Akemi

4.4
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318 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 318 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.0
service
4.4
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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CD
Orange County
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Great place to meet for lunch. Excellent lunch combination selections that are delicious and of great value.

CC
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall3food4service3ambience4

This would be a great restaurant if the service were better. I've been here many times and more often than not, one person will be served and not the other (s). I was there at 5:30PM recently; the restaurant was filling up and there was only one server. Another server came in about 45 minutes later. The lone server was very good but definitely overburdened. One time I was there with a group of 8; six were served and the other two had to wait a half hour for their dishes. I think I would give this restaurant five stars if they could get their service together.

JB
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Had a lovely lunch here with a friend. Our server was great, and the best dish we ate was the fried brussels sprouts with bonito flakes and mustard. Really delish! Had several good rolls (49er and futomaki stand out). Server was attentive and friendly, bringing us frequent tea refills, and the space was calm, attractive and welcoming.

LB
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall4food5service2ambience5

The place is beautiful, the food is excellent and the service is weird. Once you are seated, there is a long wait before anyone comes to ask if you want a drink or are ready to order. Meanwhile several staff are circulating around the room.

r
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Better than most Japanese restaurants in East Bay. Gindara black cod appetizer and miso salmon were excellent . Tempura very good with generous portions. Sushi was good but lion role had too much mayo in sauce
Good service

BS
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on January 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was our second visit to Akemi ... loved it both times!
Wonderful food and delightful service and ambience.

k
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Four of us shared the chef's choice sashimi, a couple of sushi rolls, and some small plates. The sashimi here is always great. The wagyu is pricey but delicious. We also enjoyed the pork belly and chicken karaage.

IL
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very pleasantly surprised with this dining experience. Was celebrating a friend's birthday and she wanted "sushi"! Needed to be a place convenient to Marin and East Bay so I found Akemi during an on-line search. Sushi rolls were excellent quality and other menu items were varied and also of very high quality. Service was very pleasant/professional/friendly and an added bonus was the live music playing appropriate dinner music so our group of 7 could hear each other talk! Overall great experience and will definitely come back!

a
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Really good sushi and portion size

m
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

This is a nice modern Japanese restaurant with some excellent entree dishes like Tonkatsu Ramen and others as a bonus.

HL
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Rolls were delicious, service was friendly, and fun was had by all.

RB
Central Coast
10 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful destination for Our Christmas Dinner, delicious
Meals and lovely atmosphere

JN
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Good food. Restaurant was very cold. Wait person was very direct but still attentive. She could have been a little warmer. Overall a good experience.

MM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service and very fresh sushi and sashimi options. First time visiting, and now I think a found a new favorite!

SS
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience3

Beautiful neighborhood place for a nice dinner out!

Physically, the room was actually very cold.

The service matched the temperature, also on the 'chilly' side - nothing overly warm or overtly welcoming. Perhaps that is the persona of this restaurant? It is definitely sleek-ish vs. warm and cozy. Was surprised by this, as it definitely had the feel of a neighborhood place.

The sushi and sashimi we ordered a'la carte was very fresh and delicious! Had a couple of pretty standard rolls which were also good. The Akemi roll was great, and I can imagine it being even better on a toasty summer night since it was rolled in crisp fresh cucumber. Very refreshing and light.

Will be back for sure!

t
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a favorite when we're visiting the area! Great sushi, chicken teriyaki and tempura!

ZL
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Had a nice lunch. Food was very good, though there were a few mistakes in what came out vs what was ordered. Restaurant is quite nice inside. Overall definitely thought it was a good place and would go back.

BM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 19, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Lovely environment and great food at a fair price.

J
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Best Japanese cuisine in the East Bay. Awesome sushi!

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Service very slow but food excellent.

EB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 14, 2019
Overall2food5service1ambience3

The service was so poor! It took about half an hour for a waiter to finally come and take our drink order!, and then, another 30 minutes for him to come back for our meal order. It was really bad!

