First off, thanks chowhounds for your various reviews & input that helped build this list of to-eats. These restaurants were solid.
After nearly four hours on the road from OC, we went directly to Raku. Even though we had reservations, we waited 5-10 minutes for our table for four. The service was friendly and even. It wasn't quick, but there were only two servers/wait staff for 30 people...that's a bit tough when you're close to capacity. Here's what we had:
- ika (sashimi)
- fresh tofu (which was warm and a little on the soft side)
- oyako donburi (we ordered a bite sized)
- conch (fresh and crunchy)
- bacon wrapped enoki (one of my favourites)
- oden w/daikon & konbu & egg
- onigiri two ways
- yaki ika (tare was good...reminded me of yaki ika from a festival in Japan)
- chicken thigh
- chicken wing/tebasaki
- kobe beef w/garlic (tender & tasty)
- green tea creme brulee (favourite of the group)
- chocolate molten cake
Quite solid. Though it doesn't compare to Torihei in Torrance (a near-perfect izakaya/oden restaurant), it was good (not great). All told, for food & $25 pitcher of beer, it was $140 with tax (pre tip).
We were hosted at Cathay House. First and foremost, WOW. What a beautiful interior. I'm used to dim sum places being a bit greasy looking; this was clean and not very greasy. Though I'll go on a semi-regular basis and I've been to many, I still wouldn't consider myself an expert. On a scale of 1 to 5, I'd give myself a 3.5. That said, they had a great sticky rice, baos and Hong Kong style pan-fried noodles. The other dishes we had were really good. So good, that I'd like to return. The meal for four with tax, $53. We're definitely returning on our next trip.
SEN OF JAPAN
We made reservations for four a week out in advance. Normally, a group of four isn't seated at the counter, but since we were there early, they accommodated us. Everything was VERY good. I was impressed...and wished that we had such a sushi-ya in *our* neighbourhood. They had all the usuals--mirugai, sake, hamachi, buri, hirame no engawa, amaebi, tamago, ikura--and a couple surprises: soft shell crab and dang, I forgot the name of the fish. The thing about the soft shell crab was that it wasn't tiny; it was quite big. We had a few other dishes, but I didn't keep track. =( We also split a couple desserts, a chocolate cake and I can't remember the other. The desserts were presented in a cute lacquered bento box. The food, one large beer, after tax was $175. And FWIW, Andre Agassi is a regular here.
We'll definitely return to Cathay House & Sen--because they held their own. Not so sure about Raku, b/c while I liked it, it didn't knock my socks off and I'd prefer to try new chowish places. Thanks guys for pointing these places out! =)
Cathay House Restaurant
5300 Spring Mountain Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89146
5030 Spring Mountain Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89146
Sen of Japan
8480 W Desert Inn Rd F1, Las Vegas, NV