Santa Cruz Good Times

Wednesday
Apr 16th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Midtown Maki

 

altAkira Catering steps into the restaurant business 
 
Ever since I saw the sandwich board on the Soquel Avenue sidewalk, I have anxiously awaited the arrival of sushi to the Seabright neighborhood. Akira began first as a catering company founded by Dustin Murata and Greyson Leek who met while working at Sushi Garden in Capitola. 
 
Entering through the back door of the made-over restaurant, home most recently to Kickback Cafe, it offers a comfortable and modern atmosphere. A flock of origami cranes are painted on the soft grey wall, the ceiling is coarsely textured with roughly troweled plaster, and a 10-person sushi bar extends out from the kitchen. 
Small red-streaked orange glass shades, which match the wall sconces, are supported by serpentine cylinders. At the tables on the clean, brown cement floor, sturdy rosewood-colored chairs are upholstered in black.  
 
At lunchtime, pick one, two, or three items from the selection of entrées ($8/$10/$12). Traditional light-colored miso soup was served in a heavy porcelain bowl with slices of green onions and plenty of tofu. 
 
The rest of the meal was presented on a large, square, white plate. The enticing flavor of sesame oil was prevalent in the delicious, creamy dressing which topped the mixed green salad. 
 
Chicken Katsu, a large thin piece of breast, was breaded and fried to achieve a crackling surface, and drizzled with katsu sauce, a tart and salty condiment with a fruit base. Next time, I'll order a little extra on the side. 
 
Two pieces of still-soft salmon, its skin charred, was coated with a light teriyaki sauce and sesame seeds. The extra sauce drizzled onto its fresh, pale green cabbage bed, making it a tasty part of the meal.
 
Large shaved slices of pickled ginger were piquant and sweet, paired with the six-piece spicy tuna roll. White rice on the exterior of the nori seaweed wrap was dotted with black and whole white sesame seeds. Inside, was soft, minced tuna with red chilies and crisp matchsticks of cucumber.
 
The Sushi Lunch ($12) includes an eight-piece sushi roll and three-piece nigiri sushi, both chef's choice.
 
Sashimi choices include tuna, salmon, yellowtail and albacore as eight-piece starters or 12-piece entrées $11 to $21). 
 
Zen Fusion ($11) is one of the Special Rolls. In this eight-piece delight, sweet, ripe mango, creamy avocado, and minced macadamia nuts were rolled in nori and rice, topped with tuna, and then broiled and finished with a crown of bright roe.
 
Vegetarian rolls are listed separately, and range from simple cucumber or avocado rolls ($3), to more creative specialties such as Clockwork Orange and the Shrine ($8).
 
Happy hours include weekdays (3:30 to 5:30 p.m.), as well as daily (9:30 to 10:30 p.m., making Akira an increasingly popular late-night venue. Drink specials include three beers ($2.50 to $5), and Sake Bombs ($5). Appetizer bargains include gyoza ($4), Akira jalapeño poppers ($5), Chiba Salad ($5), and Shrimp Sticks ($3), in which four long, whole, sweet shrimp are skewered and deep-fried.
 
Take-out is available until 9:30 p.m.

Akira Sushi, 1222 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz, 600-7093. Beer and wine. Open Wednesday through Monday 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. Closed Tuesdays.

 

Comments (2)Add Comment
...
written by Riverside Lighting, April 19, 2012
Snazzy lighting provided by Riverside Lighting and Electric! Thank you Akira for going local!
...
written by Happy Seabright Neighbor, April 19, 2012
Flat out the best sushi in town. Just discovered the place and went two weeks in a row. Great service and exceptionally great food!

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Aries Solar Festival

Sunday is Palm Sunday. Symbolizing victory and triumph, paradise, sacrifice and martyrdom, the Pisces World Teacher entered Jerusalem (City of Peace) on a donkey (signifying humility).

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Animal Magnetism

Bear, mouse dare to be friends in charming ‘Ernest and Celestine’ It’s not exactly Romeo and Juliet. It’s not even a romance, although it is a love story about two individuals separated by prejudice who find the courage to form an unshakable bond despite the rules and traditions that keep them apart.

 

Printer's Devil

Iconic editor Buz Bezore, who died last month at the age of 68, left a huge mark on Santa Cruz journalism   Eventually, it’s all a blur. You live long enough, and maybe a little too hard at times, so that when you hit the rewind button of faded memory, it moves so fast that you can hardly sort and gather the details. One scene skips to the next, and to the next, without proper editing or sequencing. Chronologies get distorted. Which came first: stealing the chickens or coloring the eggs?
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

Latest Comments

 

Foodie File: Yan Flower

Yan Belleville has owned Yan Flower, an affordable Chinese restaurant in Downtown Santa Cruz, with her husband Raymond for eight years, and it’s a family affair. Her brother, sister, sister-in-law, and cousins work there too. Locals know the joint for its massive lunch specials starting at $4.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Comanche Cellars

Pinot Noir 2010 I first tasted Comanche Cellars Pinot when a friend brought a bottle to share over lunch at Center Street Grill in Santa Cruz. Upon trying it, I knew I had to find out more about it.