When Hiroaki Mitsui first came to DC to play semi-professional basketball, he couldn’t find the Japanese comfort food that he craved. Seeing this culinary void, he decided that he would take it upon himself to bring his hometown favorites like okonomiyaki and curry rice to the DMV. Ramen by UZU began as a small pop-up in February 2016 inside of Union Market. He has since gone on to be named the DMV’s best cheap Japanese restaurant by Washingtonian Magazine. Takashi Nakajima joined Ramen by UZU in 2017 as the creative director.