Jan 6, 2009

Raku Japanese Charcoal Grill

People say Christmas dinner is over-rated in the case of dining out.
This statement is so true, especially in Las Vegas.

My boyfriend and I were gonna have our Christmas dinner at a fancy restaurant on the strip,
Good thing that we have a special connection in the city.

"It's a rip off to eat anywhere on the strip on Christmas eve!"
"It's double the regular price and so many places are booked till late hours!"
"The set menu that usually costs about $125 per person went sky high for $250 per person."
Our chef friend strongly made his point across before we make a reservation at the hotel.
"Go to this place instead, you'll love it! it's DA BOMB!"

DA BOMB huh?
Well, if the expert said so, we'd better follow,
So here we were at Raku, a cozy Japanese restaurant located near China Town in Vegas-

The place is pretty small compared to most of the fancy joints in Vegas,
But somehow it gives you a cozy, warm feeling,
Or maybe just because our waitress had this red Xmas hat on.
Doesn't matter, she was super friendly.
Service points = 100.

Because all the tables were occupied, we settled for a bar seat.
And this little guy was right in front of our face-

Very cute, I've always wanted one for myself,
But too bad I don't drink that much warm sake at home,
Maybe I should just get one for my friends, wait, I did not say my friends are alcoholics!
(There's hot water inside the box. The chef will warm up the sake by dipping the bottle in the water. The raccoon looks like he is enjoying a hot sauna/bath in the middle.)

Our oden selection (with daikon, homemade fish cake, and homemade tofu)-

First I took a bite of the daikon (radish),
It's been cooked through so I can just squash it with my tongue, yum!

And the fish cake, my god, I've never had a fish cake so smooth before,
At first I thought it'll probably look like those store-bought ones,
Thinly sliced with pink food coloring on the edge,
No! It was thick and fluffy,
Oh yeah, fluffy is the perfect word to describe the texture, highly recommended.

Grilled Kobe beef liver-

Raku also serves a wide variety of grilled dishes,
I wish I took a picture for the menu,
But I was too excited and definitely too hungry at the time..I forgot to take more pictures...
That might be one of the biggest weakness for food bloggers,
It's so hard to wait and take food pictures....especially when the food is inviting you for a bite and your stomach is growling.

Grilled pork belly-

Look at that shiny fat!

Grilled pork ear-

We actually ordered a whole bunch stuff already,
But fear that it might be a long time before we get to dine at Raku again,
We asked our waitress and see if we've missed any goodies.
This is the one she recommended, and she particularly emphasized that we should dip the ear with the spicy oil-

It's the clear-colored bottle on the left.
They have a big jar of this oil in the corner,
Where you can see chilies soaking on the bottom.

Grilled foie gras-

They even have grilled foie gra, and it's only $12,
I've never been so happy before!

Agedashi tofu-

Homemade tofu of course,
They put some ikura (salmon roe) on the top that pumps up the flavor even more.

Fried asparagus-

This is the ok dish,
It's good, but not extraordinary good.

I was very pleased with this dinner,
Raku is now on my have-to-visit list when I'm in Vegas.

For the same price I spent in Raku on Christmas eve,
(Besides the dishes I posted up here, we also had sake, beer, chatsuke, and more grilled items)
I probably can only get an entree, dessert, and a drink for one person in any restaurants on the strip.

This place really is DA BOMB!

Overall Rating: 9!!

5030 Spring Mountain Road #2
Las Vegas, NV 89146
(702) 367-3511


  1. Hi Cindy, only been reading your blog for about a month now. You have some amazing photos, and I want to eat that grill foie gras right now... ^___^"

  2. Looks like a good place! You are lucky you got a great meal during Christmas time. We unfortunately didn't :( but that I am guessing is because we were eating on the Strip, which like you said is a rip off, especially during the holiday season!

    Great photos like usual...so nice! You must have gotten a seat with good lighting :). Some places are so dark which makes the photos look so yellow.

    That racoon looks very cute. Very chubby cheeks!!!

  3. To Sha~
    Awww thank you so much,
    I'm still learning how to take pictures!
    Let me know if there's anything I can improve on!

    To EatTravelEat~
    Haha you have no idea,
    I tried so hard not to let my hands to shake while taking these pics!

  4. It is hard to keep your hands extremely stable. But as you can see it is definitely worth the hard work! It's not everyday that one can take such a great photo, unless the camera has good software.

  5. To EatTravelEat~
    Haha I was trying VERY hard there,
    plus it's kinda weird when everyone else is eating and you're the only person pointing the camera to the food.

  6. you should put up your chinese manicotti up and garnish with mint leaf and cute plate

  7. To 12FS, RFV~
    Haha you're cracking me up here,
    Shhhh the manicotti thing is a secret, it's not allowed to be on my blog!

  8. oo that grilled pork belly and foie gras look amazing!

  9. To Pig Pigs Corner~
    Thanks for the add!
    Raku is very good! Highly recommended place to visit in Vegas!