Tonight I dined at Akida in the Fan district of Richmond. Some awesome sushi indeed.

This place was TINY. Maybe 20 people could comfortably eat here, but it’d be cramped and noisy if that happened. Luckily, showing up at 6 pm on a Thursday night meant we were finishing up just as business started to pick up. But you don’t care about the crowd, I suppose.

The food…wow. I supped with my hombres Dave and Nate. Dave had ordered an appetizer of steamed dumplings which appeared to be filled with a mixture of chicken and at least scallions, I believe. They were surprisingly light, and while I wasn’t a fan of the accompanying dipping sauce, the fellas seemed to enjoy it. Nate ordered the seafood udon which turned out to be a gigantic bowl filled with a colorful and appetizing mixture of broth, noodles, vegetables and sundry types of seafood ranging from clams to salmon. I believe there was even a whole egg that’d been dropped in, poached by the soup itself.

Dave and I each ordered two rolls. We both ordered one of the specials off the board called a Dragon Phoenix Roll which consisted of a California-roll style (rice on the outside) maki roll with spicy salmon inside, spicy tuna on top, and crispy tempura flake on top of it all. This roll had that delightful sort of spiciness that I enjoy so much where it builds slowly on your tongue without overwhelming the taste buds, and was easily my favorite roll of the evening. My second roll was the spider roll – a traditional maki roll containing tempura-fried soft shell crab and a little cucumber, topped with some eel sauce. Each piece actually had a note of sweetness at first, balanced by the saline eel sauce. Quite good. Dave’s second roll was the eel roll, containing eel, cucumber, and topped of course with eel sauce. This was also good and quite mild.

I finished off my meal with a piece of tuna nigiri. The fish was delicious and fresh – perhaps a bit too thickly-sliced, and a little too much rice, but still quite tasty.

The restaurant itself, while small, was just my kind of place. A bit dive-ish on the outside, but cozy inside with high ceilings and the expected Japanese decor. The table service was quite nice, actually, consisting of more substantial chopsticks instead of the cheap bamboo snap-apart variety. Pretty dishes for the soy sauce, appetizers, and sushi complemented the excellently presented food.

Ultimately I was glad to find a good sushi place so close to my house. This location is the original of two Akida restaurants in Richmond, and is situated on Robinson between Grace and Broad Streets.

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