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


What were the dark things in the dish with the scallops?


File under “innards” of the scallop, and in looking up an anatomy chart, it appears to be the digestive gland. It’s all edible and quite delicious. Overall the scallop prep looks identical to the Karatsuke Hotate (giant scallops also from East Coast when I last asked) that Iroriya serves in Santa Clara (robatayaki).


Scallop roe is particularly delicious and I find it bizarre that I so rarely see it in the US.




I think you just broke the Internet.


Hi @Starchtrade,

Bummer to hear about your last visit (w/ the service not that good). Hm… we’ve had a couple visits where the waiter was not very responsive (and forgetful). But that’s an aberration in comparison to all of the other times we’ve been (over 30 times).


Hi @beefnoguy,

Thanks for the great info as always! :slight_smile: I’ll try to remember to seek out more Sake with Bizen Omachi rice as a comparison.

And that’s fascinating info about the Nakadori / Umaguchi labels on the Born Muroka Nama Genshu Junmai Daiginjo Sake we had (I’m still thinking about that Sake). :slight_smile:

I hope you get a chance to try the Okunomutsu - Juhachidai Ihei - Daiginjo Shizukuzake one of these days. I’d love to get your thoughts on it. :slight_smile:


Where is @Porthos when you need him?


Your meals and report look epically delicious @Chowseeker1999!


Thanks @TheCookie. Have you tried the crispy chicken yet? & Didn’t you have a follow up you were going to tell us about? :wink:


Here’s another Bizen Omachi rice Junmai Ginjo sake (by Muromachi) that’s very good, accessible, and easy to like

Should be easy to find in Southern California (try Marukai first then if not Mitsuwa but probably Costa Mesa or Torrance) and last I recall within $30 or less, good with izakaya type food and even with sushi.


Hi @Chowseeker1999 -

I don’t think we’ve tried the Crispy Chicken. Come to think of it I’m not sure we’ve had the Asajimi Thighs either! We better get on this.

Question: did you mix your Tsukune (Ground Asajimi Chicken) in with the Onsen Tamago?

I like how you’re ordering individual Sashimi. I’ve been thinking of doing this to help improve my ability to discern. The Sampler is divine, but sometimes I get confused and am loathe to ask the servers to keep repeating themselves.

Hah! Yes I have a couple mini reports to do. I didn’t take pictures of everything and need to find the receipts to jog my memory.

P.S. Thanks for the Tedorigawa Kinka rec. We might actually have had it on our last visit. Find those receipts Cookie!


Hi @TheCookie,

Yes, you definitely need to try the Asajime Crispy Chicken. It’s like a nice, refined version of Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken). :slight_smile:

And definitely try the chicken thigh skewers.

Yes, you break open the Onsen Tamago soft boiled egg, and dip in the Tsukune meat ball. :slight_smile:


I’ll be the voice of dissent and say this did nothing for me - I’m not a “runny egg makes everything better” kinda guy and this did not change my mind.


Hi @Ns1,

Yeah it’s just as delicious by itself.


Aburiya Raku - A few pics, some thoughts and a couple of questions. Interactive Raku?

Moriawase (assorted sashimi)

We had this one months ago and I’m not sure of each piece. Corrections are welcome. Clockwise: Bluefin Tuna (2 kinds), Not sure (mackerel?), Uni, Salmon w/Ikura (salmon roe), Yellowtail (I’m still so confused about the Japanese name for this - hamachi?), middle pieces are possibly Amberjack (kanpachi) & Striped Jack (shima aji). How’d I do?

Takana Inari - Fried Tofu Pouch Stuffed w/Rice & Japanese Mustard Greens

:shushing_face: I stole this photo from a @Chowseeker1999 report. Oh and shhh… this was the first time I’ve had non-store bought. :heart:

Pig Ears

:shushing_face: I might possibly have stolen this photo from @PorkyBelly. This was my 3rd time eating a pig’s ear - 1st time was great, 2nd was not, Raku’s wins!

Most Recent Visit

On the night of this Raku visit we had gone to a Sake tasting at K&L Wines in Hollywood. This was our favorite of the tasting. It is floral & fruity w/flavors of stone fruit, but still dry and not overly sweet - a good accompaniment to the meal. Beware, we had to ask our server twice to put our bottle on ice. She stuck it in an insufficient amount of watery ice and it did not stay cool. For $30 corkage they should put as much care into your bottle as they do their own.


The marinated Burdock Root (right) was delicious.

