Some things are too pretty to eat. Yes, I do eat with my eyes, but rarely do I feel this way because I’m always so damn hungry. When it comes to Japanese food, I appreciate the presentation. I won’t scarf it down… immediately. Maybe take a picture here and there, prepare my dipping sauces and rub my chopsticks, take a wild guess where to buy the adorable small plates, then eat! A wise chef once said, “I’m not making art, I’m making sushi.” Shit. There’s a difference between melting cheese and adding parsley versus calculating precise sushi cuts and molding fish into art. I believe there’s beauty in Japanese presentation. We with our parsley toppings don’t know anything.
On a list of Places I’d eat before I die, Raku in Las Vegas, Nevada is high on my list. It’s a drive off the strip. My very first time, I thought my driver was going to sell my organs on the black market because we entered an Asian plaza with Big Wong’s and some seedy Massage parlor. Not only was my luck running out that day, (I lost money gambling on Red) they lost our reservation! Luckily, we had proof they called to confirm our reservation so we were quickly sat and ordered the basics right away. This time, I returned to redeem myself (I still lost money on Red).
Losing this reservation would be worst than losing your child at a mall on Christmas.
You’ve never had tofu until you’ve tried Raku’s homemade tofu. I love it served cold, with green onions, ginger, and bonito fish flakes. What makes this so unique is Raku’s special soy sauce. Made in-house, this drizzled over each tofu morsel is a taste worthy of a five-hour car drive and one night in Vegas.
Let’s be real, I came to Raku for one thing only. Kamameshi. Ever since my first time, I’ve been raving about this dish. “VEGAS BABY? MORE LIKE KAMAMESHI BABY!” Forty-five minutes later, I’m complete. Worth the wait. Wait, worth your organs. Order accordingly. For example, I ordered shoshito peppers, tofu, and Bluefin Tuna while I wait for my main course. Note to self, Raku has been featured on every one and their mother’s blog slash TV show slash yelp review. Make reservations far in advance and confirm a few times. Losing this reservation would be worst than losing your child at a mall on Christmas. Back to the ‘kettle rice,’ this rice dish is served with Japanese mint, salmon roe, and salmon. I’ve never had kamameshi before this. I also will never be able to enjoy sushi or kamameshi elsewhere. The mixture of ingredients with the stone heat makes Kamameshi my all-time favorite rice dish. Sweetness of the roe with the unique herb and salmon equal my last meal on earth. I confirm, I would sell my eggs for these eggs.
Bask in the glory of my food porn. The colorful handmade plates to the charcoal chopsticks rest (I wish I took a picture of this) to the delicate presentation of each course convince me Raku is on my To Eat List every time I visit Sin City. Now, if only I could win on Red!