Donburi squeezed into Adams Morgan a little over a year ago and has been serving up mean Japanese street food ever since. This has created some competition with Sakuramen, my other favorite asian joint in the area but the menus are composed of different dishes.
Donburi, literally means “bowl” and all the ingredients are simmered together and served over rice. Donburi is different from ramen because it is not broth based. The braising liquid from the meat and vegetables creates more of a sticky, sweet sauce.
Donburi’s donburi sauce is made with soy sauce, dashi, caramelized onions and a half cooked egg. This gives it the sweet, salty, gooey consistency I mentioned earlier. This sauce is amazing and and packed with flavor. I have sampled several dishes including: Katsudon- pork loin and tenderloin, Unagidon- barbecued eel, Shitakedon-mushrooms, and Gyodon-beef brisket. The protein differs for each dish but they are generally served with scallions, sprouts. It’s had to pick a favorite but a good intro bowl is the shitakedon or Katsudon. The Unagidon is very unique and the protein adds a fishy and smoky flavor to the classic sauce.
There also one appetizer that is actually a refreshing end to a Donburi meal. The salmon sashimi is thick, fatty and delicious. It is reminiscent of more lively sushi without the sticky rice and the addition of fresh cucumbers and ginger.
Donburi offers take out and all counter seating that lets you see the live cooking action. The pans used to simmer the vegetables are particularly intriguing. Another awesome part about the tiny restaurant is the tremendously upbeat vibe and literal great beats that they play. Hip hop ranging from contemporary to the 90’s is almost playing with all the line cooks singing and rapping along.