it has piggy-backed off the flagship’s Sapporo-style bowls with some variations. But it also does more than that. The tos-and-fros of the pandemic offered a chance for Chef Katsuya Fukushima to play with the menu. He chose to lean into the slightly decadent and comforting Hawaiian food of his youth, with dishes like Spam Wasabi, coconut shrimp and poke. The creativity does not stop there, on a recent visit a there was a special of Elote Yakisoba that was noodles mixed with veggies and topped with kewpie mayo. You can also get ramen, of course. In fact, they just recently expanded the choices for what appears to be a seasonal installation of the full Daikaya list (and dropping the noodles pictured above).
The Pacific islands tenor is also reflected in the beverage program with Tiki-style drinks, in addition to more common cocktails and beer. The decorations in the large space next to Bluejacket (with a similarly-soaring ceiling) still lean toward Japan. Crowds can vary from light to very heavy depending on the night and what is happening at the ballpark.
Each of the Daikaya related spots seems to have its own character. The original Daikaya is meant to feel like a close-quartered shop serving up hearty bowls. Bantam King, with its focus on chicken, is a brighter, playful spot. Haikan seems the nerdiest, serving up bowls inspired by the “golden age” of ramen and small side plates. Hatoba, now, seems the most personal and most willing to push boundaries. We happily recommend all the spots, even if – or more accurately because – each one brings something different.
Washington Post: Emily Heil’s initial take in 2019.
Washington City Paper: Laura Hayes included the “BLT Yakisoba” on summer dishes to eat while watching the (delayed) Tokyo Olympics in 2021.