This past week, New Food Houston was invited to visit Ra Sushi for a tasting of their menu during their 13th Annual Nicky Week Special. What we discovered was the same nostalgic Ra we often visited years ago, except with a new fresh flavor.
Nicky’s Week is an honorary event that happens for one week each year at Ra in commemoration of Nicky, the child of a Ra founder who battled cancer. When you dine from the Nicky’s Week menu, 100% of the sales go to St. Jude’s Hospital. This week, those dates were from May 22-28, so keep an eye out for this event in the future. It’s an amazing way to give back and eat well while doing it!
Now, for this new food we tasted. I’m not sure about ya’ll, Houston, but Ra used to be the spot for happy hour. Especially, before a big concert or event, it seemed like the whole city would meet there. It was the perfect place to throw back some Saki bombs and cheap food before hitting the night. But until now, thinking of Ra as a place to go outside of the hours of 3-7 or 10-11 (yes, reverse happy hour!) never crossed my mind.
So, lets get started with some of their best new dishes:
The Garlic Ponzu Yellowtail. This dish was amazing. As the name suggests, it’s just strips of melt-in-your-mouth fresh Yellowtail in a garlic ponzu sauce, with scallions and micro greens on top. Simple, but it didn’t need to be more complicated. This fish was so tender and fresh, it would be a crime to roll it up with cream cheese and crab mix. The raw fish boat is here to stay and Ra is doing it just as well as the big dogs with this dish.
The “Ra”ckin Shrimp. These bad boy shrimp tacos had fried shrimp, Asian coleslaw, and guacamole, topped with ginger teriyaki sauce all in a crispy gyoza shell. With the airy shell and the crispy shrimp, this dish was a hit. Bright, fresh, and flavorful!
The Salmon Poke. So, poke is a huge thing now in Houston. The best of the best is popping up all over the city to be crowned the top poke spot. Ra is secretly stepping in with their own poke specials, and while you can’t create your own bowl, their concoction will leave you wanting more. They have Ahi Tuna, Salmon, and mixed Poke options, each with cucumbers, avocado, green onions, seaweed salad, and sesame seeds in their poke sauce. On the side they give a giant heap of white rice and some spicy mayo and Sriracha sauce. This pre-mixed poke really was great and we went with the Salmon first. The fish was fresh and the poke sauce was light and refreshing. The onions and cucumbers were finely chopped and seemed to be well marinated in the poke sauce. Overall, the poke is worth ordering if you want something light and refreshing.
After trying all the fresh new dishes on the Ra menu, we had to kick it old school and see if the notorious Viva Las Vegas Roll was still popping. It’s a cool roll, with crab and cream cheese rolled in rice and seaweed, lightly tempura battered and topped with spicy tuna, crab mix and sliced lotus root, finished with sweet eel sauce and green tempura bits. Still the same roll as I remembered it to be. Its textures and flavor are definitely there, but man this bad boy is heavy. Beware when ordering it with a ton of other dishes, but by itself, it serves as a hardy well-reasoned choice!
All in all, our visit to Ra was surprisingly delicious and worthy of another attendance. New fresh dishes and innovative ideas have led Ra in the right sushi direction. With so much competition, their happy hour times still makes them stand out (3-7pm and 10-11pm Monday-Saturday and 3-11 pm on Sunday). With their new great food, its hard to pick another place to go to. Tomorrow is Memorial Day and Ra is having happy hour ALL DAY. It’s supposed to rain (surprise, surprise) so head to Ra and try their new dishes!
Stay Trill, Spread Love, and Be The Wave!