A few months back I purchased a Groupon for Raku Sushi & Lounge at West End in St. Louis Park and as with many Groupons don’t remember to use them until close to expiration. In this case, the very last day. Thus, last night I made my first visit to Raku.
The outward appearance of the joint gives you very little to go on. But as soon as you enter the front door you are greeted with a vibrantly lit host stand and a very polite host. We were seated immediately at a high-top table near the also vibrantly lit bar and sushi bar. While the bright lights and decorations were somewhat reminiscent of bars in Japan, I don’t recall ever go to a sushi bar like this.
I guess that is neither here nor there. Anyway, there was an incredible array of white acrylic fish dangling and dancing from the ceiling throughout the entire restaurant.
And killer little “traditional” Japanese tables (also brightly lit) where you sit in the floor; looked like a cozy place for a little gathering.
While the St. Louis Park location boasts itself as a sushi and lounge destination, they also have a rather extensive menu of options outside of the sushi family. I love the idea that I could go to Raku with someone who may not like sushi but that they would have options that would fit their taste.
That being said, I myself, am not going to a sushi bar and not ordering sushi. So my date and I opted for 3 rolls (after edamame of course):
The idea of having a sushi roll sans rice was intriguing. This literally melted in my mouth. The combination of the mild fish, along with the crunch of the asaparagus and the kick of the wasabi sauce… I died. Y.U.M.
He went more “standard” with Captain Crunch accompanied by a California Roll. He stated, “I’m impressed, I would come back!” WIN!
With little competition in the St. Louis Park area, I think Raku Sushi & Lounge will quickly become the sushi place! The atomosphere, attentive service and extensive menu will entice people to return over and over again.
Check out their website and if you aren’t near St. Louis Park they have a location in Edina as well!