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50 Best Restaurants: The ramen broth is best at Marumen

The transformed Pizza Hut in Fairfax (and sister location in Sterling) serves up steaming bowls of complexity and flavorful ingredients.

Photo by Stefanie Gans

By Stefanie Gans and Rina Rapuano

Maurmen

Fairfax & Sterling | Japanese & Korean | $

Expanding to fresh digs in Sterling doesn’t mean there aren’t still several compelling reasons to visit the original in Fairfax, in what, as any ’80s kid knows, is clearly the repurposed dining room of a former Pizza Hut. The chashu floating in both the shio and shoyu ramen broths was every bit as luscious and flavorful as slurpers want it to be. The server deftly fielded questions about which broth is lighter for one diner, which might be richer and deeper for another diner. Success comes in the form of each declaring their broth is the best. Izakaya mainstays like karaage (Japanese-style fried chicken) and a seafood okonomiyaki (pan-fried battered pancake) show off the kitchen’s ability to serve up all the things that go well with an evening of drinks. A three-piece order of mochi speared with toothpicks is the only acceptable way to end. // 3250 Old Pickett Road, Fairfax; 21438 Epicerie Plaza, Sterling

This post originally appeared in our November 2019 issue’s 50 Best Restaurants cover story. For more food reviews, subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

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