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.
Slow service after initial serving
My wife and I walked into the restaurant, and there was a gentleman playing the electric guitar. He was playing Jazz music, and it was pretty good. They asked where we wanted to sit, which I thought was very neat, so we got to choose where we sat that was open. Everything seemed to be going well, until the servers started coming out. They seemed like college students who quite didn't know what a restaurant dress code should have been, multiple of them wearing blue jeans, which I personally don't like at a restaurant since it seems very unprofessional, came by and asked if we were ready to order. We got the menu like two minutes ago. So we delayed it, and asked for 2 cups of hot water. When the lady came back with them, she placed the cups like she was throwing them down! The table made a big "drop" sound, yet she didn't care and just walked by. I have been a server myself, so I know it could be busy and the cup could be hot, but she was being rude. And after we ordered, when the food came out, the lady just dropped the plate and left. There was another student also wearing blue jeans come by and fill up my water bottle. It was cute, but not professional. Overall, not satisfied with the service, but food was okay.
Good food, nice setting. Hostess was talking to a customer when we arrived, (we had a reservation), then turned her back on us to work on her computer with no acknowledgment or "I'll be with you in a minute." We waited, and waited... not a good interaction. Other than that, we enjoyed our evening.
Excellent sushi. Combination plates are delicious. We go here often.
The food was very good and the shrimp and seafood were very fresh. Akemi is a nice site but the noise level because of the concrete floors was very loud. sErvice was slow. The check-in station backed up and people coming through the door were bunched together. It took them 10 minutes to seat us and then, we waited 20 minutes to order. It was Berkeley Restaurant week and I think they were surprised by how popular the event was. The family enjoyed everything and the remodel of the old Miyuki was tastefully done.
The service at this restaurant was the worst I have ever experienced. The food is good but I will not be back until the service improves.
We love Akemi, but Restaurant Week may not be the ideal time to visit them. Service was poor (2 of our party of 5 didn't get their main course when the others did, took a bit of effort to finally have them delivered--maybe 20 minutes after the rest?) Our waitress seemed to disappear after bringing the first 3 entrees, for most of the rest of the night we had whoever we could flag down. One other "we're overwhelmed" thing: of the 3 yuzo panna cottas (which were delish), one was noticeably smaller, not a full portion.
This is the second time we've dined at Akemi where the service fell flat (the other was not a restaurant week, and was a couple of years ago). Maybe something to work on?
We were very pleased to see that Akemi responded and focused upon our request for a quieter table and put us in a separate dining room. That was lovely, however, we did not realize that around the corner, there would be live music. That is a plus, except when three very old friends- with some hearing issues- want to catch up, it becomes a challenge.
The service was good except our meals were delivered at different times. One friend received her food very quickly after we all had excellent miso soup. I got mine next and it was a full 10 minutes before our other friend received her main course. It was never explained why that happened. The restaurant became more and more busy, however, we were there early which should have counted.
Service and attentiveness was somewhat brusque; it's not Japan. Attractive presentation and dining area.
I had the $30 prix fixe menu - miso soup, pork gyoza, vegetarian ramen, and mochi. Miso was average, gyoza was tasty with two nice sauces - crispy on the outside and nice texture inside, ramen was excellent with fresh spinach, firm plain tofu, mushrooms, and other stuff. Broth was very tasty and hot. Noodles were tender and good. Mochi was perfect. Service was spotty. The ramen came before the gyoza and I had to wait a long time for the bill and to pay. Watching the sushi chefs was a treat and I will definitely go back to try the sushi.
Great place to meet for lunch. Excellent lunch combination selections that are delicious and of great value.
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.
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.
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.
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
This was our second visit to Akemi ... loved it both times!
Wonderful food and delightful service and ambience.
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.
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!
Really good sushi and portion size
This is a nice modern Japanese restaurant with some excellent entree dishes like Tonkatsu Ramen and others as a bonus.
Rolls were delicious, service was friendly, and fun was had by all.
Wonderful destination for Our Christmas Dinner, delicious
Meals and lovely atmosphere
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.
Great service and very fresh sushi and sashimi options. First time visiting, and now I think a found a new favorite!
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!
Always a favorite when we're visiting the area! Great sushi, chicken teriyaki and tempura!
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.
Lovely environment and great food at a fair price.
Best Japanese cuisine in the East Bay. Awesome sushi!
Service very slow but food excellent.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Akemi is great but they have limited staff so service can be dicey when they’re full
Most Wonderful meal, very accommodating & attentive service.
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.
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.
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.