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100 Best Restaurants 2008: Raku Bethesda
No. 97: Raku Bethesda
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Cynthia Hacinli, Dave McIntyre
Comments () | Published January 1, 2008

Raku Bethesda
Address: 7240 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda, MD 20814
Phone: 301-718-8680
Neighborhood: Bethesda/Glen Echo
Cuisines: Sushi, Pan-Asian, Japanese, Chinese
Opening Hours: Open for lunch Monday through Friday 11:30 to 2:30, Saturday and Sunday noon to 3. Open for dinner Sunday through Thursday 5 to 10, Friday and Saturday 5 to 10:30.
Nearby Metro Stops: Bethesda
Price Range: Moderate
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Recommended
Price Details: Entrees, $16.50 to $25.

Cuisine: A mishmash of Asian cuisines (dashi with shrimp tempura, duck breast with five-spice powder) and pseudo-Asian fusions (a classic fruits de mer shot through with yuzu) coexist on this smartly curated menu.

Mood: Laughter and conversation abound in this usually crowded sushi bar and bistro with such playful design touches as hanging oversize chopsticks.

Best for: Groups looking to satisfy multiple tastes, daters looking for a spot that will casually impress.

Best dishes: Seoul Train roll, a mix of spicy kimchee and cool tuna; What a Match! roll, with apple and mackerel; sea-urchin sushi with quail egg, so custardy it tastes almost like dessert; tuna tartare with lemon-basil sauce; Thai-curry bouillabaise, the creamy broth teeming with lobster, mussels, and other seafood; beef tenderloin in red-wine-pomegranate sauce with roasted white yams; Chilean sea bass in a tangy ginger-tomato sauce.

Insider tips: The collision of cuisines might tempt you to order a meal made up of appetizers. But hold off on those fried dumplings and seafood spring rolls—the artful entrées are the best reason to come.

Service: •

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 01/01/2008 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews