Sushi Lunch at Raku

It's hard to find great sushi that doesn't break the bank. You don't take chances with raw fish, and to get good fish you generally gotsta spend some coin. But if you work downtown, Raku has become a nice option for a decently priced weekday sushi lunch. Not only will you find fresh fish and a well-rounded meal, you'll also walk away with a much needed boost of Zen, a welcome addition to any corporate stratosphere.

Raku offers three weekday lunch specials:

• Four pairs of slick-slippery nigiri for $17 • The Chef's Special daily rolls, plus two pieces of nigiri for $13.75 • Two 4-piece rolls, plus four pieces of nigiri for $10.50

I'll admit that I was skeptical that a seemingly small sushi lunch could fill me up for the afternoon, but each lunch special comes with your choice of miso soup or green salad with ginger dressing, and the fish is abundantly filling. Raku's sushi arrives promptly, sitting pretty on slate dishes or shellacked wooden trays. Each piece of nigiri blankets the corresponding rice in beauty. The slices are massive, and the fish is bang-up quality. Rolls are mostly basic -- California, spicy tuna, spicy salmon -- but the chef's daily special provides a nice option for the more adventurous. There you'll find scallop rolls, tempura rolls, and a wider variety of fish.

Osaka still gets my vote for favorite midrange sushi, but the lunch specials at Raku are a worthy treat.

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