Details

Raku Bethesda

7240 Woodmont Ave.
Bethesda, MD 20814

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.

Cheap Eats 2007: Raku

Oversize lanterns and paper parasols swing from the rafters; chopsticks big enough to joust with jut out from the walls. The atmosphere at this cafe is so animated, it sometimes feels like a giant rec room.

The place also knows how to please. A mostly Japanese fusion menu is focused enough to keep the raw-fish purists from grumbling, yet even sushiphobes will find something to like.

Plates like tuna tartare, Thai-curry bouillabaisse, and strip steak with Szechuan spice are dependably delicious, while newer takes like smoky wok-charred Chilean sea bass, paper-thin slices of buttery yellowtail with sesame-wasabi ponzu, and a salad of cilantro and onion prove that the kitchen hasn’t grown lazy.

Want sushi? Go for the rolls. Combos like the Raku with eel, egg, avocado, and cucumber, the kimchee-spiked Seoul Train roll, and a marvelous salmon roe and quail egg combo are as tasty as they are festive. Just like Raku.

Open daily for lunch and dinner.