Sunday, May 16, 2010

More to-dos on 50th & France: Raku Sushi

Couple of our friends went to the Taste of Edina, and noticed Raku Japanese Restaurant. I used to live in the 44th & France area, and I have always loved the 50th & France. Nice little boutiques, my favorite Anthropologie, my favorite salon/spa Spalon, Sur La Table... how come I feel like this is a commercial all of a sudden?

Very spacious and nicely decorated. Raku brands itself as one of the upscale high-end modern Japanese restaurant. You can tell by where it is located, no? Right in the heart of 50th & France, nothing is cheap in that area, maybe the Walgreen is.

A full bar with imported Sake and Japanese beer. Sake selection is pretty good. No so much a fun cocktail menu, but sometimes keeping it simple is a good thing.

Now comes the food part. I really like how the menu has a little "Sushi 101" section to break down all the terminology on sushi, ie. Nigiri, Sashimi, Donburi etc etc. It saves me some work explaining, and it's nice to know someone got it correct. They have you usual rolls, sushi and sashimi orders, tempura, noodles, and of course, teriyaki. But they also have some nice entrees that go out of tradition and offer a little more choices. A little on the pricy side, but hey, it's probably cheap for most of the 50th & France diners anyway. :p

Eggplant Scallop: Pan seared scallop on a bed of Japanese eggplant with Yuzu miso sauce

I like scallops, no secret. For 12 bucks, this is not a very bad dish. But the scallops don't have to be so thin. It gets overcooked easily if it's thin. It's almost like serving 2 scallops as 4. Either way, the eggplant was good and I like the sauce a lot. Very sweet and flavorful with the miso paste. Even the tomato was seasoned and served as a good balance with the eggplant and scallop.

Shrimp Tempura with veggies: 4 shrimps! Good deal on this one. Served with a salad or soup and rice too. The batter was a little too think. It was like a mouth full of panko batter, and the shrimps and veggie were too thin to be tasted. But I have to say the frying was done very well. Crispy and not saggy, light golden brown instead of some over-fried dark brown. 

And finally, Marine Sushi & Sashimi: 12 pcs of assorted fish, 4 pcs sushi and one spicy tuna roll. I would say this is a pretty good deal after all. The sashimi was good. Thickly sliced and with good quality fish. Trust me, if I say it's good sashimi, it's good sashimi. Or at least, it's as good as it gets in Minneapolis. The Nigiri was nicely done. The rice wasn't too loose and it seemed to have a good portion of vinegar. On contrast, with all the good fish and nigiri, the spicy tuna roll wasn't so special anymore. Sorry, spicy tuna, I promise I'll love you again. And look at the presentation? A fence, a glowing bush (made with raddish?) and with the little bonsai even! Cute! Points added! Thinking of it, how's bonsai related to fish....??

Nice upscale and modern Japanese restaurant. It delivered everything it has promised on its website, and I was surprised by the quality of the sashimi. Still more work on its hot dishes. But then, I only ordered one dish, the rest of the entrees seem interesting and worthy to try. I won't mind going back, as long as I can afford it ( How did I afford it this time?) The layout is nice, just that the main area is not designed to spread out noises. Once it's crowded, it gets really loud, almost need to yell across the table for conversations. Good for group gathering, but maybe a little too noisy for romantic night out for 2. 


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