Feb 152009

Cuisine: Japanese

Restaurant Features: All-You-Can-Eat, On-Site Parking, Bar
Location: Woodbury, MN
Address: 779 Bielenberg Dr. Unit 106 Woodbury, MN 55125 (651)578-7888

Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-2pm 4pm-10pm  Sat-Sun 11am-11pm
Links: Google Map


Atmosphere: Akita is located in the corner of a strip mall (NE Corner of Tamarack Trail and Bielenberg Dr) and is larger than I expected it to be.  In the center of the restaurant is a large wooden pagoda-type structure, which is where the sushi chefs work their magic, and the alcoholic beverages are made.  Along one side of the structure is a sushi bar that seats about 12 people, the other three sides have bistro tables that wrap around and can accommodate two to four people.

Another view of the bar/restaurant

Akita-dining1000Akita also has several booths along the outer walls of the restaurant which seem to offer a little more privacy.


Menu: There are three menu options at Akita: Habachi (which has a separate dining area), A La Carte and All You Can Eat.  You may order anything off the AYCE Menu (all food is made-to-order) including:

Appetizers- Seaweed Salad, Edamame, Flying Fish Egg Salad, Miso Soup, Vegetable Salad, Cold Tofu, Chicken Wings, and Onion Soup.

Sashimi- Salmon, White Tuna, Snapper, Surf Clam, Mackerel, Crab Meat, and Tamago.

Sushi- Octopus, Sushi Pizza, Tofu, White Tuna, Salmon, Snapper, Mackerel, Unagi, Shrimp, Squid, Surf Clam, Tamago, Spicy Salmon, Spicy Tuna, Crab Meat, and Tobiko.

Maki Rolls (4-6 rolls per order)- Dragon, Spider, Rainbow, California, Shrimp Tempura, Cucumber and Surf Clam, Crispy, FutoMaki, White Tuna, Crab, Spicy Tuna, Spicy Salmon, Sweet Potato, Cucumber and Avocado, Cucumber, Salmon, Avocado, Tamago, Unagi, Tobiko, Dynamite, Pickled Mushroom and Pickled Radish.

Temaki (Hand Roll in a cone shape)- Shrimp Tempura, California, Spicy
Tuna, Cucumber and Surf Clam, Cucumber, Avocado, Spicy Salmon, Salmon,
Cucumber and Avocado, White Tuna, Crab Meat, Sweet Potato, Unagi,
Snapper, and Tamago.

Teriyaki- Chicken, Grilled Pike/Mackerel, Salmon, Salmon Head, Beef, Salmon Neck, Eggplant, Mackerel

Tempura- Shrimp, Squid, Crab Meat, Eggplant, Vegetable, Snapper, Potato, Mushroom, and Toro.

Teppanyaki- Baby Muchroom Beef Roll, Green Onion Beef Roll, BBQ Eel Fried Rice, Seafood Fried Rice, Sirloin Beef, Chicken, Salmon, Vegetable, Japanese Fried Rice, Vegetable Fried Rice, Chicken Fried Rice, Chicken Fried Udon, Japanese Fried Udon, Seafood Fried Udon, and Vegetable Fried Udon.

Udon (Thick Noodle) & Soba (Thin Noodle) in Soup- Vegetable, Dumpling, Spicy Seafood, Seafood, Beef, Tempura, Spicy Beef, Crab Meat, Chicken Teriyaki, Chicken Cutlet,  and Pork Cutlet.

You may also get any of the following foods deep-fried: Scallop, Dumpling, Pork Cutlet, Chicken Cutlet, Curry Chicken, Capelin Fish, Curry Pork, Tofu, Curry Beef, Spring Roll, and Squid Ball.

Desserts include Green Tea Ice Cream, Red Bean Ice Cream, and Vanilla Ice Cream.

