Akira Ramen & Izakaya and Urban Hot Pot are in a race to see who will be the first to open at the Columbia Mall. Located 100 yards apart (Akira next to Cold Stone Creamery at Twin River Road; Urban Hot Pot next to Halal Guys at Broken Land Parkway), both will sell their own style of asian soup. I biked past last Friday and snapped a picture of each through the window and both look close to being ready to go! They each have recently launched Facebook pages (linked above and both pages contain much better pictures than I ones I snapped!) and each have posted their intention to open by the end of February, so it truly will be an epic race to the finish to determine who will get the first chance to capture the hearts and bellies of the soup loving residents of downtown Columbia Maryland.
I covered Akira in one of my very first post (see below), so check that out for some details. I also previously detailed Urban Hot Pot (reposted below).
If you are like me and you don't know what Hot Pot is, then I found this Thrillist article to do a good job describing it. Any hot pot fans out there? Which one of these are you all most looking forward to? And if we can only get a Vietnamese place offering pho in one of the other empty retail bays in the Warfield spaces at the mall, then a truly epic battle can ensue!
January 30, 2020
I noticed new signage for Urban Hot Pot right next to Halal Guys coming soon to the Warfield retail spaces at the Columbia Mall. Like it's fellow soon to open neighbor Akira Ramen and Izakaya, this is a Rockville based Asian soup joint. It offers make-your-own, all-you-can-eat seafood, meat, and vegetables served in your own personal hot pot with toppings and fixings to your heart's content. But eat fast, they kick you out after 2 hours! Check out the raving review of the Rockville location from Washingtonian and pictures of the Rockville menu and new facade.
January 17, 2020
Akira Ramen and Izakaya at the Columbia Mall appears to be getting closer to opening. It's located across the street from Bonchon at Twin Rivers Road. Signage is up and a peek through the window shows that the internal build-out seems close to complete. Akira is a fast growing local chain with its original location in Rockville and recent openings in White Marsh, Baltimore (Canton), and DC (Adams Morgan). Reviews of these locations on Google and Yelp all seem stellar and menus from all locations appear nearly identical, so Columbia can expect plenty of ramen choices, appetizers, sake and beer. Looking forward to some tasty ramen!