Toridokoro Raku (according to their website “toridokoro” means “chicken bar” in Japanese) is a yakitori / all things chicken focused restaurant and the newest member of the Raku group of restaurants, which includes the original Raku in Chinatown and dessert-y Sweets Raku. I’m a big fan of Raku and was in Vegas for the weekend so made a late reservation at 11pm on a Friday.
They have an omakase dinner available for $75 but I wasn’t super hungry so I just ordered a la carte. Some of the things I wanted to try were out that night - including the chicken oyster (sold out) and the mochi chicken ball w/gravy (some supplier issue if I heard correctly). The chicken lung and kidney skewers were also sold out.
Dinner starts with an interesting free appetizer.
I should have asked some questions about what this was exactly, but according to some reviews on Yelp this is apparently seaweed jelly. One squeezes it through a box that has a square grate on the bottom to create rectangular noodle like things. These fall into a sweet, sour (vinegary) and I think chicken-y cold sauce. A nice cool appetizer. The noodles tasted a bit like mung bean jelly noodles and had a similar texture.
I ordered mostly skewers:
Chicken Wing (Teba) ($4.5)
A grilled chicken wing, partially deboned for ease of eating. Very good. The skin was nice and crisp. As with all of the skewers I tried this had a nice light clean charcoal flavor from the binchotan charcoal they use on the grill.
Chicken Cartilage (Yagen Nankotsu) ($4)
This is the cartilage between the two breasts of the chicken, with also some of the breast meat attached. Very good as well, I don’t think I’ve tried this before. The cartilage is a little crunchy but not tough, and the breast meat around it was tender.
Chicken Liver ($4)
Some perfectly cooked liver with a somewhat creamy interior, with a light coating of sweet and salty tare sauce.
Tsukune (Ground Chicken) ($4.5)
Ground chicken meatball on a stick. Nicely cooked -juicy inside and with a slightly caramelized exterior, with a light coating of tare. I also added a poached egg (+$2) to dip my chicken lollipop in.
Need to get some vegetables. Nicely cooked zucchini with some shaved bonito flakes.
Chicken Tail (Bonjiri) ($5)
Delicious! Along with the oysters one of my favorite parts of the chicken. Chicken butts from a number of chickens. Fatty and juicy and flavorful.
I also was provided as a condiment a jar of “chicken miso” which tasted like a mix of finely ground chicken and red miso to give an extra umami punch.
Aside from skewers I also had a small cup of the
Paitan Soup ($3.5)
Paitan means creamy soup and this is like the chicken equivalent of a tonkotsu broth - long simmered, rich and creamy and packed with stick to your lips collagen. A really nice bowl of soup. They also offer a ramen with this broth and also have a clear broth as well.
And as a finisher I had the
Soboro Don ($8.5)
Which was also delicious. A bowl of rice topped with a seasoned ground chicken topping, some pickled greens (mustard greens?) that provided a nice sour-ish herbal contrast to the sweet and salty chicken bits, and a quail egg yolk on top to add some eggy richness. A really nice donburi.
For dessert I had
Mango Pudding ($5)
Which came with a cup of tea. A date tea if I remember correctly. Nice little bowl of pudding. There were three layers - a creamy bottom layer, some whipped cream I think, and then a mango glaze/jelly layer with a little piece of mango. Light and refreshing with a lot of mango flavor.
I also had a couple glasses of sake from their sake list which is much smaller than Raku’s (which is about the size of a small novel).
A delicious meal, will definitely return to try some more things and maybe even the omakase.