We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Decent Japanese food in a family environment” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Akai Hana Japanese Restaurant

No photo provided
Got a photo?
Add it.
Akai Hana Japanese Restaurant
3223 Lake Ave, Ste 17C, Wilmette, IL 60091-1069
847-256-7010
Website
Menu
Improve this listing
Ranked #9 of 65 Restaurants in Wilmette
Price range: $0 - $30
Cuisines: Japanese, Sushi
Dining options: Lunch, Delivery
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Delivery
Raleigh, North Carolina
Top Contributor
455 reviews 455 reviews
208 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 200 cities Reviews in 200 cities
327 helpful votes 327 helpful votes
“Decent Japanese food in a family environment”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2013

Our return to Akai Hana was not disappointing. The vegetarian "healthy" bento box was quite good. The tempura udon was as expected. For someone with a smallish appetite, one of the $12 specials would be plenty.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

29 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    12
    12
    1
    2
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Great family night out”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2013

Akai Hana is a wonderful choice for a family night out. The sushi is terrific (particularly their unique rolls) but what makes it even better than most local sushi places is that the menu is vast and varied. Our kids had many yummy choices (bento boxes generously heaped with delicious food) and the grandparents loved the teriyaki salmon. The service was personal and courteous - really outstanding.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huntington Beach, California
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Fresh and tasty sushi in Wilmette”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2013

We have been customers for many years at this Wilmette storefront.
Very good sushi that is fresh, as the high volume of loyal customers ensures that the bar goes through large quantities of fish daily.
Very friendly service as we have gotten to know most of ther servers by name.
Easy parking in front is a plus.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Wow - you get what you pay for!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2013

I had gone to Akai Hana as a teen with my family and didn't really have any recollection of it or it's food, other than it was across the street from Carson Pirie Scott. My brother and his girlfriend have always RAVED about this place, though I don't consider them sushi connoisseurs by any stretch of the imagination - and no, I am not a snob but I do know good sushi!

I decided to give it a try last night since I happened to be out in the burbs and wanted something lighter than the usual restaurant fare.

I sat at the sushi bar, which was not wiped down well, there was debris, food crumbs and rice scattered around but I was intent on refraining from any judgment. The menu was fairly extensive, catering to what I call, "exploitive" sushi by listing and showing roles with every ingredient imaginable to "mask" the fish. After being told about it, I opted for the $15.95 special, which seemed to be too good to be true, which included miso soup, a specialty roll and 8 pieces of nigiri, which you could choose from the Hana's Choice List.

I placed my order and asked for uni (sea urchin), soy paper as well as tempura crunch on my roll (all of which I knew and expected to pay extra for). When the order arrived, the uni was wrapped in nori and I asked if they could change it to soy paper. I received blank looks from the sushi chef and my server was unsure as to what to do. Another server jumped in and said "we can't change it, we already did something special for you" - referring to the roll, to which I replied, "yes and I am paying for it"...that was that...hospitality out the window and they weren't going to do the basic thing a restaurant should do - be flexible.

I almost got up and left but decided to give it a try. I took my plate back and took my first bite into the salmon...I was expecting deliciousness and freshness...all that stood out was bland, no taste, over frozen "fresh" fish...same thing after the tuna and uni (which was served nice and cold)...the unagi was bland...all I could taste was the sauce...the rolls were equally dull.

You get what you pay for! What do you expect with non-Asian sushi chefs behind the sushi bar who look absolutely miserable who Akai Hana can pay less than an authentic, schooled sushi chef? In additions, the servers look bedraggled and equally miserable. What is going on over there? I felt the need to wash the nonexistent taste of sushi in my mouth with a Dunkin Donut - too bad they were closed.

Never again...I will stick with the best restaurant in all of Chicago with the friendliest and best sushi chefs at Sai Cafe!

  • Visited June 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lake Forest, Illinois
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Never Went Back”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2013

My sister and I love Japanese food especially California rolls which is what we ordered. We ate, went home and both got violently ill approximately 2-3 hours later. We were both sick for days and weak. Her son came home after school and ate the left-overs and also got ill. We never went back.

Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Akai Hana Japanese Restaurant also viewed

 

Been to Akai Hana Japanese Restaurant? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Akai Hana Japanese Restaurant, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.