BL
Palm Springs
1 review
Dined on November 13, 2019
Overall4food4service2ambience3

Akemi's food is better than most other Japanese restaurants in this area north of Berkeley; it should be, since it's fairly expensive. But the "plates" ie salmon teriyaki and tempura (about $26) are enough to split if you order an extra miso soup and sushi. Service is often a bit flakey: slow to take orders, fill water glasses, ask if everything is all right. But over all, it's nice to have an adult, and pretty good restaurant on Solano.

CC
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall3food2service3ambience3

I came to this restaurant to celebrate my partners birthday. We really enjoyed the sushi as it was fresh and flavorful but we did not enjoy the ramen as much. The broth was very thick and tasted interesting. We also tried the shrimp cake that was heavily recommended but disliked that as well. Overall, I really enjoyed the sushi and will be bake for that. Also on our way out live music was being played which was really nice.

M
1 review
Dined on November 7, 2019
Overall2food5service1ambience2

I made a reservation for two and arrived a few minutes before the posted time, but the wait staff had already mistakenly given our table away. Instead of reseating the people who stole my reservation, they said we could wait for a table to open up or sit at the bar. We opted to sit at the bar, but no wait staff came to take our order. After 20 minutes, they offered a table to us in the back room (which was completely empty previously), and took drink orders. Our drinks came another 15 minutes later, when they finally took food orders. They forgot one of our food items, which we had to re-order later in the night. All of the food was great, and the sake was delicious, but the service was absolutely horrendous. We weren’t offered any complementary items for our wait, the forgotten items were included on the tab, and the staff didn’t even pretend to be apologetic for any of the issues. I’ve been here before without any major issues (although the service was very slow then as well), so I’m not completely sure what happened this night. Food was great, but staff/administration need reorganizing.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall2food2service4ambience2

Their sushi menu is pretty bad. Very one dimensional and needs some changes. All of their specialty rolls are very similar. Average food in my opinion, especially for the price. There are better sushi restaurants around for sure.

HT
San Francisco
30 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Akemi is great but they have limited staff so service can be dicey when they’re full

RB
Central Coast
10 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Most Wonderful meal, very accommodating & attentive service.

AS
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

The ambiance was on point. Modern Asian and dynamic. Comfortable except it was quite warm. Service was on point and food delicious. Creative menu. Higher priced for the amount of food and drink. Yet, I’d totally return and recommend them.

h
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall1food3service1ambience4

We have eaten here several times before so were able to comment on the food and value on the previous page, but it may have changed since this time we did not stay. After we were promptly seated (we had reservations) with our menus, no one came by our table for 15-20 minutes. But, the table two over had their orders taken and had two wait-persons! It was not a busy night. We decided to leave and eat elsewhere else.
As we were leaving, the couple behind us flagged a person down and asked "is there someone to take our order?" On our way out, no one acknowledged that we were leaving.
We don't know that we will go back again even though they have specials we enjoy. There are a number of good Japanese restaurants in the area and I think we'll try them before considering returning.

AW
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

We love this place! We often come here for family birthday celebrations. One of my sons and my 2 grandsons are vegan and the rest of us are carnivores. Their menu has something for everyone.

c
San Francisco
68 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Food is always quite good but service can be a little slow. Veggie King, Alaska and Baja are always good.

BC
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

The service seemed a little disorganized, but the food was great. Delicious choice for low calories and high satisfaction!

c
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience2

Akemi may have recently hired new help...sat for at least 20 minutes before I managed to flag down wait staff to take order. Noticed orders being delivered to wrong table, a bill was brought to our table before we had even ordered.
Food not as good as on prior visit last year...
Won't return

SM
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Wow, I don't eat Japanese food much, but this restaurant makes me wonder why. The Nigiri we had was amazing, the the scallops and the eel being the stars for me.

JK
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Our first time here. Delicious mixed tempura appetizer, as well as the sushi. Scrumptious grilled beef plate with yummy cole slaw.

Great ambiance for our date night out. Nice live jazz guitar. Server was nice and the service in general was very good.

They were out of some items, but that didn’t prevent us from having a lovely time.

B
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

RP
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

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
30 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall5food4service3ambience4

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
69 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience4

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
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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