Katsuya Fukushima. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)
Daikaya chef Katsuya Fukushima set a timer for three minutes and started the intensely fast process of preparing a bowl of the restaurant's vegetable ramen; we happily invaded the ramen restaurant's small kitchen, moving our cameras out of the way of noodles being plucked from boiling water and carefully placed inside a bowl of steaming broth.
We wanted to capture the organized chaos of the ramen shop, and four other restaurants, in videos accompanying The Post's annual 40 Eats guide to the dishes every Washingtonian must try in 2014. Take a look inside the kitchens of Chocolate Crust, Daikaya, Rose's Luxury, Water & Wall and Woodlands Vegan Bistro to see why each chef thinks his or her dish is among D.C.'s essential eats.
• 40 Eats: The dishes every Washingtonian must try in 2014
Vegetable ramen at Daikaya
The vegetable filled ramen has gained a following at Daikaya, according to chef Katsuya Fukushima. The bowl practically overflows with carrots, bean sprouts, snap peas, noodles and a seaweed-based broth. Even though it lacks meat, it does not lack flavor. (Music: "Good" by Podington Bear) (Randy Smith and Jayne Orenstein/The Washington Post)
Doissant at Chocolate Crust
Chocolate Crust's doissant is hybrid of a doughnut and croissant based off of the cronut from New York's Dominique Ansel Bakery. The flavors rotate every month, but for February, a heart-shaped doissant filled with chocolate cream and topped with pistachios, white chocolate and caramel was on the menu at the Brightwood bakery. (Music: "Pouncin'" by Poddington Bear) (Kyle Barss and Jayne Orenstein/The Washington Post)
Pork and litchi salad at Rose's Luxury
Peanuts, garlic chips, herbs, coconut, red onions, country ham and litchi are just some of the many ingredients that compose Rose's Luxury unique pork and litchi salad. Chef Aaron Silverman says it hits many flavorful notes, which is one of the reasons why it is so popular. (Music: "Carefree to Careful" by Podington Bear) (Randy Smith and Jayne Orenstein/The Washington Post)
Macaroni and cheese at Woodlands Vegan Bistro
Woodlands Vegan Bistro chef Mickiyah Woodland says almost every customer has a helping of the restaurant's macaroni and cheese. The comfort food, made without milk or cheese, is a staple at the vegan soul food restaurant. (Music: "Chauncy" by Podington Bear) (Randy Smith and Jayne Orenstein/The Washington Post)
Duck confit at Water & Wall
Water & Wall's succulent duck confit with crispy brussels sprouts and truffle aioli is a mix of sweet, salty, savory, sour and bitter flavors, according to chef Tim Ma. (Randy Smith and Jayne Orenstein/The Washington Post)