Fantastic Japanese Tapas (Izakaya) hits West Hollywood - Aburiya RAKU - pictures


Hi @TheCookie,

Nice! :slight_smile: Why do you have to tease us like this?! LOL. :stuck_out_tongue: But seriously, is the site not processing your post? Maybe message the mods about the issue.


Unfortunately, I’m the issue and kept screwing it up. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: For some reason I keep having problems doing a report on this restaurant we enjoyed so much! Not giving up though!


Hi @TheCookie,

Ah. Don’t overthink it, your reports are always nice; post your pics and type a few things you feel like saying about it. :wink:


Hi @Chowseeker1999 -

You sound (read?) like my d.h. :smile: I kept accidentally hitting reply when I was only half done. But it is true that I sweat over the nomenclature, etc. It’s pretty good… I think. Will finish today.

Thanks for the support :wink:


Aburiya Raku - first visit

Color us regulars @Chowseeker1999. Not what we expected. It’s chic and casual, not contrived or fussy at all.


1)Japanese Asahi Draft

2)Tedorigawa Arabashiri Kinka Daiginjo (cup)
That is a long name. The waitress calls it Kinka. It has a wonderful, fresh, slightly fruity, delicate flavor. Perfect introduction. :heart:

3)Amabuki (cup)
This was my husband’s favorite. The product description is spot on. The flavors are round, fruity (strawberry), slightly yeasty with hints of honey. Definitely swirl this around in your mouth for a bit.

4)Kikusui Perfect Snow (small bottle)

This one’s for you Chowseeker1999 :wink:. I won’t call it an acquired taste - I actually like it. It definitely takes getting used to. We took it “home to play around with” as @beefnoguy says. To me it’s like a cocktail and the bottle actually suggests drinking it over ice.

The Meal:

Ken2 Salad (shared)

Chowseeker1999 accurately describes the thought put into an obligatory menu item, a salad. So delicious. :slightly_smiling_face:

Small Sashimi Moriawase (combination)

Amberjack (kanpachi), Striped Jack (shima aji), Tuna & Fatty Tuna (toro), Salmon, Salmon Roe (ikura). The picture speaks for itself. Thanks @PorkyBelly for pushing this exquisite sashimi. Not shown is my new favorite condiment, Nori Tsukudani. :yum: I love the briney-ness, that unlike ikura, reminds me of caviar. Used sparingly it is the perfect sashimi (or anything) condiment.

Side Bar: Can someone help me with the toros, and which ones are on our plate? I get confused with the maguro, chutoro, otoro and then there is akami. :worried:

Iberico Pork
Sorry, can’t remember impression. But that picture is :kissing_closed_eyes:, so…

Steamed Foie Gras Egg Custard (chawanmushi)

I love custard and it was very good. But since we rarely allow ourselves foie, next time it will be the soy glazed foie with no custardy distractions.

Wagyu Rib Cap

Has the wagyu marbling and chew w/a brush of sauce carmelized and tasty little garlic chips.

Grilled Yellowtail Collar (hamachi kama)

This is one of our favorite dishes and Raku’s did not disappoint. :slight_smile:

Salmon Belly

Rich, juicy belly meat, crisp fatty skin and the perfect size to keep you wanting more. I :heart: this.

Asajime Chicken Breast w/Chicken Skin

Chicken lover here! I follow @PorkyBelly’s chicken trail. The chance to eat Yakitori in many ways - plus the superior quality of the chicken - was the original hook. We got distracted by other delicacies, but plan on trying all things Raku Chicken.

Kobe Beef Tendon

Okay @paranoidgarliclover. I said I didn’t want to talk about this. But just this once, for you. I saw it on this thread early on and had no intention of ordering it, ever. But Chowseeker1999 kept posting it like some kind of Manchurian Candidate subliminal message. Others seemed to love it too. So why not? I hated it. No sugarcoating. My gristle loving, pig ear loving, husband couldn’t take it either. And our surprised waiter said “Only Asians order this.”, which I took as a challenge. I failed the test. :relaxed:

It was a special occasion and our first time, plus we wanted to try different Sakes. But the beauty of Raku is it is doable for all budgets and all occasions. Lovely time.

Thanks all! Happy Izakaya dining in L.A.!


What about the kobe beef tendon made you think of me? :wink: I had the kobe beef special (thinly sliced on a hot stone). Not worth the $$$.

