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America, June 25, 2004

Raku is Crapu

Cuz the service stinks like poo poo

ouch, you're mad
Nicole hates Raku
not Raku, eh?
They're not fans either
if I had too
I'd even go here first
tastes good too
Naw, I'd rather cook
There is a restaurant in Dupont Circle that I pass often call Raku - An Asian Diner. Every time I see it, I wanna like the place. It has a cool Asian motif with red accents around the nice outdoor patio and some of the dishes are pretty good.

The only problem is that I've only been able to eat there twice after five tries because their service is so poor. Now 'm not talking an order error here, or a bad server there. I'm talking a full-blown systematic and structural server problem that seeming is only getting worse.

First off, Raku makes patrons wait on the sidewalk outside the patio when there are empty tables in plain view. As they don't take reservations, they're not waiting for anyone special, yet they will still make people wait, and the host will yell at you if you ask to be on the waitlist or try to sneak a table when she is off smoking a cigarette.

Then when you're seated, good luck with the waiter. One I had forgot about us until I reminded him, after he passed our table several times to take orders from all the tables around us, that we were in his section and ready to order. He was then quick in bringing us our drinks, but we finally gave up on waiting for the food after an hour and left. I wonder when he finally noticed our absence? Closing time?

Another time a server took our order promptly, but then tried to serve us a whole different set of food. Now I can understand confusing vegetarian and meat jiaozi, but three bowls of soup for a tofu appetizer? Then he had the audacity to insist that we in fact, ordered three bowls of soup for two people.

Once, while sitting at the bar, I made the mistake of going to the Raku bathroom, which is in the basement next to the food storage area. That bathroom and the state of the food storage area, and both so close, made me glad I was only having drinks.

Then to top off all my Raku experiences, last night four of us were denied seating there. We were dressed right, ready to order, and had cash in our pockets, but I seem to have uttered the magic rejection words. 'One more might be joining us' must be code for 'kick their asses out!' for no sooner had I said this than the host stopped in his tracks and told us we had to wait for the fifth.

I tried to explain that we four were here and hungry. We were gonna order and eat right away, and the fifth might not even show. To top it off, the restaurant was half-empty, so the possible addition of one more would not make a difference. The host failed to see reason and outright refused to seat us. When I asked for the manger, I got the classic 'she's not here' run-around.

So that's it. That is the last straw for me. I'll not be going back to Raku - An Asian Diner ever again. And it looks like there are plenty of others who agree with me. In the Washington Post's Dining Guide, over 40 people denounce Raku so far! Check out these other horror stories.

Worst dining experience I have ever had in D.C.

The Dupont circle place has the worst service I have ever come across!

This restaurant appears to have no regard for customer service! I would rather eat at Taco Bell.

Formerly great restaurant now run by people hoping that word won't get around about seating nazis, soviet service and terrible pad thai.

I used to go to Raku dupont regularly. I finally just gave up. The service can be terrible.

I used to come here regularly but NEVER AGAIN!

The service is not only terrible at Raku Dupont, the management is rude and combative when a problem is brought to the restaraunt's attention.

Raku - An Asian Diner
1900 Q St. NW, Washington, DC 20009
Phone: 202-265-7258

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Hey Wayan I might just donate to your site so you can buy a shirt or two! Who's taking all these nudie pics of you anyway? or maybe I shouldn't ask....

I hate Raku. One day when walking to work in 2001 there was a 40 year old dude with a spare tire in a twead blazer leaning against a tree (a block up from Raku, on the same side) with his shrivelled white dick hanging out. After stopping in my tracks to shriek with laghter and point, which didn't seem to deter the perv, I headed to Raku.

I wanted to use their phone to call the police to get the perv taken in. (This was before I had a cell phone, obviously.) They wouldn't let me use the phone, they said it was only for customers. I explained that it was to call THE POLICE and they still didn't budge.

OK, the ridiculous-ness of this aside, do you think these butt monkeys would let customers use their phone just to chat? Uh-uh.

I will never, ever give 50 cents to these ass wipes. I hate Raku more than I hate sushi.


Well it seems that not only do my friends dislike Raku. I posted about it on and whatcha know, others think Raku is Crapu too.

Now if I could only get this post to be #1 on Google for "raku dc"...

I cannot disagree more with the rather vehement tirade against Raku - An Asian Diner. I ate there with my wife and 20-something daughter and teenage son when visiting Washington this past summer and the food was exceptional, the appetiser special was great (lightly battered rare tuna sliced and served piping hot with wasabi etc) and the price quite reasonable. I felt I had stumbled upon value-for-money in what can be an expensive town.

We were seated quickly, there was no wait time, athough we did bypass some folks waiting for a larger table, and our drinks order was taken and served promptly.

Yes, I saw that the service could be slow. Yes, I had to hunt the waiter down for the bill (but by that point we'd eaten, hadn't we?). But that said, the food was amazing for the price point, it came relatively quickly and we had fun to boot.

We'd go there again in a flash. And as for complaining that they wouldn't let you use their business phone to call the police, that is not the only place that has happened to me. Oh well, get over it.


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