Taking over the defunct Yabu on La Cienega, AburiyaRaku sent out a teaser today to their newsletter fans that they are expanding a location to Los Angeles. For anyone who’s been to Raku in Las Vegas’s Chinatown, it’s arguably the best place to eat in Sin City, with acclaim from bothcritics and chefs.
With late night service that extends until 3 a.m. on the weekends, Raku is also a popular spot for creative izakaya fare, with everything from foie gras chawanmushi, kobe beef tendon kushiyaki, expertly grilled yakitori, and what might be the best house-made agadashi tofu ever.
A perennial fixture of Eater Vegas’s Essential 38, this is a major get for Los Angeles, which already has a very strong izakaya scene. Though places like Kinjiro in Little Tokyo currently lead the pack in the city of Angels, the proximity to nightlife in West Hollywood just might put Raku at the top of the heap once it opens.
The original Vegas spot, located in the back of a Strip mall, is one of the toughest tables to land in town, with reservations that extend beyond midnight (who needs to do that in L.A.?) Though the Vegas locale has 48 seats, the former Yabu on La Cienega looks roughly the same size, which might make getting a reservation here just as difficult.
There’s no projected opening date, though with a built out restaurant already in place, it shouldn’t be longer than a few months before Angelenos get to enjoy some of the best Japanese pub fare in America. Raku also has a fantastic dessert tasting spot a few doors down from its original Vegas strip mall location. Here’s to hoping L.A. can land one of those as well.