Paul Bartolotta goes there. Rick Moonen goes there. Joe Isidori and David Varley just went, and uber-wine guys Jaime Smith and Ken Fredrickson can’t stay away. In fact every chef and foodie in town is making a pilgrimage these days to an obscure corner of a run-down strip mall that houses this tiny, 30-seat sanctuary of serious Japanese robatayaki cooking.
Raku has only been open two months, but it is probably the single most exciting off-Strip restaurant to open in the past two years. And in terms of finely-tuned food, nothing off the Strip can match it.
Having come of age in the 60’s and 70’s, yours truly has a healthy distrust of anything the government tells him.* And when it comes to food and diet, the Feds get so many things wrong,** it’s best just to ignore them altogether.
Witness the recent mass hysteria brought on by the government warnings about salmonella in tomatoes. Turns out, blaming tomatoes was a bad idea. In fact, most of the stuff you heard a few weeks ago was not supported by any hard evidence – just conjecture and supposition – which didn’t stop the destruction of millions of dollars of tomatoes, because a few people (maybe/supposedly) ate some (actual/really) crappy food at some (possibly) bad restaurants (mostly in Texas.)
The point is, because 922 people got sick from something (nobody knows exactly what), that may or may not be related to salsa, tens of millions of people, thousands of businesses and hundreds of farmers have to suffer…..
Read the tale of government and journalistic panic-button-pushing here in the Wall Street Journal.
* e.g. Watergate, Vietnam War, Cambodia, Richard Nixon, J. Edgar Hoover, The Chicago 7, Oliver North, CIA, Henry Kissinger, Three Mile Island, Weapons of Mass Destruction, et al…
** See: IN DEFENSE of FOOD, Michael Pollan, (Penguin Press 2008)
Don’t worry, we’re not going all Birkenstock on you with these last two posts. Every once in a while though, we lift our nose out of a grand cru Burgundy, after having polished off some Caspian Sea beluga, followed by Chilean sea bass and a Komodo Dragon steak, to actually pay attention to the world at large. And because of it, Eating Las Vegas is starting to strongly suspect there just might be something to this whole carbon-footprint thing.
Click here for some dire news for banana fans.