Restaurant: Akebono | Twitter: None | 215 10th St, Des Moines, IA 50309 | 10/20/2016
Josh: It was conference week. I was exhausted. I was tired. I wanted to go out to celebrate being done. We decided to go out for a Thursday night date for sushi. We’ve never been to Akebono before so we thought we’d try it out.
Grace: I L O V E S U S H I and had never been here, so of course I wanted to try it. Plus, it meant one less night to plan dinner for. I’ll take it!
Josh: We started with some fried pork dumplings. I’ve had dumplings before at Miyabi 9 and did not enjoy them. Those were steamed and these were fried so I decided to give it another shot.
These were so much better. Anything is better fried though, right? These were crispy, hot and good. I have nothing to compare it to because these are my first fried dumplings. I consider them good so I’ll stick with that.
Next came the sushi. Grace decided to get the Compressor and I got the Dragon (both pictured above). Just like Miyabi 9 and Sakari, my sushi choice is better. Three sushi reviews and my sushi has always been better. Funny how that works.
Mine looked like a little dragon! It was loaded with flavor but for some reason it fell flat. I can’t describe it but it didn’t live up to expectations. Don’t get me wrong, it was tasty sushi, but it it wasn’t anything I would rave about. The flavors seemed inconsistent at times and I was left a little sad. Hmm.
Oh it also came with a salad and soup. The soup was actually good and I ate it all. I usually don’t eat all of the soup at Asian restaurants (like Tsing Tsao) but this one was good. The salad was bad. Don’t serve side salads at Asian restaurants. It just doesn’t end well (that and the fact they didn’t give us forks so I ate a salad using chopsticks. Imagine that sad sight of me struggling).
Grace: I JUST WANT TO SAY THAT I TOLD JOSH HE SHOULD TRY THE FRIED PORK DUMPLINGS AND THAT I THOUGHT HE WOULD LIKE THEM BETTER THAN THE STEAMED ONES HE HAD ELSEWHERE. I SUGGESTED A GOOD FOOD. Can you tell I’m bitter that he always chooses the best rolls? I don’t understand it but I agree with the sentiment above. He always chooses the best ones. Turd.
Anyways. Look at these dumplings again.
They were good. I wish they’d been veggie dumplings though. I haven’t been loving pork lately. I don’t know what’s happening. Am I becoming more conscious of the world around me? Do I care more about where my food comes from? We’ll ponder that existential crisis later.
Look how cute this lil soup pot is! It’s adorable. The soup was delicious, too. I agree with Josh, I don’t usually eat the soup at Chinese places (mostly because I’ve only been to shitty ones with terrible soup tbh) but this was very delicious and I ate it all.
Also, yes, side salads are not a thing that this place excelled in. And eating salad with chopsticks is my new nightmare. And I didn’t really like the ginger dressing (I like ginger so that’s why I got it! But…no such luck for Grace this time).
MOVING ON. Look how pretty…
As pretty as it is, the sushi didn’t really do it for me. I had the Compressor (spicy salmon, avocado, tuna, spicy mayo, massage, scallions). With all the stuff on there, I was expecting a lot more flavor, but it just wasn’t there. I wanted more spice. And when I, a spice wimp, say I need more spice…you know it’s bland. It was still good! Just…meh. Josh’s roll was better, blah blah blah, you already know that because he’s so proud of it.
Atmosphere, Service, Price
Grace: I really enjoyed the atmosphere. It was cozy and lounge-y. They had a cool aquarium behind the bar and everything was really…blue. I liked it!
Prices were pretty typical of a sushi spot in Des Moines, house rolls for $7-10, specialty rolls for $10-16. It was a nice perk to get the soup and salad included in the meal (even though the salad was a nope).
Our server was nice enough. Nothing crazy good or bad. She seemed ready to go home…whatever! I don’t know her life.
Akebono is definitely worth a try – just choose a different roll than me! 😉
Josh: Akebono is kind of hidden. They don’t have a big sign telling you what the building is so it’s hard to know what it is if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Their sign was a small one facing the sidewalk and it’s not even facing the street.
It’s nice, small and cozy inside. I compare it more to Sakari as it feels more like a lounge than a traditional sushi place. The sushi bar is the coolest part because there was a sweet aquarium behind it. The prices are pretty normal and we paid $10+ for each roll of sushi. Seems pretty typical for Des Moines.
Our server seemed pissed off. She wasn’t too smiley and she didn’t seem happy to be there. I hope she’s having a better day today than the day we went. Hope you’re okay, server!