My dad and I like to try new Japanese restaurants every so often, especially since our favorite one closed some years ago. Apparently he was looking up “hearing specialists for dogs” and Akasaka popped up. Veterinarian=sushi? Odd…but I won’t inquire further.
Unfortunately we went to Akasaka at the peak lunch hour. We waited for 1/2 hour, crammed into a tiny hallway because the restaurants is so small. It is in the most unlikely location and looks janky on the outside but the inside has a lot of Japanese charm. My dad had read that the service was terrible so we went in with low expectations for promptness and social graces. Once we were seated, my dad insisted that the table was not clean so he grabbed a wad of napkins and cleaned it again himself (he is a clean freak). We didn’t want to wait for a server to bring us menus so we got them ourselves. We also stole our own sets of utensil from a vacant table next to us. Since no one was going to stop to take our order, we waved a waitress down. You gotta do what you gotta do.
The top picture is of my order: miso marinated fish. It was awesome – broiled white fish that was tender and moist, covered in a slightly sweet miso marinade. I highly recommend this! It is light and delicious. My dad’s food, the bottom image, is beef teriyaki and tempura. The tempura was good but the beef was average…a thin piece of steak covered in teriyaki sauce. Not the most bang for your buck- he could have gotten this for cheaper somewhere else.
As we ate, we noticed that several people were ordering the chirashi bowl- a good sized bowl of mixed sashimi with rice at the bottom. We soon realized that we ordered the wrong thing!! Apparently that is one of the best things on the menu that keeps people coming back. I didn’t order sashimi on my first visit to Akasaka because I wanted to check out the cleanliness of the place before risking my stomach. Side story: I had a bad run in on my 16th birthday with sashimi from a hole-in-the wall restaurant on Sawtelle St. in LA. I fainted, went numb and ended up in the ER. Best Birthday EVER.
Despite the long wait and sub-par service, there must be a reason people consider it the best sushi in Hacienda Hts/Rowland Hts. Next time I go there, I am taking on that chirashi bowl. Wanna join?