I went to the Japanese grocery store "Daruma" this weekend complete with shopping list, mouth ready for some good food afterwards when, imagine my shock, I discovered the store completely gone--without a trace! Part of the space was now occupied by a ramen restaurant. It was a real bummer. This was our favorite Japanese grocery store of 22 years. Over the years it moved location three times finally settling in Bethesda. Although there are a few other oriental markets and one other smaller Japanese market nearby, our ability to get Japanese food ingredients has definitely diminished dramatically.
A few months ago we noticed that their inventories were a bit sparse with empty shelf showing through, but we certainly did not think they would be closing. In the same location, we now have Ren's Ramen as a stand alone ramen restaurant. This restaurant started out as a few tables and stools "a store inside the store" of Daruma. Maybe, I will start a review of ramen noodle places (only problems is the number of places is extremely limited--albeit one more than a few weeks ago).