New Japanese Restaurant is a Hit

Jennifer Rodman, Staff Writer

The sound of sizzling meat and the delicious aroma of different dishes at Akuma, a sushi restaurant in Glendale, can tempt even a full person to order a meal.

Walking into the restaurant’s loud, vibrant atmosphere and seeing people laughing and smiling was very welcoming and exciting.

The owner, Ki Choi, opened Akuma on Brand roughly five months ago and also has another successful location, Saki, in Montrose.  Despite the different names, both restaurants have the same menu.

He chose the Brand location due to its diversity and envisioned adding a trendy, go-to restaurant on the boulevard.

Choi succeeded, as the restaurant’s atmosphere is very youth-friendly and includes a DJ set-up that plays different genres of music, ranging from hip-hop, pop and classical, to enhance the ambiance. In fact, the musical choices give the eatery a club-like feel.

The color palette, previously brown and white, was updated to red and black to give it a more contemporary feel.

The menu, much like the music, offers variety. Customers can order anything from noodles to sushi and plate combinations of beef, chicken, and salmon, to tempura and a number of salads and appetizers.

The Lobster Mania, priced at $10.95, falls under the category of “Tempura Roll.” Inside of the roll is baked, marinated lobster and avocado, topped off with mounds of more baked lobster.

Biting into its succulence, a variety of flavors explode into one’s mouth. The roll has a very sweet and sour taste to it, but the sriracha sauce and mayo provide the taste buds with a nice kick. These soft and chewy rolls leave you wanting more.

Another dish, “The Tender Greens,” priced at $7.95, has real crabmeat, gobo, and avocado. The rolls are wrapped in peeled cucumbers.

The crabmeat overwhelms the other flavors and the texture is both crunchy and spongey.

Although appetizing, the aftertaste is bitter and has a very strong seafood tang to it. Those with only a mild appreciation for seafood should stay away from this dish.

The Dragon Roll, $10.95, is filled with a special mixture of spicy tuna, crab, tempura shrimp and crunchy bits. It is very palatable, but also too spicy and soft. However, it is still a magnificent dish due to the variety of perfectly fused flavors.

The last dish is the perfect ending to the meal. It was a combination plate with savory and tender shredded beef, marinated with sesame oil and seeds. It also came with mixed tempura, including shrimp, peas, carrots and squash mixed in a batter that made for a perfectly crunchy experience.

The plate combination also included sticky rice, which was cooked well and prepared with spices that gave it a bit more flavor.

Although Akuma is a bit pricey, with appetizers ranging from $6.95 to $9.95 and the most costly dish priced at $15.95, it is worth a visit. Lunch specials are priced between $8.95 and $10.95 and offer eaters their money’s worth. The music, the vibe and the well-prepared food also make for a nice time with friends.

The new location at 239 N. Brand Blvd. has only been open for a short time, but a lot of customers already go in and out. The customer service is excellent and the servers are polite, patient and very helpful.

Reservations are not required but they are accepted. The restaurant is open Monday through Thursday between 11:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays between 11:30 am and 10:30 p.m., and Sundays between 11:30 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Akuma can be contacted at (818) 396-5604.