Judging Restaurants – Raku


Finishing up an Asian themed week here at PoP I thought I’d finally ask about Raku located at 1900 Q St. NW. I’ve heard from a number of people that this place is fantastic. But the Washington Post says, “The Dupont outpost of Raku sorely misses the vibrant presence of chef Masaru Homma, a staple at the Bethesda location.” So what’s the deal is at as good as I hear or just mediocre in a popular location?

Ed. Note: If you missed the news of the new Japanese Market opening at 17th and U, you can find it here.

27 Comment

  • I’d go with mediocre in a popular location. If Afterwords opened a bland panAsian noodle slopshop, that slopshop would be Raku.

    Places like this make me miss Vesuvius that much more.

  • best calamari in town!

  • I think it’s good and cheap.

  • Worst. Service. Ever.

  • One word for you: roach.

  • I went here some time last year. The food’s good, but this is not a restaurant you can sit down and relax in. It’s too loud and service is rushed.

  • Eh it’s a decent, inexpensive option for pan-Asian. It’s not great, it’s not terrible, but it can be a nice place to go once and a while, especially when you want to please a lot of different palates. It’s not going to blow your socks off but it’s not awful either. Mediocre.

  • I was not very impressed, but a lot of people in my office seem to love it.

  • i’ve been several times, and completely underwhelmed. service was fine, but the food was barely mediocre.

  • I was sorry to see it replace that daiquiri place that was there before it. Dang, what was that called?

  • Good for a quick bowl of reasonably priced noodles. Sushi is passable.

  • The husband and I call it Crapu. We liked a few things on the menu, but whenever we went, the service was rude, the patrons loud, and the space too small for the crowds it attracts. Yet, I’ve come across a few folks who really like it.

  • horrible food, overpriced drinks, bad service, super loud. i do not understand the allure.

  • Hate to be a repeater, but the service… Lord… What terrible service… I wonder if they consciously recruit the worst waiters and or waitresses in the Western world?

  • having to pay for kimchi is ridiculous.

  • mediocre food, overpriced, nice location.

  • The predecessor was called The Daiquiri Factory. Loved it!

  • Good location, lots of outdoor seating, really rude wait staff, and not horrible food. Bethesda Raku has great food — only bothered to try it because the WaPo said it was unlike the one in Dupont Circle.

  • it’s gone seriously downhill.

  • Gone downhill? That assumes it was ever on top of a hill. I ate at Raku several times across their first two years of operation. It was mediocre at best, never improved, and I haven’t eaten there since. Most telling: a friend waited tables there, and told me that many of their dumplings were frozen off site before use at Raku. If that’s anyone’s idea of asian food, trust me, you can buy bags of pretty decent frozen dumplings at an asian market, and they’ll taste better than Raku’s.

  • horrible, abismal, rushed service. food is mediocre at best.

  • I have eaten at this restaurant in 2002, and then again in 2004 or 2005. The food was gross in 2002, and still gross 2-3 years later. What a waste of a great location.

  • Also, noteworthy that Raku runs the mini-Asian restaurant at the P street whole foods. For some reason, the food there is a bit more edible.

  • at least a few years ago, they had a HUUUUUGE rat problem.

  • 1. Were the rats huge?
    2. Was the problem huge?
    3. Both?

  • It was good when it first opened. My wife & I went on a semi regular basis. After the first few years (?) the menu changed & the quality of the food went down so far that we started referring to it as Raku-teria. Now we don’t bother to refer to it at all.

    I have eaten there in the past six months, It’s still bad.

  • I have a special place in my heart for Raku. So many fun times there. I don’t pretend it’s great but I do enjoy it.

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