Price guide: All You Can Eat Dinner $25  A La Carte $3-10 (per order) Hibachi $17-34

What We ordered: My companions and I first shared this large bowl of edamame (soy beans)


I started with a Dragon Roll (tempura shrimp, cucumber, avocado, and rice rolled with salmon or tuna on top and then drizzled with spicy mayo sauce).  This was one of my favorites! I loved the combination of flavors and the slightly sweet crunch of the tempura shrimp along with the spicy sauce on top. One order includes 8 large pieces, almost too big to fit in my mouth. (I think I ate two full orders of the Dragon roll just to myself!)

The spicy tuna rolls were also delicious.  The tuna seemed to be cut into very fine pieces and mixed with a spicy mayo sauce, then paired with finely-sliced cucumber and wrapped with seaweed and rice.

Next I tried

some sushi; Salmon, Yellow Tail and Surf Clam.  The fish was sliced thin and was of pretty decent quality; fresh.

We also tried the Beef Teriyaki, which was thinly sliced, tender and slightly sweet form the teriyaki sauce.  The order is big enough to share with others and conveniently cut into thin pieces.

The Fried Scallops were also very good.  I have eaten many scallops in my time, but I had never had them deep-dried until now.  Very good! The outside was very crispy and the inside was hot, but the combination of the tender scallop meat with the crunchy outside was a great combination, similar to a fish-stick or nugget, but so much better.  The top was drizzled with a creamy sauce (mayo?)

Akita-friedscallop1000Another companion tried the Unagi (eel)

Another companion ordered the Octopus Sushi with Surf Clam and Yellowtail Sashimi.  The sashimi is sliced very thin and almost melts in your mouth.  The octopus does not have a real strong flavor, but the texture is quite chewy.

For dessert we each tried the Green Tea Ice Cream (although I think we were all too full to really enjoy it).  The small scoop was just the right amount to cleanse your pallet after a very filling meal of sushi!


Service: I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect as I had read many mixed reviews about the service at Akita, but my visit on a quiet Tuesday night was quite good.  The hostess wasn’t very friendly and our waitress spoke limited English, but we were able to get by without a problem.  All of our food was made-to-order and brought to us in a reasonable amount of time and our drinks were refilled in a timely fashion.  We were able to order as much as we wanted, whenever we wanted.  Our server was very up-front in letting us know that they have a surcharge of 15% for excessive waste, so it isn’t the best idea to order foods that you will not eat.
Overall Impression: Best All-You-Can Eat- Sushi offering that I have found in the Cities yet! For $25 I was able to try a large selection of the menu and ate enough to be totally stuffed out of my mind.  Try going on a Monday or Tuesday when it is less busy and you should be happy with the service.
Akita Sushi & Hibachi on Urbanspoon

  33 Responses to “Akita Sushi & Hibachi ~ Woodbury, MN”

  1. being somebody who has worked in the food business for over 10 years.. we all have dealt with people who like to bitch about any and everything they can…untill i see, partake, or witness something yall are complaining about, it means nothing to me. and until you do the same (work in a kitchen or customer service line) your accounts of things being off center or what not..blow yourself…a person can only do so much…my boyrfriend and i had great service and excellent food (compared to other places i have been) if you are unhappy then just plainly move on and see how other places are..i bet you come back to akita

  2. I went to lunch there a few times and it was good but the time I went for dinner was the last time. The service was bad, the bartender didn’t how to mix the drinks and the sushi was not fresh as it should be. In fact it was so bad I am thinking half these positive posts have to be from the owners or some employee trying to boost the perception of this place. Probably the worst place I have ever been for sushi.

  3. I don’t know if you any of have ever noticed, but I’ve been there at least three times in the last couple of years and each time I have seen these little fruit flies buzzing around the place. I kept returning hoping that it was just a one time thing, but now, I will not go back. It is pretty gross and insanitary. The servers always seem annoyed that you are there to order food and most of the time, the food you order doesn’t even come out.

    I don’t have great things to say about this place.

