Friday, April 9, 2010

Sushi Raku

So I was meaning to check out this new sushi place in downtown and might I remind you, I'm a sushi snob.  I have a very sensitive palatte to fishy flavors bc I didn't grow up eating seafood, long story, my sister was traumatized and me being the younger sister just followed her behavior.  I know it sounds weird, I learned to eat sushi in my mid 20s but still don't like seafood.  If the fish is fishy, I can't eat it and will never return from a first visit.  My current sushi spot is Aka, but I read this excerpt about this new sushi restaurant.  Jennifer wanted to try something new so there we went.

SUSHI RAKU, 3201 Louisiana at Elgin, 713-526-8885. With its sleek interior design (by Michael Hsu, who did Uchi in Austin) and a kitchen under the direction of Takayoshi Sekiguchi, this is 2009’s second outstanding Japanese newcomer. Chef Taka, as he is known, uses Western and Japanese techniques, melding them brilliantly, as with the single slice of fluke served with cubes of tomato water aspic, red pepper coulis, yuzu white soy and a tempura-fried shishito. Patrick Chiu, who also has Waza, is the owner.

So the food comes out, we ordered the Orange Dragon (spicy tuna, tempura crunch, avocado, salmon, ponzu), the Maiko (I forget what's in it, tuna and some other stuff with mango sauce), Spicy Salmon roll, two pieces of salmon sushi, and their salad, sorry forget the name too and couldn't find a menu.  The Maiko was okay, but everything else was excellent.  I was a little scared to eat the salmon sushi as it had this white strip on it, but nope, it was good, no fishiness.  Sorry, I didn't take very good pictures, as we were so excited to eat!  But I did happen to get a photo of the last Orange Dragon.

So Jennifer and I are sitting eating and she recognizes one of the workers there.  I pull out my blackberry, turns out it's Patrick Chiu, owner of Sushi Raku.  We chat for a bit, he brings over Chef Taka, who is an import from Japan.  I told him he's the second full Japanese person in Houston :B  Not many Japanese here in Houston.  So they talk of this pickled wasabi, Chef Taka brings it over, says eat the orange after you've had the pickled wasabi, as a back, kind of thing.  I only had a small bit, so it just burned my nose a bit.  Jennifer took an even smaller piece and didn't feel a thing.  She takes a much bigger piece, all of the sudden she's frantically rubbing her scalp, saying her scalp is burning, very funny in person, I promise you.

We pull apart the orange, as Chef Taka has precut it, all you have to do is pull it apart.  Chef Taka is standing there, he keeps saying I'll let you figure it out. We're like ???  We look over after Patrick points it out and this is what we're looking at.  We totally didn't even notice it.  Funny.

They bring over two desserts on the house, molten chocolate cake and the truffles.  YUM!  They were both good.  So nice!

Nice, fun guys.  We took a tour after we ate and noticed these drums by the door and they have drum sticks!    I used to do the old school Korean dancing, including the drums, so after some major cajoling, I go at it.  Jennifer is rolling on the floor laughing her ass off.  We had a good time, great place, go visit!

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