Walk the Line

Erik Bruner-Yang's leaving Toki Underground to open a restaurant at The Line Hotel

For the past five years, Erik Bruner-Yang's name has been almost synonymous with his restaurant, Toki Underground, a Taiwanese-influenced ramen-ya in Washington, D.C.—which still regularly draws lines and helped kick off the city's ramen scene. Now he is stepping down as the executive chef and owner to focus on a restaurant in the upcoming Line Hotel in Adams Morgan.

Bruner-Yang says it's too early to say what type of food will be served at that restaurant. "It's still very loose," he explains. But seeing as the Sydell Group (which operates The NoMad Hotel in New York) is behind it, it's likely to be stylish and "groundbreaking" in some way, he adds. He's also aiming high with the hotel's room service. At The Line Hotel in L.A.'s Koreatown, Roy Choi's room service has "set the standard," Bruner-Yang says. "If someone comes to D.C. and orders room service, it better be as impressive."

He isn't the only chef who will take up residency in the hotel. Baltimore-based Spike Gjerde of Woodberry Kitchen will also open a restaurant there when the hotel opens early next year.

In the meantime, Bruner-Yang will have his hands busy with a Shake Shack collaboration that kicks off in a couple of days. He developed the crispy Peking sandwich for the Shacks in D.C. and Baltimore. The sandwich, which will be available April 15 to 24, is made with fried chicken breast, Bruner-Yang's homemade hoisin, cucumbers, pickles and scallions on a potato roll. Stay tuned for more details on that hotel restaurant as they come above ground.

Find Toki Underground here, or in our DINE app.