I knew we had reached sushi saturation point in this town when we officially had more sushi restaurants than lobbyists. Sushi joints have become so ubiquitous that you’re liable to run into one even if you’re standing still. With so many choices, it not only becomes difficult to ferret out the good establishments from the bad, it also becomes difficult to actually differentiate good from bad. When you think about it, there are really three types of sushi restaurants: 1. Traditional (we really don’t have any of these in Sacramento), 2. Party sushi (e.g. Mikuni, Tokyo Fro’s, etc.), 3. Neighborhood sushi joints (the no frills sushi joint in your neighborhood and everyone else’s).
Where then do I categorize Akebono? It’s definitely not traditional what with its arm-long list of rolls and creative sauces. It’s definitely not party what with its relaxed vibe and decidedly unglamorous location. And it’s definitely not just another neighborhood sushi joint due to its exceptional non-sushi menu and its rather extraordinary sushi offerings.
To hell with labels. Akebono is simply incredible.
Nestled in a large strip mall on Freeport Blvd, Akebono (literally meaning “arms resting on hips and crooked at the elbow”) doesn’t stick out. Nor does it need to. It’s one of those few restaurants that can rest on its laurels. With a dedicated following of discerning eaters filling the dining room almost every night, Akebono is managing to do pretty well in a down economy.
I would recommend a few things to order, but last time I was there, we ate and drank so much (thanks to Melly and Dave (thanks Melly and Dave)) that I can’t remember one dish being anything less than incredible ( I also can’t remember the names of anything). Oh, yeah, one thing I remember was the squid. Tempura battered and fried, they were perfect. Better than almost every plate of calamari I’ve ever had a Capt. Soupy’s Fish House or similar joints.
So, if you’re having difficulty differentiating good sushi from bad sushi, or if you just remember the last time you had really good sushi, check out Akebono. Do it now before your friends go and and tell you about this great “find” that they made. Instead, you go first and then tell everyone in your book group. They’ll all adore you the recommendation.
Why are you still reading? Why haven’t you gone there yet? Oh, you need the address.
Akebono-4960 Freeport Blvd, Sacramento
Food**** Atmosphere** Service****