    • I have NEVER seen fruit flies or any other kind of bug at this restaurant. My husband and I go eat there every weekend for our date night. We receive wonderful service along with excellent food. There is absolutely nothing gross or unsanitary anywhere in this restaurant. Even the bathrooms are kept very clean. The servers can ALL speak English well and take very good care of thier customers. It can get extremely busy on the weekends and sometimes the food runners can miss a table. All you have to do is tell your waiter/waitress that something did not arrive and they will promptly bring it out to you. I am not sure why this person is so negative. Maybe they are only happy when they complain and cause problmes.

      HIGHLY recommend on a weekly basis! Enjoy!

    • I enjoy the place very much, have been there about 6 times now and will return. But I do agree on the one negative comment. The servers, while nice enough, seem put out by me wanting to reorder , but isn’t that what an all you can eat is about? A little more smiles assistance and enthusiasm from the servers and this place would be ace to me.

  4. I have been too this restaurant many times and have always had the best food. Sometimes the service id a little slow but over all had good experiences. I always have the AYCE menu my family loves the sushi and sushimi while I eat off the other part of the menu. Fabulous food for the money. Highly recommed.

  5. Did not go for the sushi, went for the hibachi. prices were good, food was great, did not skimp on the alcohol in our drinks either. Service was o.k., but they were training in a new waitress and her english was a little weak, but everything worked out fine. Been to Ichiban many times, and this was a better experience. And Akita has hibachi cooking all day on the weekend when Osaka And Ichiban dont start till 4:30 pm. Will definitely go back.

  6. Good sushi is hard to find, and Akita was a huge disappointment. I went at 3pm on a Saturday and, since this place was recommended, decided to go with the all-you-can-eat menu. Unfortunately, the warm greeting I received was the high point of my visit. Things went downhill quickly beginning with a debate among the staff about where I should be seated. Once I was led into the dining area, I chose my seat at the bar where I could get a better look at the sushi. First ordered were single pieces of sushi nigori tuna, yellowtail, salmon and unagi. The yellowtail was very good, and I ordered more. I had one more piece of tuna. The unagi was very boney and tasted old. The salmon was fair. Two rolls followed. The shrimp tempura roll was fair, and the spicy tuna roll was the worst spicy tuna roll I’ve ever eaten. The heat of the spicy tuna roll comes from a spicy mayonnaise that tops the sliced roll. I did not finish the roll. Disappointed with the sushi, I studied the menu and decided to try a small curry bowl and the fried scallops. The curry bowl was okay. It would have been much better without the poorly trimmed chicken. The scallops? After tasting the first one, I removed the breading from the next. Although the menu states “scallops”, THEY ARE NOT SCALLOPS! The scallops are actually flavored tape rolled tightly then breaded and deep fried. (Check my pix on urbanspoon.) This is DISHONEST. I spoke to the manager and after a minute her exact words were, “What’s your point?” She did not care, and she made that clear. At least she admitted they serve imitation scallops, not real scallops. Spend your money elsewhere!

  7. Everytime I have ever gone to Akitas, the food is amazing!! Their only downfall is there service and bartending skills. I ordered a shot for my husband with a coke chaser and was brought it as a mixed drink. When I tried to exchange it they still charged me for the drink I didn’t drink. Our waitress never smiled, heck she didn’t even make eye contact with us. Their service was so bad, if it wasn’t for their food, I would NEVER go back.

    • who orders a shot with a coke chaser….ive never heard of that and im from wisconsin!seriously…you go to a japanese restaurant and order up some shit like that…what were you thinking

      • Well, people can order anything they want in MN, Amber. Also, people have a right to their opinions. I agree with some of the others, that the service can be a bit compromised there, at times. You seem to have a personal interest in this restaurant, or something. I’m sure you are going to start ranting at me, now, so I don’t know why I am wasting my time trying to reason with you. All in all, for the most part, the food is good Akita and the prices are reasonable. I happen to believe in treating customers with respect at all times, however. And yes, I have worked in the food service industry.

