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UZU has been sporadically filling District bellies with Japanese comfort food like curry rice and savory pancakes called okonomiyaki. First founder Hiro Mitsui operated a counter inside Shopkeepers on Florida Avenue NE. Now he’s moving into a stall at Union Market with the help of partner Takashi Nakajima and his wife Tanya Camp.
Starting Saturday, UZU will serve shoyu ramen ($13.50) and miso ramen ($14.50). “I always wanted to do something in Union Market because the vibe is really good,” Mitsui says. He started cooking at Honeycomb, the former Asian grocery store in the market run by Chef Erik Bruner-Yang. “It’s like coming back to my roots.”
Find UZU’s bubbling broths at the same stall that houses B. Doughnut on Saturdays and Sundays. As soon as the doughnuts are sold out for the day, typically around 1 p.m., Mitsui and Nakajima will take over and start serving ramen until they run out or until the market closes.
Later on Mitsui plans to expand the menu beyond ramen.
“Eventually I want to have a brick and mortar,” Mitsui says, setting a goal. “For now I’m testing to see if people like it or not.” Since the Union Market UZU stall only operates on the weekend, it frees Mitsui up to participate in other pop-ups and chef collaborations about town.
Union Market, 1309 5th St. NE, unionmarketdc.com