Don't let the empty seats fool you, cause once we sat down, every 5 minutes there was a couple walking in. So today I finally decided to check out the new Izakaya place down my street! Place was bustling!
Raa Izakaya - Sushi Bar and Sake Bar
4848 Yonge St. Toronto
The restaurant itself is quite well put together, as i learned from the waitress at the end of the meal, the owner, who was walking around the whole time (see below), was a restaurant consultant who had a dream to open this restaurant, and it became a reality 3 weeks ago. From the beautiful place settings and slate tableware, to the little touches like accent pillows on the banquettes, and wooden accents, and hanging lights, gorgeous!!!! But here's the con, man it was as expensive as it looked (like Melania Trump... she sure is expensive looking)
Here's the back of the owner's head, yes he's a white dude (who put a lot of thought into putting this together)
and in other news, let me add some CONS:
-There is a lighted menu in the front advertising Wagyu beef tataki in ponzu sauce. there was NO BEEF TATAKI. they changed the menu. i wonder if this has anything to do with wagyu beef coming from Japan?
-There was no Gindara: Grilled Black Cod. which i guess isn't their fault, cause black cod is so delicious, but it is their fault! for not having enough black cod. HUMF!
So to start, freebee from this kitchen is this fried seafood in some vinegar marinade, it was some white fish and a niblet of octopus.. tasted like the ocean, but otherwise, tasty
So, always wanting to try something new, i went for this Vegetable Appy called Kinpira (Lotus roots, Gobo, Yam Cake). I really like lotus roots cause they always retain their nice chompability, love chomp chomp chomping em, it was interesting, like what was it, marinaded in some sweet soy slightly? plus the chewy cakes added nice juxtaposition (HA) to the crunchy lotus. it also tasted like it should be free.
Spicy Deluxe Roll $8.50
Tuna, salmon, Hamachi and spicy wasabi tobiko.. $8 f*cking 50!!! if i had an $8.50 spicy tuna roll, it better do my laundry as well. wtf. welllll. in short, it was actually quite tasty and the fish was very melt in my mouth but. $8.50! I am so spoiled by Vancouver rolls.
MMM Tenderous bbq pork belly with negi nuts sauce. This was quite delicious (but what is up with the carrot hickory sticks?).. it was melt in your mouth fat and all, and amazingly tasty. This i will approve at $6.50.... maybe.
Snowcrab Croquette $7.95
Crabmeat, Creme Bechamel, tomato sauce
Soo this is new for me, i had no idea what a "Creme Bechamel" is.. but if i were a better student of Top Chef, should have remembered that they reference Bechemel, a thickened milk sauce, as one of the 5 mother sauces (Velouté, Espagnole, Hollandaise, and Tomato are the others.)
So this is what i have to say... innnteerresting.. its reminiscent to me in some chinese deep fried dish that escapes me right now that's like deep fried milk, but its interesting, and on a bed of tomato sauce... interesting...
Seared Peppered Tuna Carpaccio $13.50
If you remember my Guu posts, ie. Guu Izakaya Church where i had BC Albacore Tuna Carpaccio @ $6.80, the tuna melted in my mouth... this one, did not, im not sure what kind of tuna it is, as you can see in the colour, this one is like a cassis syrupy purple/red, i mean in comparison, there is no comparison. However, stand alone, it was a tasty and decently done. there's a bunch of tomatoes and avocado on a bed of seaweed in the middle, so its a different mix up from my usual garlic and ponzu.
Seafood Yaki Udon - $13.50
What!!! ok im used to my Yaki Udon from Guu being in the $7-8 dollar range, however, we also needed a "filler" and i love yaki udon sooo i'm gonna have to make a BLLEEUGHH noise to this one. i mean, it is what it is, seafood, and udon and an emphasis on YAAeeuuKKKi! I mean nothing exciting or special about it at all, you got pieces of seafood like a whole octopus tentacle, and niblets of shrimp, perhaps a cameo by calamari, im not sure it was quick, some slivers of mushroom, red peppers and cabbage.. it is what it is. which is not much. not $13.50 worth.
Gyu Tongue Shio $7.50
Grilled Sliced Beef Tongue.
This was deeelicious! $7.50 delicious? verdict's still out. However, tongue was nicely seasoned, and super tender, it was like chewing on a crunchy piece of fat... um if you're into that, if not, it was like chewing on a seamless piece of crunchy tasty cow meat. yum!
Hmm and here's the bill... we got a 15% off from the bartender/hawker outside ... um i THINK this is a pretty expensive meal, i wasnt even appetizer full (1/4 full, if that makes sense), and felt the need to wander to the mcdonalds next door for an aftermeal meal..it was decent, and the decor was beautiful, the food was a decent attempt, however, slightly lacklustre from what i've been spoiled/accustomed to. If this is your first go, i suppose you would be impressed. But, a nice try.