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Outstanding Vegas Izakaya Raku Opens Tonight in West Hollywood at 6 p.m. Sharp

One of the season's most eagerly-awaited new options is here.

A daytime street shot shows a restaurant under construction, with red arrow overlaid on the image.
Raku West Hollywood
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Well that was fast. One of the fall’s most anticipated openings, Raku in West Hollywood is set to drop tonight at 6 p.m. sharp. That's good news for just about anyone with a pulse, considering how highly regarded the Las Vegas original is.

In an email sent around late last night, the Raku team proudly announced what is likely to be considered a soft-opening, telling their customers that there’s much to still be done inside but that "the food is great."

There’s no denying that. Raku’s original home in Las Vegas has been quite taken with the place for some time, landing the izakaya concept on the Eater Vegas Essential 38 list. Eater’s own roving critic Bill Addison also added the place to his all-encompassing National 38 essentials map around the turn of the new year.

The high level of food and service also must make some wonder whether or not the expansion into Los Angeles could help chef Mitsuo Endo’s chances of finally grabbing a James Beard Foundation award win for best Chef West — after all, he’s been a runner-up almost every year since 2009.

Not much else is known regarding Raku’s opening tonight, which is flying rather far under the radar given the pedigree of the place. Still, all signs point to ‘go’ as of 6 p.m. tonight, so if you’re interested in finding out just what all the fuss is about, better make plans to get to the northern stretch of Restaurant Row this evening. Good luck with parking.

Raku West Hollywood
521 N. La Cienega Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90048