Lunch at Aburiya Raku--Glory we do not deserve

For the last several months, Aburiya Raku has been serving one of the great lunches in Los Angeles–nay, the country. It is a “bento box” that is produced with an absurd level of care. Sadly, the place is empty at lunch, making me wonder if they will stop soon. It would be a shame. It is an incredible meal, and I strongly encourage others to try it out.

First, salad and miso soup. The soup has an extra umami burst through some small mushrooms, and the salad is nice and refreshing. Nothing too special, but nice versions of what you would expect at the beginning of this kind of meal.

Next, a waitress brings you a massive box, and asks you to remove the lid. Upon removal, she describes each item in detail.

Top left: some kind of pickled salad; I forget what it is, but it was good.

Top second to left: raw salmon chunks with salmon roe and some kind of sauce. Yum.

Top second to the right: chawanmushi with uni and salmon roe, in some kind of dashi. Really good.

Top right: Delicious tempura asparagus.

Middle left: Omelette with daikon and bacon-wrapped tomatoes (great).

Middle right: Salmon and yellow tail sashimi, served with different accoutriments. My favorite combination was black seaweed with salmon. I forgot how great their sashimi cuts are.

Bottom left: Teriyaki chilean seabass with asparagus and radish. Very sweet, but just the right amount. I enjoyed it, although it was a bit basic.

Bottom right: Onigiri with a ground simmered chicken running through the middle.

Finally–time for dessert. Hot tea and an ice cold, sumptuous brown sugar pudding. A perfect contrast and a delicious dessert.

With a drink, this came to $35 + tip. Very happy to pay it. I have spent a pretty decent amount of time in Tokyo, and have eaten a number of michelin starred lunch sets, and this is up there with any of them. It is amazing that we have this in our city; I wish more people were eating there.


I’m told you can order grilled items off the dinner menu too.

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That is correct.

Their kaisen don is pretty good too, but not as good as tsujita’s. I would stick with the bento.