Review: Akira Bistro – Danville, CA
499 San Ramon Valley Blvd
Danville, CA 94526
A few weeks ago I was in downtown Danville and noticed that a new Japanese restaurant was setting up. I find it slightly amusing since they are literally across the street from two other Japanese restaurants. Danville isn’t exactly big, but does it ever have a TON of Japanese food. Win for me. Jumping up to July 9th, I was walking by and noticed this new place, now labeled as Akira Bistro, had opened. Fast forward a week and a half later to July 20th, I finally got to try it.
Normally any restaurant with the name “bistro” turns me off because they like to do this “fusion” crap and generally muck about with food I actually like eating. So far, this isn’t the case with Akira Bistro. Their menu is fairly standard for Japanese food, and that is just fine with me. They actually have a few items that aren’t as common, such as Chicken Yakitori. It isn’t complicated, it is chicken on a stick, and for some reason most places don’t carry it.
Anyways, my dinner was Chicken Teriyaki (that’s my review meal, always). It came with miso soup, salad and rice, so about par for the course. The chicken was different, but it wasn’t bad. I’m not sure if they were using all natural chicken breast or something, but it just seemed unusual. My only real complaint was the rice (odd, I know). They had used too much water during cooking, so instead of being light and sticky, it was a bit mushier. On the bright side, my one item dinner was only $13. For the area, that is a nice price.
Because I was trying out a new Japanese place, I had to order some sort of sushi. Akira Bistro has quite a list of rolls. I was pleased by what I saw because they weren’t “out there”. A number of new Japanese places are trying to spice things up by making some crazy rolls – most of which I really don’t like (Editor’s Note: Jon usually leaves the trying of new sushi rolls to me, fearing that they might contain a secret ingredient of poison or something). What I tried was the 49er Roll (I think). It was crab, avocado and tempura shrimp inside with salmon on the outside. The roll was one of the most expensive ones on the menu (that I remember seeing) at $13. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but this particular roll was massive. Unfortunately the picture doesn’t convey the size well, but I was not upset at the price after seeing the size of the roll. As for the quality, well the salmon was quite delicious (which makes me all warm and fuzzy inside) along with the roll in general. I demolished the entire thing.
Overall I thought the experience was quite nice. We sat out on the patio, we enjoyed our dinner (and sushi), and paid a reasonable amount. Sure, I’ve had cheaper Japanese dinners, but from what I could see, Akira’s ingredients were all quality and the service was good. For the fact that they had only been open a week and a half when I went there, they are doing just fine. Generally the minor issues (like rice) tend to work themselves out within the first month or so. I’ll be going back and trying more of the sushi next time, maybe during lunch.