No one has spoken of the dashi at Raku. None. Not the 28 reviews on Yelp, not the blogs found through Urbanspoon. No results through Google search.

Streetgourmet is right, everyone prides themselves on knowing “authentic” Thai food, the best sushi in town, the deepest Indian dive in Artesia. In this foodie climate, it seems odd no one has sang the praise of these bowls of kelp and bonito stock used for both the oden as well as the house made agedashi tofu.

Agedashi tofu is extremely easy to make at home given the popularity of packaged tofu in Japan:

Even about.com has a recipe:

Ingredients:

* 2 blocks cotton tofu
* 1 cup dashi soup stock
* 1 Tbsp soysauce
* 1 Tbsp mirin
* 1 Tbsp potato starch/corn starch and 1Tbsp water, mixed
* 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
* *potato starch/corn starch for dusting tofu
* *vegetable oil for frying.

To send its fried tofu into heaven, Raku staff punches up the broth with some mondo dashi. This for sure was no dashi-no-moto. Not sure if the base of the dish was niban dashi or katsuo dashi but the smokiness was akin to sniffing the essence of rendered fat drizzling off the ribs after hours of Low and Slow. Topped with the ikura and the mustard , this bowl of agedashi soup was out of this world and, I’d imagine, the epitome of umami.

Why this entry, now? One, to refute the praise this little restaurant is getting in Monterey Park by combining the dish described here and the previous slam on The Open Door Izakaya. Two, to serve as a prelude to the upcoming “Umami” Burger entry…


Raku

5030 Spring Mountain Rd #2
Las Vegas, NV 89146
(702) 367-3511

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