  8. The food was great, but customer service was not as great. I had same experience as some of the other comments. I ordered some chicken teriyaki, but I never got it.

    When we were waiting for it (hoping it will eventually come) the waitress asked us to order more food or GO because it was busy. We were confused because we did order more food but it never came! I was very upset for being asked to leave when I paid for “all you can eat” & they did not allow for “all I can eat”….

  9. I have been to Akita several times. The food is excellent and the service for the all you can eat sushi has always been great. However, I went last night for my birthday with a group of friends and family for the hibachi and I have never had worse service in my life. The chef did a great job and the food was wonderful, but the wait staff we had was HORRIBLE. They didn’t come and take our drink orders after they seated us for over a half an hour. We thought maybe they were trying to make sure our entire party was there first. A girl came over and set a stack of menus on the corner of our table and then walked away without saying anything. They finally took our drink orders and only brought half. We had to go to the bar and get them ourselves. She didn’t come back to refill them until our entire meal was over. They didn’t clear any dishes from our soup or appetizers the entire meal, so we were stacking them ourselves on the edge of the table to make room. HORRIBLE HORRIBLE HORRIBLE.

  10. i love this place but the service does suck that what i don’t like..
    i think id go there more if there service was a lot more friendlier.. they don’t smile or ask if the food id okay… they just come and go even when its not busy… i dont like it when they stand around and talk in there language i have a feeling there talking about me.

    i went in once like a few days ago to eat with my mom and we went during lunch our the service people just looked and us and stood there talking i was having a feeling they where talking about us… they looked and talked but didnt ask if i needed more drinks of something (i ran out of soda in my cup they didnt even know.) i had to ask them to bring me more they looked at me and came over

    i love there food but im begging them in my mind to get new service people… id come there more

    • That is how i felt to, and when i asked for something they looked at me like they didn’t understand what i was talking about..

  11. No more bringing kids with to Akita – they’ve raised the prices for kids to full adult price. I’ve been going to Akita since they opened. It used to be a good way for me to have my sushi and bring my son along. I’m a 24/4 single parent-I have a 10 year old who eats like a bird. He “might” have a small scoop of rice, 5 edamames, and 3 pieces of tempura (loves the sweet potato). Even when they charged him $15 and my $25 I figured it was a decent deal with the sushi I ate. Now they’re charging full adult price for any kid 9 and up. That’s crazy. How many 9 or 10 year olds will eat $25 worth of food? I asked about ordering for him off the menu separately but that’s not allowed either. Frankly, for $50 I can get better sushi somewhere else and I can get better tempura for him too. Bye bye Akita. You’ve lost yet another long-time customer (and future customer, my son).

  12. @Clare

    I think you were expecting too much and a little on the picky side.

    Though the service could use a little more “helpfulness” on the stronger side, their food was exceptional. I think that for being an “All you can eat” type restaurant, the food was good and the arrangement was simple, not elegant (nor does that matter much, it all goes to one place, right?). If you’re looking for elegant plating techniques, you might as well wait an hour or two for your meal to arrive. Fried rice or not, it has to be cooked in advance. And I’m sure you’d want “Asian” rice and not the One Minute rice, but at least it wasn’t rice left over from the previous day.

    My experience there was exceptional. The service was great and everyone was all in smiles. Maybe I went on a good day. :)

  13. it a great place but yes the services is really bad

  14. @Clare
    That’s disappointing to say the least. Even the cheapest sushi places in Japan have a certain standard every patron expects. I guess some US sushi places think that the average American doesn’t know how to appreciate sushi/sashimi, which justifies them slacking on the quality and presentation. Still, you shouldn’t judge outright on one visit as even the best sushi restaurants in Tokyo have their lows, too.
    The hostess who greeted you may not be knowledgeable about the menu, etc. as traditionally, she is there to take you to your table and take your order. But the waiter not knowing is bit of a let down, but he might have just started working there. Ask the chef for the best answers.

