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“Really.... You must be kidding!” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Akaoni

Akaoni
Ranked #66 of 155 Restaurants in Carmel
Cuisines: Japanese, Sushi, Asian
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
120 reviews
78 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
“Really.... You must be kidding!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 24, 2012

Food is good but the service is ATMOSPHERE is NASTY! We went in and everyone turned towards the door and looked at us like we were brining in a disease. There was a woman at the sushi bar (really LOUD blond regular for sure you know who she is) that glared at us as we were disturbing her story and disrupting the whole restaurant. We didn't have a chance to say a word before three people said, "you have a reservation"? When we replied "no" to the entire restaurant, we were told, "not tonight. We have no room for you"! WOW....... Couldn't have been more RUDE!!!!!!

The bummer is that the food was good last item we were there, a few years ago. My family was bummed and it was very weird how rude and pretentious they were. If you look at my other reviews,you'll see that I hardly ever put up bad reviews. This howver was a little shocking.

I wouldn't go there again! Especially if the self important nasty woman at the sushi bar was "holding court" again. Ugh to people like that.

  • Visited June 2012
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
11 Thank Millard112
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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85 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    59
    18
    4
    1
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Outstanding Sushi/Sashimi restaurant!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 28, 2012

I have lived and worked in NY, London and Paris and traveled extensively to Japan, but have lived on the Monterey Peninsula for the past ten years. I learned to love Japanese food in Tokyo, and am happy to report that Carmel has a gem of a Japanese restaurant...

Akaoni is our most frequented regular restaurant and we eat there several times a month. For those who seek outstanding Sushi/Sashimi at sensible prices you would be hard pressed to find better. Chef/Owner Shinichi Yamada is devoted to using only fish of the highest quality and he has strong relationships with both local fishmongers and the top SF suppliers.

The first thing to note about Akaoni is that you should always book a table, especially at dinner. And if you are three or less, ask for the Sushi bar so you can watch the chef at work. Akaoni only has about 25 seats and it has a large and loyal pool of local customers, so without a reservation you are likely to be disappointed.

Atmosphere is not what has turned so many locals into loyal repeat customers. The restaurant is small and narrow and has four tables and a Sushi bar. The decorations are limited, the highlights of which are pictures of the owners' daughter Maya and links to Chef Yamada-san's marathon running. The large glass bay windows do make for a bright setting, and on a typical Carmel summer's day you can watch the fog roll down Mission Street...

It is Chef Yamada-san's food that has made him so popular with local cognoscenti. His fish is of the highest caliber, and we always sit at the Sushi bar and order Omakase (Chef's Selection). The tuna is always outstanding or it is not served: O-toro, Chu-toro and Maguro have never disappointed us at Akaoni. In season expect to find local Monterey Bay salmon that was in the water only a few hours prior, and if you are particularly lucky then Chef Yamada-san will have prepared some home made Ikura. The selection of whitefish is always extensive and be certain to look for the delectably chewy Engawa... Depending on the season, you will find two types of Uni, both the large and creamy Santa Barbara classic and the smaller, firmer Japanese Uni, with its characteristic violet fragrance. There is always a selection of clams and mackerels as well as the odd fish from Japan: be certain to look at the whiteboard menu. And expect a selection of cooked items, from yellowtail gills to fried eggplant to a delicious seasonal matsutake clampot...

Another of the compelling traits of Akaoni is that two of you can have an Omakase feast, complete with a couple of flasks of prime sake, tax and tip for about $150.00. You would expect to pay two or three times this price in New York, London or Tokyo, so if you feel like dining like a Daimyo without taking on a second mortgage, then Akaoni is the place to go!

  • Visited May 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Geoffrey1976
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Germantown, TN
Level Contributor
80 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Perfect sushi”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 9, 2012 via mobile

We made reservations, as recommended. There was not a table available, but sitting at the sushi bar and watching him prepare the fresh fish was a treat. We will be back. The ingredients were all super fresh. Perfect meal!

Helpful?
Thank Ellenski25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Authentic Japanese cuisine”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 9, 2012

Akaoni was packed when we first arrived - surely a good sign for any restaurant - and without a reservation, we put our names down for a table and had a short wait before being seated.

We enjoyed a wide selection of well prepared Japanese cuisine - sushi, donburi and noodle dishes. Edamame was included as an appetiser, which was a nice touch. Good quality beers and hand picked speciality sakes complemented the meal really well.

The last to arrive, we were also the last to leave at around 9pm. And with this being midweek and not high season, the restaurant's 'open' sign had already been turned to 'closed', and the two-man staff were packing up as we finished our main course. Where other diners had been offered coffee and desserts, we were simply presented with the check! Fair enough I suppose, but this ending slightly soured an otherwise perfect experience.

  • Visited April 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank sleepydisco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carmel Valley, California
Level Contributor
382 reviews
246 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
“Great Shushi!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 28, 2012

Tiny (25-seats, a third of them at the counter) and well-hidden -- on the west side of Mission 100' N of 6th -- gem, reservations highly recommended. We split the 14-piece "Chef's Selection", loved it and look forward to going back.

  • Visited April 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Andrew A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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