|Cafe Koraku inside the Primm Fashion Outlet Mall|
This is a place without a lot of ambience, and upon entering you find yourself wondering, 'what am I doing here?' Maybe you were drawn in by the showcase filled with simulated replicas of Japanese food. With their shiny hard exteriors glistening with the allure of culinary promise, just trying to make that visual leap between this so obviously fake, almost gross pieces of plastic and an actual dish that you would want to consume can be a mind boggling quandry.
|Dining Room Floor|
|Plastic Food Display Case|
And once you've sat down and acclimated yourself to the jarring surroundings and order, you get a sense of the familiar; the open kitchen with workers buzzing around hot stoves, the soy sauce and condiment containers and bucket of chopsticks on the table, the waiter bringing you a basket of utensils precisely to order. There's a feeling of anticipation with these subtle displays of drama that I love about coming to this desolate outpost and eating here.
|Pork Kastu Curry|
And as is our usual modus operandi, we always order the same thing-why screw with perfection? The Kastu Curry is an instant crowd pleaser; the curry is thick and full body, exactly like how a Japanese Curry should be. When accompanied with the Kastu, the curry doesn't need the vegetables that are normally in it, but this version does have a high beef content which gives it's rich hearty flavor that goes amazingly well with the fried pork. You just want to dunk every bit of the fried cutlet and drench it to get that crunchy and thick stew texture inside your mouth! And the Kastu is perfectly fried; soft and moist pork incased a light golden brown breading. Rick can't stop talking about this dish, he says it's the best he's ever had, (and he hasn't changed his opinion even after our trip to Japan). Now that's a compliment!
|Tenshin (Omelet) Ramen|
I have to say Koraku Cafe ends up being one of my favorite Japanese restaurants in the Las Vegas area, not only because of the food, but the memory attachment it has with taking that road trip; kinda like the roadside restaurant you always go to when you were a kid with your family. In the end it's not about where you eat, but how the food makes you feel; like you're home.....
Rating (Out of Five Stars)
1) Food 4.5
2) Service 3.5
3) Ambience 2.75