Authentic local Japanese hidden off the Strip
Popular plate: If you're a die-hard Japanese food fan, order ahead for the kaiseki, an artfully prepared 10-15 course meal (USD 100-150).
Tipple of choice: It'd be rude not to drink sake, but there's a decent, affordable range of wine here too, with bottles starting at a comfortable USD 22.
You know the grub's going to be good when you spot Las Vegas' best chefs catching up over a plate of chicken teba wings here at 2am. Tucked off the Strip in an inconspicuous side street, Raku is the locals spot that's finally getting out.
Distancing itself somewhat from standard sushi, there's some great traditional Japanese oden, rice, noodle and soup dishes on the menu, but chef-owner Mitsuo Endo, a Tokyo native, really knows his barbecue. Everything on the robata grill menu is served on a skewer, and the flavor-packed Japanese bites start at just USD 2.