Cafe Saturdays – Sweets Raku

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Ok ok, this is not a Cafe, but they do serve lunch!

Raku and Sweets Raku definitely hold their individual spots in my Vegas top ten (I’ll let you know my top ten in due time)! Sweets Raku started out (and still is for the most part) as a dessert restaurant. I always love to hear the first words after greeting those coming in “are you ready for dessert?”

Why, yes, yes I am! Some would say I was born ready!

Nowadays, Sweets Raku serves lunch on Saturdays and Sundays, and a few other appetizer-like dishes consisting of Prosciutto, Liver Pate, Burrata Cheese, Caviar, etc.

Today was my first time trying any of their savory dishes, and man it was yummy! I decided to go with the sandwich and two course dessert prix fixe. I went with the Grilled Salmon sandwich with Tomato Basil soup, and the Ringo dessert. And I got myself a white wine sangria, because why not?

The tomato basil soup was delicious! Very creamy! The grilled salmon came with ikura (Roe) and some greens in a warm croissant. It was good! Every bite was bursting with salty ocean flavors and deliciousness! Then came dessert:


First some raspberry sorbet with mint jello. Then came Ringo:

IMG_2012Ringo is an apple pie with caramel ice cream. The blown sugar apple is filled with whipped cream and caramel sauce in the center. It. Is. Delicious. Needless to say.

I’ve been going to Sweets Raku since it’s debut. Their menu is seasonal. I get the idea behind seasonal menus, but man it’s so heartbreaking when you fall in love with an item and then it’s no longer in the menu a few months later. My favorite dessert by far was last season’s Red Rock. It was a raspberry souffle with ice cream. Hopefully it comes back, in the meantime we’ve got Ringo.

Throughout the years this place has become more and more popular. If you come in during dinner time, you are sure to find a full house. But I guess you can have the place all to yourself during lunch time (more like 3-5pm)! Love it!

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P.S. If you find yourself at Sweets Raku, make sure to check out the restroom (not pictured here). I know, weird. But it’s really nice!


Currently Reading: Kitchen Confidential


I like to eat! And when it comes to food shows, No Reservations is my favorite. I like Bourdain’s no BS attitude, and when it comes to food porn, he knows what’s up! So it’s no surprise that the book that started it all is a great read!

The first chapters focus on his initiation into the food world, with stories about his childhood and the moment he decided to eat everything! Including his cherry-popping oyster moment:

“And I had my first oyster. Now this was a truly significant event. I remember it like I remember losing my virginity–and in many ways, more fondly.” – Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential.

It’s packed with interesting, and maybe even disgusting, insider tips of the restaurant biz. It certainly gives the reader a new perspective on dining out, by giving us a vivid description of a typical day for a chef.

Then there’s the infamous chapter From Our Kitchen to Your Table. I almost felt like whipping out my phone and creating list of warnings for myself:

  1. It’s Monday, are you sure you want to order that fish?
  2. Brunch? skip the hollandaise… or skip brunch altogether!
  3. Pass on the lemon in the water and perhaps the mussels too.
  4. And… well… maybe I can just read that chapter again!

It’s easy to sit and read this book, you can almost hear his voice in your head as you do. The writing is as colorful as his narrating in No Reservations, and it very easily paints a picture in your mind of the anecdote being told. I’m close to the end, but this is one of those that I’ll read again hoping to catch a gem I may have missed in the first run-thru.


Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach

As Summer kicks in full gear in Las Vegas, I decided to seek cooler winds. Indeed, it was a cool 64 degrees Fahrenheit in Manhattan Beach, meanwhile in Vegas it was over 100.

It was my first time in Manhattan Beach, and my first time using Airbnb! I loved both!

The weather was perfect: cool enough to feel comfortable, and warm enough for a few hours to soak in the sun. The Pacific beaches tend to be cold, so having the sun out is a must if you are going to venture into the water. The area was cute, with tons of cute stores to check out. Walking is a bit of a workout because you are either walking up hill or walking down hill. My legs were soar after just one day!

Our Block

The cozy beach studio was adorable, and walking distance to the beach. We didn’t really have much interaction with the landlord, which was ok with me. As a first timer on Airbnb, I don’t have very many tips for a seamless experience. I do advice to do your research and make sure to check out the reviews. I had a great experience, but I wouldn’t take that for granted in the future. I do plan on using it again 🙂

Due to the nature of the short trip, I could not get a good taste of the food down there. I did have a good dinner at The Strand House, but I am not sure I would recommend it. It’s a cute place, but my pork-chop was a bit hard to cut. They did have some delicious donuts though:


Living in Las Vegas, it seems weekends in California are a no-brainer, but I don’t seem do it as much as I’d like to (note to self: more weekends in Cali!).