Raku, Las Vegas, NV
I thought long and hard but still could not come up with the right words to do Raku justice. Their kaiseki was one of the best meals I have had. Everything was meticulously flawless from the beginning till the end. There were not one single dish that was not beyond impressive. It was more than just food. It was an art.
Among my limited exposure to Japanese kaiseki and other haute cuisine, Raku offered one of the most humble yet most exquisite experience. The presentation is formal but the atmosphere is quite casual. We dined at one of the two back rooms at the small restaurant. Exclusive but not totally isolated from the lively robata gill ambiance. The three hour dinner was a feast to my sensory mind and a truly memorable affair.
Advanced reservation for kaiseki is a must. The reservation process was almost ridiculous. You will need to provide your credit card number at the time of your phone call. They will then email you their terms and conditions to which you must accept or your reservation will be canceled. They will call you up the day before your reservation to make sure you are still planning to keep your reservation and then remind you again on the same day. I don’t think I had to confirm this many times even for famous Michelin starred restaurants. Oh yes and don’t be late because they won’t hesitate to give away your table. This is also not the best place to enjoy a good conversation after dinner because they have reservations lined up and you will be reminded politely not to overstay. A bit of a pain but totally worth it.