Japanese Fusion at Haikan

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Katsuya Fukushima is the chef and co-owner of Haikan in Shaw. Photo by Alexander M. Padro, Courtesy Shaw Main Streets

Travel to Sapporo, Japan without ever leaving Shaw at Haikan (805 V St. NW). Traditional ramen dishes and unique Japanese flavors await.

Following his graduation from the University of Maryland, chef and co-owner Katsuya Fukushima spent years developing his skills at world renowned restaurants, including El Bulli in Spain. He returned to the District at the invitation of his mentor, renowned Chef José Andrés, to helm Cafe Atlantico. The two later opened Minibar, where Fukushima served as the chef-de-cuisine. Along the way, he successfully competed on TV’s “Iron Chef” several times.

In 2013, Fukushima, along with two other business partners, Yama Jewayni and Daisuki Utuagawa, opened Daikaya (706 Sixth St. NW). This establishment is known for its authentic Japanese dishes in both The Ramen Shop on the first floor and Izakaya upstairs.

Haikan, the group’s second venture, means “pipe works” in Japanese. The odd name is a tribute to the historic Atlantic Plumbing Building in which the restaurant is located.

Haikan has both indoor and patio seating. It features Sapporo-style ramen with specialty noodles imported from Japan.

“We’re a neighborhood spot. Once you eat our ramen, you’re gonna be hooked,” Fukushima says.

Beyond the traditional ramen and Japanese-inspired small plates, Haikan throws a few culinary curve balls. Currently, its serves Mexican-inspired dishes with a Japanese twist, including ceviche, tacos, seafood and more.

The restaurant also has an extensive drink program that features Japanese sake, draft beer and a variety of unique, seasonal cocktails.

Like the food, Haikan’s décor is also a blend of cultures, combining design trends from the 1950s to 1970s in both DC and Japan.

Haikan is open Mondays through Wednesdays, 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Thursdays, 12 p.m. to 10 p.m., Fridays through Saturdays, 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Sundays 12 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Visit haikandc.com to learn more about their menu and to place an order for takeout or delivery.

Sarah Payne is a reporter for Capital Community News. She can be reached at sarahp@hillrag.com