Moriawase (assorted sashimi)

I had mentioned we want to start ordering sashimi à la carte, to better learn the different flavors, textures and visuals. However, on this eve we were sake tasting buzzed, decisions were slightly difficult. :relaxed: We stuck with the old favorite.

Oyaji Tofu

I :heart: this, but want to try their Agedashi Tofu soon.

Asajime Chicken Thigh

What have we been missing! :yum:

Asajime Chicken Breast Wrapped w/Chicken Skin

Our must have every time. Sometimes the skin is less crispy than other times, but regardless, the tender, juicy chicken-y flavor is sooo :kissing_closed_eyes:.

Juicy Deep Fried Asajime Chicken

Our server suggested wrapping these morsels in the spinach then dipping in the ponzu. I preferred them plain and instead doused the spinach with tasty ponzu and ate it like a salad.

Kobe Beef Filet w/Wasabi

It’ll be hard going back to Outside Skirt w/Garlic after this.

Salmon Belly w/Ikura Oroshi

Last time we had this it was a little under cooked and the fat wasn’t rendered enough. This time? :heart_eyes:

I accidentally gave away the last order of Yellowtail Belly. We were raving about it to the people next to us (newcomers), not knowing they would get the last order. They loved it, so that’s good… I guess.

Kanpachi (amberjack) Collar

Our server recommended this over the Yellowtail Collar, as it was smaller and we were getting full. I’m ordering this instead from now on. The flavors were great!

Specials / Seasonal

Question: curious what items on this board would you order?

…Okay, just one more question, pretty please? In what order do you like your meal served at Izakayas? What comes 1st, 2nd and 3rd? Example: Hot, cold, beef, poultry, seafood, tofu, rice? Or does it matter?

Service: I agree with a couple of posters’ recent experiences. They’re a little distracted at the front, but have never been rude and always accommodate us. However, I think one waitress in particular is a bit of an airhead. She’s sweet, but kinda’ wanders around smiling and chatting with the staff while her diners wait to order more dishes or get water refills. Plus she’s not good at pacing orders. But this is minor. We :heart: Raku.

Our most recent meal was $152 (corkage incl.) + Tip.


Hamo Karage and Umi Budo Sunomono look like must order items.


I usually poach the roe in beurre monté. Sweetbreads of the sea.


I’d go for kanpachi or shimaaji sashimi, umibudo sunomono as a nice vinegary appetizer/palette cleanser (some fresh crunch from the “sea grapes”), iberico pork, and ushio jiru (clear, hot soup near to end of the meal)! Love amaebi, get it whenever. I like hamo too, but either in soup or tempura, not sure about karaage.

Little appetizers first, eg sunomono. Then probably sashimi. Tofu or bigger appetizers next Grilled meats. Rice/noodles/soup near the very end. Tea at the end. Sake throughout, but especially at the beginning. Often switch to beer when I’m downing all the grilled meat if I run out of sake. Cheers and felicitations continually!


Awwwwww yeah!

Sashimi picture: bluefin tuna (akami), chu toro, kanpachi, shimaaji, salmon, ikura, uni, and the fish with the roasted silvery skin looks like katsuo (or could be Sawara), can’t tell since you only see the roasted/charred skin

Dewazakura Daiginjo was one of my secret early weapons for izakaya. Fantastic bottle for the price and performance! It’s slightly fruity, but has a delicate mid palate and wonderful dry finish. It’s actually fun to try this very chilled and then let it come down to room temperature. Try it in a wine glass and savor the aromas (and swirl) as you would with wine. Of course in 100+ F heat as cold as you can get it good… this bottle would be fun to try their foie dishes with, though Born Muroka Nama Genshu Junmai Daiginjo (Nakadori / Umaguchi) would also be fun (though $30 corkage for a $45 sake is a touch counter intuitive, but some of the best izakaya sake are better with food than the ultra expensive and highly polished ones).

Marinated burdock looks like kinpira gobo. Good stuff!

I would pig out and try everything on the blackboard specials. Maybe not the hamo karaage, way too hot for that and a bit of a shortcut in the cooking method. Wagyu sukiyaki only if it is a small portion, or I’d save that for the fall / winter months (they better crank up the AC if I ordered it!)

The grilled king crab (I assume leg) and the Dewazakura Daiginjo would be like the best of friends together… (Japanese crab in kaiseki cuisine with Daiginjo is a major killer indulgence for me)

I would probably ask if they could do the Iberico pork Kakuni style (with Japanese mustard of course…hopefully they have belly cuts), unless it’s a bit more lean then have them slice it yaki buta (yakiniku style), the possibilities are wider of course if it is belly.