We Asians do tend to like the chew. I don’t know if I’d ever order tendon by itself, though… :wink:


Hi @TheCookie,

Nice report! So glad you enjoyed your meal and call yourselves regulars now. Isn’t it so good? :wink:

Re: Sake - Very nice start! Yes, Tedorigawa Kinka is fantastic. You jumped right into a very, very good Sake! :grin:

Glad you liked the Amabuki and the Kikusui Perfect Snow as well. (These are a nice wide spectrum of flavors in this one visit! Good job. :slight_smile:

We love their Sashimi as well (if you couldn’t tell). The fish you had should be Maguro. That’s what it looks like and I’ve only seen Toro offered once in our 12+ visits there.

I think you’ll love the Foie Gras off of the Yakitori side of the menu. :wink:

The next time you go, ask if they have Yellowtail Belly. If they do, order it immediately, and decide on the rest of your items later (because it sells out fast). It is SO good! :heart:

Give their Asajime Chicken Thigh Skewers and their Tsukune Chicken Meatball (Marinated Ground Chicken) Skewers a try next time.

Tendon: Sorry you didn’t like it! :cry: :sweat_smile: I didn’t grow up with tendon either, but thanks to a few dear friends from Taiwan growing up, they dragged me out to try various tendon dishes in the SGV, and the rest is history.

Let me know if you want more suggestions for your next visit. Nice report! :slight_smile:


Hi @paranoidgarliclover,

If you go next time, give their Tendon a try (if you normally like Tendon). Pretty amazing. :wink:


Definitely get this.

Lovely report.


Haha! It’s comforting to know folks don’t always remember things written on this board.

I did a partial Raku report on Food on a Stick and jokingly wrote that I didn’t “want to talk about” the Tendon. You replied “Wait, why don’t you want to talk about the tendon???”

P.S. Because it was our first time and they probably wanted to make an impression, they tried to sell us on the showier dishes, like beef cooked on a hot stone. But from reading this and other threads we were forewarned.



I am not a fan of the tendon either but my wife loves it, so you are not alone.


Thanks @Chowseeker1999 -

Will do in the Foie Gras Yakitori and other suggestions. We actually had the Tsukune Chicken Meatballs on both visits. I forgot to take a photo the first time and planned to comment on my 2nd report (soon to follow :wink:). But since you mention - I’m glad we tried them a 2nd time. They were more juicy & flavorful on the 2nd visit.

I will try not to turn this into a Sake thread. But our last visit was spur of the moment and I didn’t check your and @beefnoguy’s recs, leading to what I think was a hasty choice. More on this later, but I think I will have a couple questions.

I also want to give a shoutout to @Sgee for turning me onto some cool Netflix docs, providing a little history and perspective on Izakayas. Coming from a multi-cultural family, I’ve been eating these foods most of my life (less elevated). And here’s a thing from growing up in the 70’s - hippies were really attracted to Japanese food, so there’s that too. But I hadn’t really payed attention to the origins or types of restaurants before. Really enjoying it.

Thanks again!


Great report, glad you liked everything. I guess you could say the tendon ended up being your Achilles heel. Remind me not to recommend the intestine.


you can’t just drop this tidbit in here and then not give us the titles…


Thanks @A5KOBE!


I thought if anyone would be into it, it would be my husband. But no can do.

I will definitely give you the names of the docs s/he recommended. You guys have probably seen them. You’re always ahead of me. But right now I’m being summoned. :grimacing: TBC…


I’ve seen it. :unamused:

Funny you should mention Achilles. It’s the name of someone very close to me. I’m off to get his bday cake right now. And he’s definitely our weakness. But he won’t be eating any Tendon either. It’s his 2nd year of vegetarianism.


That took guts to say that.


Offal pun.


Glad you had a great time with visit #1, and thanks for reporting back!

Suggestion for your next sake bottle: Fukucho Suigetsu “Moon On The Water” Junmai Ginjo (not to be confused with the Junmai which . The combination of the technique from female master brewer Miho Imada (one of maybe 20 female master brewers across Japan), plus the soft water of Hiroshima, makes for a very interesting sake that finishes dry yet drinks elegant overall. It should go great with the salad, sashimi, and mellow out some of the more salty components of the savory courses. If you like Chablis, this is a good bet.