  15. This restaurant experience was extremely disappointing, beginning with the phone call I made prior to my visit to ask about gluten-free tamari. “I don’t know, you could ask the waiter,” was the answer I received on the phone. No offer to inquire further. I guess I would have to come in and ask for myself.

    We were greeted on arrival by the hostess, and asked to look at a menu. I tried to ask her several questions, but she didn’t know ANYTHING. Every question I asked was answered with, “The waiter might know. Can I show you a seat?” Fine.

    Well, the waiter didn’t know. He didn’t know where any of their fish originated from, and then later he mumbled that it all came from Japan. Hmmm. He didn’t know what species of tuna they offered, and he had no idea what Albacore was. He did know one thing though: they had no gluten-free tamari or soy sauce.

    The fish selection was sad compared to other places I’ve been, but we ordered, soup and sashimi for me, sashimi and beef fried rice for my husband. The food arrived in about 3 minutes, apparently the fried rice was pre-cooked and the sashimi was pre-sliced (chopped with a rusty machete I should say.) It was artistically arranged disastrously stacked on a bed of iceberg lettuce and hacked in random sized and shaped pieces. The fish quality and freshness was the worst we’ve ever had. The tuna tasted like it had been frozen and thawed to many times and the crab looked likely imitation.

    The cheap prices strongly reflect the cheap food and service you get here. I wouldn’t eat here again if they paid me to.

    If you are looking for quality fish, knowledgeable service, and mindful restaurant operation, steer clear of Akita.


  17. Now this is something that I so could enjoy Sushi has to be my favorite at the moment and funny enough last night a friend and myself actually went out for Sushi, some of the bes Sushi that I have had in a long time the fish was so fresh that it just melted in your mouth, there is nothing better than having rolls California rolls and Fashion sandwiches that one can taste all the flavors that are inside normally one doesn’t get that and the combination usually just flow into each other, but not with these just amazing,

  18. i agree their sushi and food is DELICIOUS. but their service SUCKS. seriously it shouldn’t matter is it was the weekend or weekday they should always have good service. honetly thats why i don’t tip them ever! but the food is soooo good i can’t stop going too.

    • You know, repeatedly returning to a place where you don’t tip or tip poorly is a way to ensure that you’ll never get good service.

    • I’ll let you in on a secret – every single bad tipper is remembered. Even if you get a different server – the other will tell them. You will never get what you consider to be great service there because of this fact. Have you ever tried speaking to the server? The management, perhaps? Honestly, I think not tipping at all is so unbelievably disgraceful. I at least tip them on the 8% the automatically get taxed on. Then again, servers know that there are just some people (particularly in Woodbury) who are never satisfied no matter how much you kiss their butts and run all over for them. Ugh – I think you’re getting exactly the kind of service you deserve.

  19. I think, this is the worst Japanese restaurant in the twin cities. It’s not even Japanese food. By looking at the pictures, I already didn’t want to try it out.
    The food is exceptional, but the service was terrible. They should replace all the servers. Not friendly services, and No smile what so ever.

    • The host guy is the worst! However; I have always had service with a smile from the servers.

  20. 私は非常に悪い経験をしたと聞き残念です。私たちも良いサービスとおいしい料理がラッキーでしたね!

  21. レストランでは、恐ろしいまでの経験だった。ウエートレス失礼しました、我々は我々の注文を取り違えて指示したすべての食べ物を持参していない。私たちは彼女だが、彼女はまだ、適切な食べ物を持って来なかったのは、注文をすることは控えたインチもうそこの人々をもたらすために恥をかかせている私はもう行きます。劣悪な顧客サービス、食品良かったもわからないので、すべての食品の味をご注文されませんでした。

  22. Never had heard of this restaurant before. I’ll have to tag along with you sometime, because I don’t see Michelle going.

  23. Thanks Lauren. I will have to check out your Tulsa Food Blog, it looks like
    you may be doing something similar to this blog in the Tulsa area?

  24. Those tuna rolls look fabulous! It is always so hard to find good sushi.

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