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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Las Vegas - Aburiya Raku

From my previous post, we just had an awesome 3 course dessert. Now it's time for dinner at the sister restaurant, Aburiya Raku. This came highly recommended by a friend, and he was right, it's totally worth going. It was a really difficult reservation process... They don't have a voicemail system and would only take reservations through the phone. I think every time I've tried to call them, I get the automated message telling me to call back at least 5 times before I can get through. XP And if you make a reservation for more than 6 people, I believe everyone has to get the Omakase (chef's choice menu) priced at $75-100 a person. Luckily we only had 5 people. I called weeks in advance and got a reservation for 7:30PM but after learning that Sweets Raku didn't take reservations, I had to move Aburiya Raku to later in the night. About 10 attempts later... I finally got thru and got a reservation for 9:30PM. Yay!

Aburiya Raku
5030 W Spring Mountain Rd #2
Las Vegas, NV 89146
(702) 367-3511
Price: $-$$

Aburiya Raku means "Charcoal Grill House Enjoyment", it's basically like a yakitori (food on skewers) and izakaya (Japanese drinking establishment) place. The majority of their menu are different types of skewered meat. There are also some seafood, noodles, etc.

We finished at Sweets Raku around 9PM so we walked over to see if they can maybe seat us earlier. They said the table isn't available yet but we can wait in the waiting area (small bar with 5 seats). My friend proceeded to order some sake. They bring out a tray full of different types of sake cups and you get to choose your own. I thought that was pretty interesting! 
But lucky us, there was a cancellation and we got seated before he even got his sake. The place is pretty small... dark lighting, very much like a late night eating/drinking place. hehe. Oh yea, make sure you check out their bathroom, there's a pretty awesome fish tank in the wall. I forgot to mention that Sweets Raku also had a killer bathroom with a really unique sink. :P

We wanted to try everything... And since everything is priced individually we only ordered 2 things to share and everything else we ordered on our own.

We started with an order of Raku's Tofu (bonito flakes, chives, ginger) Whole $5.50~ 
The waiter told us to pour a little of Raku's Soy Sauce (blends of Japanese Daiginjo soy sauce infused with Japanese plum) and sprinkle a dash of Raku's Green Tea Salt (Hokkaido sea salt, maccha green tea, shiitake and seaweed powder) on top of the tofu along with the other toppings. 
They make all their tofu in house and it is fantastic. The texture of the tofu was silky and soft. It was served slightly cool/room-temp. With the toppings and soy sauce and salt, it was amazing. It was light, yet had so much flavor, and you can really taste the tofu itself. It was a really good contrast with all the meats we ordered too. We loved it. Ended up ordering 3 of these. I probably ate a whole one myself! A must have if you go here.

We also got a Juicy Deep Fried Chicken $11~ to share. 
This was also soooo good. We don't know how they got the inside to be so freaking juicy yet the outside skin so crispy. And there are no bones in this. It was lightly sauced and made the spinach so yummy. We ended up getting 3 of these over the course of dinner too. haha. So far so good!

Yellowtail Carpaccio $12~ One friend ordered this. I didn't get to try it, but I tried the sauce which was very interesting. Slightly sweet with a hint of spicy? It looked really fresh.

Next we move on to the Robata Grill: Price is for each skewer. We all just ordered what we wanted and shared (or not share) some. haha. I've included the quantity we ordered in front of the item names. :P

(4) Jidori Chicken Thigh $3~ My friend ended up getting 4 orders of this on his own. The chicken was tender and juicy.

(1) Kobe Beef Filet with Wasabi $12~ The beef was very tender and I really liked the wasabi, I wish there was more on top. Another friend thought the wasabi was too strong though.

(3) Kobe Beef Outside Skirt with Garlic $7.50~ It looked good with the garlic chip on top. I didn't try it. My friend said it's not as tender as the kobe beef with wasabi but the garlic addition was very good.

(1) Kobe Beef Silver Skin $3~ I saw a picture of this on yelp so I thought it would be interesting to try. Normally I think chefs remove the silver skin from the meat since it can be tough. This was not tough at all. A little chewy, a little soft. Reminded me of intestine a little bit but not as good. I'm glad I tried it, but wasn't spectacular or anything.

(1) Kobe Beef Liver $4.50~ Not a fan of liver, so I didn't try it.

(7) Kurobuta Pork Cheek $4.25~ This was my favorite skewer of the night, by far. We did 2 rounds of this. The pork was fatty, but wasn't like just chewing bits of fat. It was super juicy and tons of flavor. I loved the texture of it. I had 2 skewers myself!

(1) Iberico Pork $10~ Pretty good. I tried a bite after I ate the pork cheek.. which was a mistake, because this one didn't live up to the pork cheek. haha.

(4) Pork Intestine $2.50~ I love me some pork intestine! And this was done well! Not too chewy, lots of flavor, and not too expensive! :)

(3) Duck with Balsamic Soy Sauce $4.50~ Really really good duck. So tender. The balsamic was mild so you can taste the duck itself.

(1) Salmon with Ikura Oroshi $6~ The salmon was ok, I would've preferred it cooked a little less. But I liked the combo with the daikon radish and fish eggs.

(1) Enoki Mushroom Wrapped with Bacon $3~ This is a standard for me whenever I have yakitori. I just love enoki mushrooms and everything's better with bacon! Tiny little skewers but totally yummy!

(1) Portabella stuffed with Jidori Ground Chicken $5~ I got this one because it sounded interesting. Definitely looked yummy, but the chicken was quite dry. Probably my least favorite of the night.

(3) Hot House Sake $13~ Only 1 of my friends drank. He got 3 bottles of sake throughout the night. If only I liked sake, all the food would've been so good with it.

So we had an awesome dessert experience followed by another delicious dinner. I was soooo full afterwards. I highly recommend this place. Just have to be patient and call them a million times to get a reservation. haha. Thanks to my friend for the rec. I will definitely revisit next time in Vegas. :)

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