The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

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Sushi is my soy-mate

Rakugaki is a new sushi restaurant in the Wildwood Shopping Center that opened as part of the Raku chain throughout Bethesda and D.C. Their fourth location opened in North Bethesda, with other locations in Bethesda, Cathedral Heights and Dupont Circle. They held a soft opening this past March.

The restaurant front is uniform with the quaint feel of the shopping center. Upon walking into the restaurant, the atmosphere is casual and clean with elements of Japanese aesthetics like origami art pieces that give it an authentic feel.

My party and I were seated at a booth by a patient server. The service was extremely quick, and my dining partner and I were not left waiting to eat. There were many options on the menu, ranging from soups to salads to noodles and even more entrees. There was a wide range of sushi options, but I decided to start with the pumpkin soup ($9.00) which was delicious. It had a strong ginger undertone that pulled the creamy soup together and overall its nice fusion helped bring Japanese flavors, like ginger to the homestyle dish of pumpkin soup.

Within five minutes of ordering, we had our first batch of sushi rolls. We started with the “Salmon California Roll” ($9.00) which was a classic and a favorite. The addition of fish roe to the traditional roll elevated the dish.

After the full sushi order was placed, a beautiful assortment of rolls was brought out. The “Treasure Roll” ($15.00) was my personal favorite of the specialty rolls with a futomaki style that incorporated a lot of tuna with Japanese vegetables such as shiso and Oshinko. It was topped off with salmon roe to bring the flavors together. This roll is for the more adventurous eater, but I highly recommend trying it for the experience.

The “Veggie Lover roll” ($8.00) is a great vegan option, with many different vegetables such as Oshinko, Inari and Shiitake mushroom. It had a mintiness to it that made the roll feel fresh and healthy. We also ordered a salmon scallion roll ($7.50) that was understated but satisfying. I recommend this to anyone looking for a simpler roll but still wants a bit of flavor.

The next roll was the “Wasabi Dynamite Roll” ($13.00), with more spice added to the wasabi fish roe. This roll was a little out of my comfort zone, with the array of fish such as salmon, tuna and yellowtail, but it had less of a fishy taste than I expected it to contain. The last roll we ordered was the “Black Snake Roll” ($16.00), which was my least favorite because of the spiciness. I got it without the truffle oil because I don’t like truffle flavor but it still was spicy and not flavorful beyond the spice.

For dessert, there were many options, but I chose the “Choco Parfait” ($10.00) which was a light dessert with palate-cleansing vanilla soft-serve and chocolate crunch. I didn’t expect sushi to go with parfaits but it was the perfect topper to a fantastic meal. I highly recommend it to anyone with room for dessert after sushi.

The total bill ended up being pricier than expected, with the price a little higher than the quality of the food. It was not totally out of budget though, as Wildwood Shopping Center tends to be more expensive than other shopping areas.

While Rakugaki is a great addition to D.C. area sushi, it felt like an addition to Raku, and not particularly evolutionary. But, if you are looking for a comfortable and family-friendly local sushi restaurant, Rakugaki is a great option for a meal.

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About the Contributor
Eliana Wolf, Sports Editor
Eliana is pumped to be this year’s Sports Editor for Lions Tale. She has always had an affinity for sports, as she is on the Varsity Tennis, Winter Track, and Softball teams. She loves editing articles and is so excited to enhance the sports sections with engaging content. Eliana is also an active member of the Bohr-Franklin Science Journal and the STEM fellowship. In addition to Lion's Tale, you can find Eliana playing the piano, spending time with her family and friends, reading, and hiking in Rock Creek Park. She can’t wait to work with her co-editors to edit articles and design spreads for the section.  

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