Akahana Asian Bistro
Casual eatery that has a dark ceiling and dark floor with colorful walls, slight cave feel. The server was kind and well intentioned but very green and had to check on every question. The sushi platter was very fresh. The Bangkok salmon was very tasty but overcooked, specially when the menu says sashimi grade. The fried rice was very tasty. I will go back.
THEY ARE OPEN AND NOT GOING ANYWHERE! amazing food, drink specials, warm atmosphere, sports on the TV's, full bar, staff is nice and helpful, owner is funny, BOGO sushi, and you can even watch your sushi being made. Nigiri, sashimi, and sushi is always super fresh. They have other options too if you don't like sushi. My all time fav place to grab a bite with friends or PERFECT date night idea!
Decided to give Akahana in Charlotte a try before a show at Ovens Auditorium at the recommendation of our friends. Honestly wish we hadn't. The atmosphere still has a very pandemic feel - a weird hostess stand setup with tables and high-chairs creating a bit of an alley which makes it awkward to follow the host to your seat. Nothing in the restaurant felt "clean." Plates, silverware, glassware all had really bad water stains. The silverware was inconsistent (we had different size forks, I had plastic chopsticks while my wife had wooden ones) which isn't critical but just a peeve of mine. The bathrooms were certainly not clean and the toilet seat was broken. The restaurant just seems like it is not well maintained. As far as food goes, the tuna tataki we had to start was good, however the sauce definitely has a strong wasabi flavor. The house salads were good, and we enjoy a lot of ginger dressing, but these had so much dressing the bottom of the salads were basically a soggy soupy mess. My wife had the mixed vegetable stir fry with chicken. The sauce was sweet and had a great flavor overall. I ordered sushi. The salmon and salmon belly were fresh and tasted good. The eel was served cold both on the roll I had and also as nigiri. Typically prefer this to be served warm. Ordered the $30 Poseidon roll which tasted good, but likely carries that price tag because of the BOGO deals they run on rolls. (My other $18 roll was free, so $30 for two rolls). Our server was very nice, but there were long periods without us seeing him where drinks needed to be refilled or plates could have been cleared. A manager/owner seemed to make the rounds a couple times and was very friendly as he stopped by each of the tables. Overall, our experience was just "meh" - but at least outranked our one other experience at Akahana (Fort Mill) where we once sat completely ignored for 30 minutes and ended up walking out. For $150 tab for two after tip, I would have preferred going to one of several other sushi spots which are cleaner & tastier. I won't be back, not for spite, but because there are simply better places to go.
Bad to go experience. 1 they automatically added an $8 tip on a TO GO pickup order without telling us. 2 they bagged hot and cold together - like hot Miso Soup sitting on top of cold raw sushi. If you gonna add an $8 tip please at least bag hot and cold separate. Also I let them know and they were like meh. I feel like Akahana is close and convenient but there are WAY better options especially with to go service.
Disclaimer: I was having such a great experience, I got caught up in the moments and forgot to take pics of my plates so this is pt.1, I MUST go back! John was ABsolutely phenomenal! He made the experience great with his prompt customer service, his attentiveness to detail was on point, and he's quite the comedian! Tasty food, pineapple was under that bed of shrimp. I must try this dish again!