(626) Foodettes

Covering the food scene in the San Gabriel Valley.

Akasaka in Hacienda Heights has been known to have high-quality Japanese food in the 626 for years. I remember coming here when Hacienda Heights was still part of the 818 area code. Akasaka has been around for a long, long time. Take a walk through the door and you’re greeted with pictures of famous Asian celebrities that have eaten there in the past. Unfortunately, the lines for this restaurant are so long that you probably won’t even get through the door. 

Let me preface this by telling you that there’s only one sushi chef and that the service is non-existent. It’s not just bad, it ceases to exist. You have to make reservations and you are never seated on time. The restaurant is understaffed I admit, but even when I get there at opening time with only 2 tables full, the waitresses still ignore patrons and chat among themselves. It’s a victory in itself just getting anyone’s attention.

Anyways, if you get past that you know that one of the most popular dishes to order here is their monstrous $35 chriashi bowl. The rice is sweetened with vinegar to perfect. They also do not cheap out on the cuts of sashimi. 

Don’t mind the picture. It doesn’t do the bowl justice. It’s huge! It’ll feed at least 2 people!

Another personal favorite of mine is the soft shell crab appetizer. It’s fried to perfection. So flavourful! 

I’m also a Nabeyaki udon fanatic. It’s essentially an udon hot pot. If it’s on the menu, I’ll order it at any Japanese resturant. It wasn’t bad here. I just felt that they didn’t give you enough noodles. Careful, though! It’s hot! 

Unfortunately, the miso soup and the salad are forgettable.

I finished off my meal with some ice cream strawberry mochi balls with chocolate syrup.  And then I got some sushi to-go.  

The cut rolls from Akasaka are bigger than the average sushi roll. Almost twice as big! If you get to-go orders, make sure they wrap your sushi in plastic wrap or else it WILL get dry. Above are my to-go orders. 

Overall, I try to avoid Akasaka. The sushi is good, but much of it has to do with their rice. The rice here is really good. While Akasaka is a solid Japanese restaurant, it is not the best Japanese food I’ve had in Los Angeles. It does, however take the cake for the worst service ever at a Japanese restaurant. 

If you do dare to try it out, my experience has been best when arriving 10 minutes before they open and knowing exactly what you want to order when you sit down. Once you are seated though, good luck finding someone to refill your tea or to order something else. 

14926 Clark Ave
Hacienda HeightsCA 91745


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