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“Perfect”
Review of Kakui

Kakui
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Ranked #660 of 1,297 Restaurants in Oakland
Price range: $29 - $31
Cuisines: Japanese
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Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions
Dining options: Reservations, Takeout
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: La Salle Avenue
Reviewed May 31, 2014 via mobile

I loved sushi here. Not only rolls were excellent and flavours well defined and well composed, but also the presentation was very good. Sushi is a multi-sensorial experience for me and here I went away really satisfied. Also gyoza and other apetizers were original and well balanced. I will go back as soon as I am back in Oakland.

Thank shaker70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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11 - 15 of 20 reviews

Reviewed April 16, 2014

This sushi restaurant offers some of the best in Oakland. It is in the small, quiet Montclair village in Oakland.

It is usually quite busy but there are generally spaces at the bar. A reservation is recommended.

They offer a great sake selection and some unique sushi options. I just recently had a live scallop - amazing - it is presented in it's own shell.

There are a few small tables right outside with heaters which are nice if you like al fresco dining.

There are a couple other sushi restaurants in the area but Kakui is by far the best.

Thank Tim C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2013

All in all, one of the worst Japanese restaurants I've ever been to...and in fact the worst, if you take its prices into account. That about sums it up.

But to go into a bit more detail, I decided to give Kakui another try (last night, Sunday) after finding it mediocre the first time around earlier this year. Sadly, it was even worse the second time around. As a Montclair resident, I really wanted to like Kakui, especially since it has aspirations to offer a creative menu in a hip setting. But it confuses aspirations with pretentiousness.

While not all of the dishes that my two friends and I had were bad, the food was a very mixed experience. Worst of all, the consistency of the fish in the rolls we ordered was pretty mushy...not at all fresh. On the positive side, a brussels sprouts appetizer was delicious. But on balance, with so many good Japanese restaurants around, why settle for dishes that were largely disappointing? What's more, this is a semi-upscale place in terms of its price and ambiance. You can do better at more moderately priced Japanese restaurants.

Unfortunately, the mediocre food actually compared favorably with the service. Our waiter was absolutely lousy: curt, officious, impatient with any question, slapped the dishes down on the table, never wiped down the table, got our order wrong, etc., etc. Instead of the common courtesies even a half-decent waiter might display, his most common comment to us was, "Anything else?" At first I thought his poor service was because the place was semi-busy, with half the tables occupied...not that it would have justified his lack of professionalism. But even after the semi-crowd thinned out, he remained lousy. I otherwise would have given the restaurant two stars (not a glowing review, I realize). But he brought it down yet another notch.

Finally, this somewhat cramped restaurant is not a great place to go on a cold winter's evening. It's a smallish room, not well heated to begin with, that gets a cold draft any time the door opens. Given the set-up of the room, there's really no great table for escaping that breeze.

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    • Atmosphere
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Thank Southside
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2013

We got here sort of lateish last Thursday night and were able to get seated even though we didn't have a reservation. The most notable thing was that the Mayor of Oakland was sitting at the table next to ours.

We ordered several items and all of them were tasty. We started edamame, of course, which was warm and encrusted with salt. Mmmmm. Next were some crab rolls; very fresh and beautifully prepared. We worked our way through a very light mixed tempura, which while very good could have benefited from another shrimp or two on the plate. And we moved on through a plate of spicy and very tender pork ribs on the bone.

Everything was either pretty good or very good, and portions were normally sized for a japanese restaurant.

The critical question: would we eat here again?

YES!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Thank El_Pelicano
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 21, 2013

Been once, some of the food is terrific, but portion size is very small and the portions are not cheap. So, might return. It is luxury Japanese food.

Thank bigsteve666
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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