What’s wrong with this statement: “We went for cocktails, and stayed for lunch.” Absolutely nothing, that’s what! Last week, Urban Swank was invited to RA Sushi to try some of the cocktails from their new and improved selection, which now includes fresh juices and higher quality liquors.

It was a Friday, mid-day when I picked my friend up to head over to RA at Highland Village for our cocktail tasting. Before we knew it, we were inside the spacious restaurant, in the hands of friendly and knowledgeable General Manager Gavin. His seven years of experience working for the company and his passion for what he does really shone through as he gave us a run-down of the changes that were made to their beverage selection.

Some of the highlights include:

  • Improving the overall quality of their liquors, without raising the price to the consumer
  • Using fresh juices as mixers rather than processed “faux” juices
  • Local craft beer additions to the beer list (hello, St. Arnold!)

and, perhaps most exciting of all…

  • A new program in which one of their specialty drinks will be featured for one-month spans at a really low price, as in like $5-$6. Talk about happy hoursss!

After talking to Gavin, we wanted to down every cocktail in the book…er, I mean, try a couple drinks. We started out with the Moshi Mojito, coincidentally September’s featured cocktail. While the mojito had a standard list of ingredients: Bacardi Light, lime juice, mint, soda and Sprite, my friend and I seriously enjoyed it. The mojito was very lime-y, and there’s just nothing like Bacardi Light rum. (Don’t make fun of me! I am Mexican and Bacardi is practically the national rum of Mexico. It’s what I’m used to drinking.) We give kudos to RA for making a classic cocktail well.

Next, we moved on to the Nigori Lycheeteeni. A little perplexed with the name? Nigori is simply unfiltered sake and lychee is a tropical fruit. In a lycheeteeni, a whole lychee makes an appearance in its straight-out-of-a-can form, which I opine has the consistency of a canned grape but tastes super floral. In addition to the ingredients listed in its name, the martini has Kai Lychee vodka and lychee puree. Some people may find this lycheelicious, but my amigo and I didn’t love it precisely because of the in-your-face lychee flavor.

We found another winner, however, in the Fuzzy Momo Bellini (how fun is that name?). This frozen concoction had Bacardi rum, yuzu (japanese sweet and sour), house-made peach and strawberry puree, white wine, and was topped with sparkling wine. The coldness of the frozen part of the drink combined with almost frothy bubbles of the sparkling wine made a winning combination. RA’s take on the frozen bellini was fun, tasty, and not overwhelmingly sweet.

Serving as the grand finale to our liquid lunch was the Berried Bomb: Lindemans Raspberry Framboise and a carafe of raspberry-flavored sake. In case you’ve not yet had the pleasure of trying it, Lindemans Raspberry Framboise is a beer that tastes like raspberry; you could easily replace it for dessert, and your taste buds would be more than intrigued and pleased. Combined with the warm raspberry sake, this drink was the perfect closing to our tasting. It was bursting with raspberry flavors. Not to be cheesy, but the semi-warm drink warmed our hearts.

As much as we wanted to get away with having a liquid lunch, we knew our moms would have told us that we had to eat something. So we did order some food, and this had nothing to do with us being a bit tipsy. We ordered twin bento boxes, which had steamed white rice, a salad with a citrusy vinaigrette, a spring roll accompanied with a creamy Sriracha sauce, and teriyaki beef. The bento box came out quickly, had a huge amount of great-tasting food, and was a steal at eight bucks.

Definitely check out RA for a liquid lunch. And if you’re in the mood for it, go crazy and order some food with it, too. You’ll be RAmazed.

Carla Gomez


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