With the explosion of ramen places in DC, I'm beginning to detect a theme. Offering too many choices by producing a rather thin flavor profile and then adding extras to perk it up.
At Sakuramen I tried the tonkatsu red, which is pork bone soup spiced up with red pepper, in this case chili oil. Notice that they don't offer simply tonkatsu ramen, without the red oil. When I asked about this, the waitperson recommended against ordering it without the chili oil. I was told they prepared it from 1 to 5 on a spicy level, and 3 was recommended to me, so that's what I got.
I tasted some of the soup with only a tiny bit of the chili oil, and I agree I doubt I would have been happy with the plain broth, but the chili oil was just irritating.
The great success here is the pork topping. It is GREAT, and it really puts Daikaya in the dust. I also got some bulgogi topping on the side. It's a bit too sweet for ramen, but I got it to counteract the chili oil. The noodles with the tonkotsu ramen are thin and wavy and ok. Some of the other ramens come with thick and curly noodles, so maybe those are better.
The other ramens on offer are from chicken stock which is unusual for ramen. I'll probably go back to try one of those.
I don't want to sound too picky. The place filled up quickly after opening, and any serious attempt at ramen is going to wind up being a cheap and delicious meal - but it is not without a wait unless you get there early.