At Aburiya Raku in Las Vegas, finding an empty table before midnight can be difficult. For years, the off-strip izakaya located in the city's small Chinatown district has been a popular late-night haunt for Vegas chefs and other food-world insiders. Its awards and accolades are numerous.
Earlier this year, the opening of a second outpost of Aburiya Raku in West Hollywood invited a fair amount of speculation. Would the place become an after-hours stop for L.A.'s boisterous industry types? Would it be impossible to snag a seat at the bar? And most important: How would chef-owner Mitsuo Endo's ambitious pub fare translate to a city with its own robust Japanese food scene? Read the L.A. Weekly review here.