Akemi

4.3
282 reviews
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$30 and under
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Japanese
Opened in February 2015, AKEMI is the latest incarnation of miyuki on 1695 Solano Avenue in North Berkeley (Albany border) in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Along with a revamped interior and exterior that includes salvaged wood and upgraded kitchen equipment, AKEMI features an updated menu spotlighting fresh ingredients and well-crafted flavors while retaining customer classics such as our sushi rolls.

AKEMI is the new name we bestow upon the beauty that is good food with good people in a good place.
What 282 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.4
food
3.8
service
4.2
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
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B
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We are regulars at Akemi. It's our favorite Japanese restaurant in the Berkeley area. We highly recommend it.

RP
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

One of our "go to" places to eat. We are regulars and fans of Akemi. However, I do have one complaint..... please nix the live music on Fridays. It's out of keeping with the general ambiance and way too loud for intimate conversation. If you must have music then it should be acoustic only.

b
San Francisco
28 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 3ambience 4

the service is usually great but maybe this night there were down an employee but they didn't pay very good attention. the food was its usual deliciousness. this restaurant is one of my favorite go to places.

c
San Francisco
67 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Service is usually a bit slow. Almost always need to ask for more water and tea rather than approached for service.

AM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Akemi is so yummy. Warm kale, hamachi kama, all the rolls + jazz guitar last sat. Perf. Thanks Akemi!

A
1 review
Dined on July 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Good food, fresh ingredients and well put together. Service staff were friendly and efficient even though it was busy.

D
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 3

Food is excellent but the service is terrible. Had to ask three times for water and two for a fork. Wine takes forever and the appetizer came with the main course. Go for the food but be prepared to be frustrated with the service.

JK
San Francisco
596 reviews
Dined on June 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Akemi has a sophisticated, handsome DR. The cooked food, such as tempura and other cooked dishes, have been above average. The rolls and sashimi were average, however -- not bad, but not quite top-tier. Akemi has some advantages for me. I really like their cooked food, which is varied and generally well executed. But the rolls could use an upgrade in sashimi quality. The décor is great and the service is very good; but you can't eat either one. It would be nice to see some emphasis on sustainability, too?

DB
New Mexico
33 reviews
Dined on June 25, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Ate at the sushi bar rather than take table for two. Basic sushi was decent. Rolls such soft shell crab were presented in an elegant manner. The house saki was quite acceptable.

PF
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love this place. It's our go-to whenever we're near Berkeley or Albany. If I had to change anything it would be to include black iced tea as a beverage, and to add the karaage chicken to the lunch menu.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

Servers were slow and not attentive, had to flag down servers several times just for the basics.

G
San Francisco
64 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Excellent Japanese food and very good sushi. We have eaten many times and are never disappointed

LI
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 3

Akemi is actually a lovely place, but spotty service. We wound up in the 'invisible' zone, appetizer came after the entree was served, didn't see our server for a loooong time...... which was too bad because the food was pretty good. Hoping this was a one off.

RG
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Akemi is my favorite on Solano. If you like Janpanese food, you can’t go wrong.

p
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on June 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Food’s good but not very traditional Japanese fare. The service is not great - nice but not efficient and rather a long wait between dishes. Overall a pleasant dining experience but not a stand out

c
San Francisco
67 reviews
Dined on June 12, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Excellent food and service always seems to be about one person slow. Tempura, veggie king and Alaska are our favorites

SB
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great Time! Hidden gem on Solano Avenue.

AD
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 4

Food was great. Service was poor: staff was inattentive and it took forever to get everything. Great spot for takeout.

OT
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Celebrated my grandma’s bday here. The food was great, but I felt the service was kind of lacking. While our server was attentive, she seemed almost uncomfortable and was very quiet. Overall we had a great experience though and loved that we had our own little section separate from the rest of the restaurant.

MD
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

We like Akemi enough to keep coming back for the sushi. But service is not their strong point. And it's very annoying that they seem to completely ignore the reservations we make. We had a reservation for 6:30 pm this last Friday, with a specific request for 2 seats at the sushi bar. We walked in at 6:30, the sushi bar was full, and when we mentioned we had reservations for 2 at the sushi bar they did not seem to care at all. This has happened before, so it's not a new problem. It's as if they do not regard reservations as a priority. Do they even look at the reservations systems? We also don't feel very welcome here, there's no warmth or camaraderie with the sushi chefs or the servers. We may be looking for a new place where we can feel more welcome and get a sense that we are part of a neighborhood experience.

EM
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on May 6, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 3

The chicken on the bento box @ $16 was so dry it was almost inedible. I usually like this restaurant and have gone here often, but this meal was a total loss. REcommendation: If you're coming to this restaurant, order the Chicken teriyaki or any chicken dish that uses dark meat, because the white meat is inedible without a sauce.

