Oki Bowl is run by chef and co-owner Metinee “May” Lieppert. Oki bowl has two branches in Washington, DC– one in Georgetown and second at Dupont circle. Although Ramen is a dish of Japan, the chef’s Thai heritage is a positive influence on the recipes, adding fermented flavors and the taste of red chili.
Both places have a unique ambiance that includes decorations too, which are a conglomerate of everything you can find to decorate your home. They range from a broken grandma’s clock, to old cable wires, lamps of every color and numerous birdhouses. Though it is surprising how everything just comes together. The interior designer who has decorated the place with the scrapyard theme is Wirat Assawamahasakda.
I have been there twice, and both times the server has been nothing but pleasant to me. They are happy to have a conversation about variety of sake that is served or the food, with a smile on their faces.
The restaurant has 5 types of Ramen, including one vegetarian option( Galanga Ramen). I tried the Tom-Yum with egg, as well as with jumbo prawn and Galanga Ramen –tempura kale with coconut milk broth. They were amazing!! The Oki bowl offers a variety of appetizers and drinking options as well, such as sake and soju. In sake, I had Junmai Ginjo, Kikusui, and Shochikubai. Every sake leaves you feeling a little different on your tongue. Sometimes refreshing, sometimes hot and sometimes just chilled. After having their Ramen I was left with an outwardly feel. Every condiment in that Ramen just hits you in different corners of your brain and heart. The tom-yum soup has a blend of shiitake mushrooms, lemongrass, kefir, red pepper, and fried prawn. A lot is going on in every bowl of Ramen. The sake helps you in cleansing your palette in between the flavor-rich bites of the ramen. The chef has introduced Thai spices in a Japanese dish and nobody is complaining because it just takes it to another different level of good taste.
The Ramen is priced between $13-$15 and other appetizers also have a relatively reasonable price of around $7, which is not cheap and neither expensive in DC. Whereas, the sake price ranges from $6-$23. When I went to Oki, the sake prices were not written on the menu, and I assumed (like a fool) that it is a small 350ml bottle and cannot be more than the price of Ramen, but I was completely wrong. The sake I had was priced at $18, which I think was expensive compared to the other menu items. After doing some research I found that sake is a premium imported item so that is why such a high price tag.
Looking for a good ramen bowl or cuisine that will leave you wanting for more than Oki bowl is your place to go.
Oki Bowl DC
1817 M St. NW. 202-750-6703. www.okibowldc.com.
Oki Bowl @ Georgetown, 1608 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 3 a.m.; and Saturday, 5 p.m. to 3 a.m.
Nearest Metro: Dupont Circle and Farragut North, with about a 0.3-mile walk to the DC location restaurant.
For Georgetown location get down at the Foggy Bottom metro station and walk is 1 mile
Prices: $10-$13 for ramen and rice bowls and sake $6-$23