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


Thanks for the report!

The Hakkaisan Tokubetsu Junmai is an affordable bottle of sake retail and maybe you can find it at Nijiya for $20 or less, but it does come from a successful large scale production brewery in Niigata (along the lines of Kubota). It’s not too boozy, but it also doesn’t have a lot of character compared to smaller artisan breweries that do Tokubetsu Junmai type sake. To me it’s very middle of the road, approachable to some degree…but you’ve been in touch with the Dark Side Of The Force (tip of the iceberg) with the Tedorigawa Kinka and Amabuki Strawberry…so there is much more to explore!

It’s also possible that the Hakkaisan bottle has been opened a while, and some sake don’t age very well after opening, even in storage. Some more or less stay the same (flat). At least you didn’t have to pay for the flight.

For a Tokubetsu Junmai that will cost just a little bit more on the menu, try the award winning Nanbu Bijin at Raku (have a taste first before you commit) that’s a touch on the aromatic side. I recently paired NB with tonkotsu ramen from Ippudo and it strangely works quite nicely. Or try the ever sturdy Urakasumi Junmai that’s very classy and well structured and balanced that also goes well with sushi. Though with a sashimi starter, the Kokuryu Tokusen Ginjo is the way to go (a glass or carafe), then progress to the Junmai.


Bookmarking. Thanks @Chowseeker1999!


Hi @beefnoguy -

That thought dawned on me when we were drinking it.

Thanks for all your suggestions. They’re really working out. I actually have a Nanbu Bijin story from another restaurant :wink:. I will share it in a report soon.

Happy Sake Drinking and Raku Eating!


via email:

Summer is coming soon.
We have signature food and seasonal food available for our guests
such as;

Wagyu Sukiyaki
Wagyu Stone Steak
Hirame Kobijime (Hulihat Sashimi)
Kamasu Wakayaki (Grilled Baby Barracuda)
Ebi Shinjo (Ground Shrimp Soup or Fry)


My first visit here tonight: what’re the can’t misses?



Hi @set0312,

Nice! Hope you enjoy the meal. You can look at the pics at the top of this post and scroll through the thread, but here are some recs I gave to @Nemroz last month:

  • Agedashi Tofu (Housemade fresh every day)
  • Ken2 Salad - Pretty delicious Japanese Salad with Crispy Chicken Skin, Konbu, Asajime Free-Range Chicken and more.
  • Juicy Deep-Fried Asajime Chicken
  • Poached Egg with Sea Urchin and Salmon Roe
  • Sashimi (on the Specials Chalk Board) - Definitely order either the Kanpachi or Shima-Aji Sashimi to start. Enjoy outstanding, fresh fish, Sashimi that’s superior to most Sushi Bars(!), served here at “just” an Izakaya / Japanese Pub. :wink:
  • Kurobuta Pork Belly - Stewed. Delicious.

Their Yakitori / Kushiyaki (Grilled Chicken, Meats and Veggies on Skewers) cooked over Japanese Binchotan Charcoal is outstanding.

Note they use Asajime Chicken, which means the Free-Range Chickens they use are dispatched the same day as them serving it. There’s a real poultry distinct taste to the Chicken (not the bland, tasteless “white meat” that we’re used to).

From the Skewers section (back of the menu):

  • Asajime Chicken Thigh

  • Chicken Breast (it’s wrapped with a bit of crisped up Chicken Skin) :slight_smile:

  • Beef Tendon

  • Intestine

  • Pig Ears

  • Foie Gras

  • Tomato Bacon

  • Okra

  • Any of the Mushrooms

  • Asajime Chicken Wings

  • Foie Gras Egg Custard - Chawan Mushi

  • Yellowtail Belly - Grilled (or Salmon Belly if they don’t have Yellowtail)

  • Kama meshi - Iron Pot Rice with Salmon & Salmon Roe - OFF MENU - Great way to finish the meal.



Thank you so much!

Here are some haphazard photos I took.


Hi @set0312,

Nice! How did you like your meal? Any favorites?


It was a really strong meal. Most of my favorites were fish-- the shima-aji sashimi was superb, as was a mackerel that we had them divide up two ways: one side sashimi, the other grilled.

Also, thanks to you and @porkybelly for recommending the kamameshi. Delicious and the perfect end to the meal.

As for skewers, I loved the beef tendon and the yellowtail belly!

And the tofu was more or less perfect.


Gorgeous photos!


That’s great - and kinda funny.


Had a great meal with a couple of friends last night. We were waiting for the kama meshi (thanks for the tip @Chowseeker1999) so even though we were pretty full I ordered the intestine and tendon, and those were the best bites of the night. The tendon was amazing.

Lunch menu in case no one has posted it yet:

And they now offer delivery.


Hi @robert,

So glad you liked your meal at Raku. :slight_smile:

The Tendon skewers and the Kamameshi iron pot rice are definitely some of our favorites as well. How was the Sake you tried?


It was a good fit. Oddly similar to the oddball old Swiss wine we drank before it.


Thank you for posting the wine! Sometimes wines do not get enough attention here at FTC!


We brought that.


I realize that!
It is of interest to me what people choose to BYOB to restaurants and whether it fits!


Never had wine before at Aburiya Raku, but I’ve joined friends who have taken whites to izakaya that worked, even the affordable Dr Loosen Riesling. I’d imagine the Kenzo Estate Asatsuyu and some of their reds would work to some degree.


I haven’t been to Aburiya Raku in a while (too many new places in L.A. to try!). But I’m headed there soon for a late supper. We’ll be a party of 6. Budget not a problem. Hearty appetites.

Any “must-orders”? Anything to PRE-order (since we’re showing up in the latter half of the evening)?