CB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 29, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Simple, beautiful, and delectably delicious! Elegant oasis from the hustle and bustle of Solano Avenue. The Akemi roll is a definite must-try!

HF
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on April 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were very pleased with our experience of dining at Akemi. We had a business dinner for 20 people. The reservation process through Opentable was quick and clear and the confirmation and follow up messages were appropriate. Upon arrival our table was ready and it was a please to be in a separate area from the main restaurant. The service was very professional and fast, and the food was excellent. We hope to have more opportunities to come back.

YK
1 review
Dined on April 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 4

The food is always just terrific and they are very kind as they serve you. The only real issue is that the service is very slow and often erratic, with servers taking a long time between check ins and sometimes for getting an item if you are in a larger party of say 5 to 6 people. The environment is very nice, warm, clean but the sound of the room is very noisy. With older family members, they will have a hard time hearing anyone. I love their food and the prices are reasonable for good Japanese food.

EC
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Had a great time at this place, and the food was yummy. There was even a jazz guitarist.

RC
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on April 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

The food was fresh and tasty and atmosphere lovely. Our waitstaff was kind but a little not present at times. No matter, it was good, and we’ll be back for sure.

N
Seattle
12 reviews
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Nice place and I would go again. Excellent food. I wish we had a place like this in my neighborhood. The service was a tad sloppy, but overall OK.

RG
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Our go to Japanese restaurant. The best gyoza! Love the tonkatsu ramen and sushi rolls are consistently excellent. Fun to try the sake flight but we prefer the hot sake, good value.

l
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Food is always good, but service is sketchy, esp when you want the bill!

p
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

big fan of akemi, but this was my worst experience there. i entertained clients. the spicy edamame was overcooked. we ordered 4 sushi rolls and 2 sirloin combo plates. Sadly, all were served at the same time. soy sauce container was empty and took a while to get filled and brought us very small amount of wasabi. had to ask for more and server was very slow in supplying.

MK
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fresh, well prepared, quiet place we go to on date night.

And we are never disappointed.

I love my nigiri and Sapporo my other half loves the rolls.

A
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 4

Amazing sushi... not-so-amazing service. We waited 10+ minutes to get water. The sushi came out very quickly... and was so good it was eaten within 10 minutes. However, it's definitely not cheap. If the sushi wasn't so good, I would not recommend this restaurant due to lack of superior service for the value it costs to eat here.

JC
San Francisco
61 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Akemi is one of my favorite restaurants in Berkeley and there are lots of good ones. The food and service are great. The wine list isn’t huge but the wines are good and well-priced. The interior is very zen. We love it!

m
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love Akemi and eat there often. My husband loves the Sushi and I love the brussell sprouts and steak.

NB
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 4

Akemi was absolutely delicious. The sushi was fantastic and the live jazz music created a really wonderful ambiance. However, we had a reservation and waited to be sat for 15 minutes while people without reservations sat before us. It also took another 15 minutes for someone to even greet our table. Then it took quite a long time for our food to come out. So the service overall was pretty slow. But the rest of the experience was good and the rolls we ordered were amazing. I would definitely recommend checking it out, but only if you have an hour and a half to spare.

s
San Francisco
145 reviews
Dined on February 11, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

This restaurant has the most horrible serv9ice i have ever experienced. Our dining group of 7 people were horrified when only 4 diners got food and 3 diners never did.
I went to kitchen and was told the woner was not working. We waited forever to get anyone's attention. Our waitress has simply disappeared, never to be seen again.
Dont eat here unless you are interested in getting an ulcer.
There are many Japanese placves in berkeley that respect their patron a lot more. We were treated horribly.
Never go back again.

M
San Francisco
29 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is my sister and I's go to sushi place. Always consistently good sushi and love the decor.

M
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

They accommodated our party running 15 minutes late to our reservation. Food was good and came out quickly. They don't check in on your table frequently, but when you wave them down they are very nice. This was our 2nd Friday in a row eating here - would definitely recommend to a friend.

RL
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

The server was really nice, but the kitchen was backed up, and there was a big lag between courses. The sushi was great, but the lobster in the ramen as well as the edamame were overcooked. And was there coconut milk in the ramen? Whatever it was was really strange for ramen and should have been explained on the menu. Plus, we asked for tofu as a replacement for eggs in of our dishes but ended up with extra eggs and no tofu. It was an evening of snafus. Given the cost, I don't see going back. This place has gone downhill.

s
San Francisco
145 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

Delicious Japanese cuisine. Dragon roll and rainbow roll were lovely and always enjoyu their chicken teriyaki entree. Place is cold so heat should be on when it is cold outside. Also dont know why I did not get points for this rez as i have before.

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