Raku - Las Vegas
This place is so good I had to post twice. It would be a shame for this place not to get the attention it deserves.
I just returned from Vegas and had an absolutely amazing 3am meal at Raku. This is legit, serious stuff even by LA standards. We had:
-Grilled whole mackeral. Delicious oily mackeral served with a side of grated daikon. Great stuff. The most expensive dish of the night at $30.
-Agedashi Tofu. The tofu itself was a bit coarser than other versions I've had but it's topped with ikura and a nice broth. Absoultely delicious stuff
-Chicken Kaarage. Fried chicken. It's a fried boneless leg sliced up instead of fried chunks. The chicken was incredibly moist and delicious and the spinach salad that it was served over was also good.
-Hot pot. A rich, milky white broth clearly made from the stewing of chicken feet and bones served with chicken meat balls and napa cabbage. The broth is so rich and complex that it's as good as any broth I've had in LA. Second most expensive item at $29.
-From the robata- chicken wing, tsukune (ground chicken), pork cheek, and steak. I preferred both chicken skewers to the steak though the steak was pretty good. The pork cheek was good but is more fat than meat...not necessarily a bad thing.
We showed up late and they were out of rice and oden. I was craving hot noodles so they did soba and a foie gras chawan mushi for me to dip the soba in. The soba was store bought but the foie chawan mushi was spectacular and rich. A dish like this would easly cost $18-$25 in LA or NYC. At Raku, it's a steal at $9.
I was highly impressed with Raku and fully plan on returning on every subsequent Vegas trip from now on.
I am already craving a 2nd meal at RAKU and it hasn't even been a week since I had the opportunity to try the Las Vegas gem!
Raku is truly special from it's cusine, attention to detail to the size of the space.
I would have to put this experience on par (though) more casual to that of Bar Charlie.
I met QAW for dinner last Tuesday evening. Raku is located in a small strip center on Spring Mountain. We met @ 6pm when the restaurant openend...reservations are a must as the place filled up within 5 minutes and the flow in and out of the tiny space never stopped.
We ordered a few specials off the board and many items off of the menu to share.
We also paired our meal w/ Beer as Raku's menu is traditional Pub food in Japan. Everything we ordered paired well with Beer!
Some of the standouts were a Pike...which we ordered 2 ways...grilled and sashimi style. This fish was akin to a mackerel. Sashimi style, was light, sweet and very fresh served w/ a yuzu ponzu sauce. The grilled version was smokey from the Robata grill...delicious!!!
We also had a Conch special in the same 2 preparations. The sashimi was similiar to an abalone...very fresh, a slight chewiness...very unique. The grilled was served in a flavorful broth. The conch liver was served along with the meat....uber yummy!!!
We also ordered a grilled shiseto pepper as a starter. The peppers were slightly spicy and charred.
Then came the most amazing preparation of Tofu I have ever experienced...The Agedashi Tofu, which is homemade...served in a both topped w/ large roe(ikura). This dish is a large portion served w/ spoons. This was like a flan or a custard. One of the most perfect things I have ever tasted. The consistency of the tofu, the flavor of the broth and the saltiness of the fish eggs was unlike anything I have ever had....and has left me wanting and craving more. I could have easily had a 2nd order of the tofu!
I have been checking my date book to see when I can squeeze in at least one more dinner @ Raku before the years end!
From here we ordered from the menu...more and more spectacular small plates.....
The Corn stuffed w/ Potato from the Robata Grill, The Tsukune grilled ground chicken, The grilled Pork Belly, The Pork Ear, The most wonderful, Kobe Beef Tendon that had the consistency of an Osso Bucco....melt in your mouth wonderful.
I know I have missed some of the spectacular small plates that we enjoyed, and there are so many more that I look forward to trying on future visits.
I was there for the first time last week. Everything we ate, and we ate about 15 different things, was simply great. I liked the asparagus and skirt steak best and maybe the foie, but there wasn't a loser in the mix.
We also drank two bottles of good and well priced reisling, but we did not have dessert.
I have also heard good things.....tried to go there today, but they aren't open for lunch. Too bad, as it is only a few blocks from my office. I understand its mostly Robiyata, or however you spell the Japanese grilled items. (yes, small plates as a rule). Would love to hear reports as well....
Check out this:
and from a late July reply to LongIslandChef....
"For your next trip, make sure you try out Raku, a really great new authentic Japanese Robatayaki place on Spring Mountain. It seats maybe 30 ppl....think foie gras custard udon soup, house-made tofu with tomato, kombu and baby fried conger eel, robata skewered duck tongue...awesome and adventurous. I was nervous to post about it, afraid I might not get in after they get popular! They open from 6pm to 3am. Check em out locals!"
Go go go.....and let us know your thoughts ;)
I had plans to go on my last vegas trip but I had to cancel. seems like the kind of place you would want to order everything just to try it.
If Rick Moonen and Paul Bartolotta are eating there it must be good. you always want to eat where great chefs eat when they are not in thier restaurants.
Please post if you go