"Is a raw tuna pizza on a tortilla something that really needs to exist?" This was the one and only note I took during my first lunch at Raku Sushi & Lounge in St. Louis Park's ever-growing West End. Though I'd originally scribbled it on the back of a voided check, I later tweeted it for posterity and got a response from fellow food writer Stephanie March with a link to a video of legendary chef Masaharu Morimoto demonstrating how to make his signature tuna pizza, one of the most enduringly popular dishes at both his Philadelphia and New York City restaurants. Others got in on the tuna pizza conversation, noting that Morimoto's iconic dish "cannot and should not be replicated." I quickly fell down an internet rabbit hole about its many incarnations, leading me to amend my original note to: "Does THIS tuna pizza need to exist?" This thickly layered mess of mushy textures, much too much bland guacamole, and raw tuna shellacked with sauce that somehow makes the whole thing look like a tanned jellyfish? No, is my conclusion. And though I experienced some far more enjoyable dishes at this stylish sushi joint, the tuna pizza aptly embodied my main issues with much of the food at Raku. Though many of the traditional flavors and oft-used components were present, I just never found enough of the freshness and lightness and unexpected "yums" I generally associate with... More >>>