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“Decent Japanese food in a family environment”

Akai Hana Japanese Restaurant
Ranked #9 of 75 Restaurants in Wilmette
Price range: US$0 - US$30
Cuisines: Japanese, Sushi, Asian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Delivery, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
959 reviews
475 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 439 helpful votes
“Decent Japanese food in a family environment”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 October 2013

Our return to Akai Hana was not disappointing. The vegetarian "healthy" bento box was quite good. The tempura udon was as expected. For someone with a smallish appetite, one of the $12 specials would be plenty.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank John M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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52 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    23
    20
    3
    3
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
44 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Great family night out”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 September 2013

Akai Hana is a wonderful choice for a family night out. The sushi is terrific (particularly their unique rolls) but what makes it even better than most local sushi places is that the menu is vast and varied. Our kids had many yummy choices (bento boxes generously heaped with delicious food) and the grandparents loved the teriyaki salmon. The service was personal and courteous - really outstanding.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Guita G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Huntington Beach, California
Level Contributor
25 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Fresh and tasty sushi in Wilmette”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 June 2013

We have been customers for many years at this Wilmette storefront.
Very good sushi that is fresh, as the high volume of loyal customers ensures that the bar goes through large quantities of fish daily.
Very friendly service as we have gotten to know most of ther servers by name.
Easy parking in front is a plus.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank HuntingtonSurfInn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
32 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Wow - you get what you pay for!”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 June 2013

I had gone to Akai Hana as a teen with my family and didn't really have any recollection of it or it's food, other than it was across the street from Carson Pirie Scott. My brother and his girlfriend have always RAVED about this place, though I don't consider them sushi connoisseurs by any stretch of the imagination - and no, I am not a snob but I do know good sushi!

I decided to give it a try last night since I happened to be out in the burbs and wanted something lighter than the usual restaurant fare.

I sat at the sushi bar, which was not wiped down well, there was debris, food crumbs and rice scattered around but I was intent on refraining from any judgment. The menu was fairly extensive, catering to what I call, "exploitive" sushi by listing and showing roles with every ingredient imaginable to "mask" the fish. After being told about it, I opted for the $15.95 special, which seemed to be too good to be true, which included miso soup, a specialty roll and 8 pieces of nigiri, which you could choose from the Hana's Choice List.

I placed my order and asked for uni (sea urchin), soy paper as well as tempura crunch on my roll (all of which I knew and expected to pay extra for). When the order arrived, the uni was wrapped in nori and I asked if they could change it to soy paper. I received blank looks from the sushi chef and my server was unsure as to what to do. Another server jumped in and said "we can't change it, we already did something special for you" - referring to the roll, to which I replied, "yes and I am paying for it"...that was that...hospitality out the window and they weren't going to do the basic thing a restaurant should do - be flexible.

I almost got up and left but decided to give it a try. I took my plate back and took my first bite into the salmon...I was expecting deliciousness and freshness...all that stood out was bland, no taste, over frozen "fresh" fish...same thing after the tuna and uni (which was served nice and cold)...the unagi was bland...all I could taste was the sauce...the rolls were equally dull.

You get what you pay for! What do you expect with non-Asian sushi chefs behind the sushi bar who look absolutely miserable who Akai Hana can pay less than an authentic, schooled sushi chef? In additions, the servers look bedraggled and equally miserable. What is going on over there? I felt the need to wash the nonexistent taste of sushi in my mouth with a Dunkin Donut - too bad they were closed.

Never again...I will stick with the best restaurant in all of Chicago with the friendliest and best sushi chefs at Sai Cafe!

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Jcatcab
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lake Forest, Illinois
Level Contributor
43 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Never Went Back”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 May 2013

My sister and I love Japanese food especially California rolls which is what we ordered. We ate, went home and both got violently ill approximately 2-3 hours later. We were both sick for days and weak. Her son came home after school and ate the left-overs and also got ill. We never went back.

Helpful?
Thank sara c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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