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May 13, 2007 06:55 PM

Yoshi's in Oakland?

I searched around but haven't seen any true reports about Yoshi's since the new chef took over. There's an act coming to the Jazz Club venue next month that I want to see and I'm trying to determine whether I should make reservations at the restaurant and make a night of it.

The menu looks promising and it doesn't need to be a blow our minds, expand our horizons culinary adventure; but, it does need to be good food with decent service at the least.

Thanks for any reports!

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  1. I haven't been to Yoshi's since the new chef. There was the big write up in the Pink Page today but it was sort of confusing. It mentioned Sho from "Ozuma" (A). Not sure if it's a typo but if he's the same Sho from "Ozumo" (O) in SF, it should be very good. (Sounds like it since there was a turnover there). I've had the food from Ozumo three years ago and it was excellent...3 star+ sort of stuff. If you liked the menu I'd go. The bar is also excellent.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ML8000

      We went to Yoshi's in the late winter, after the new chef started. It was not a good evening. The menu was confusing, not really Japanese, more fusion; service was awful; and the food was barely average. But the concert was great.

      1. re: Janet

        That's really a shame to hear. Great place for music, too bad the food doesn't match.

    2. I ate at Yoshi's (the Japanese Restaurant in JLS) in late February. Is this different than the Jazz Club venue ? I saw the line for the Jazz Club down the street.

      We ate sushi/sashimi/deep fried calamari. The service was very efficient, one waitress, 2-3 servers/bussers. Waitress checked on us 3-4 times, and it seemed there servers/bussers at our table all during our stay. The presentation was artful, but we paid ~2X what I usually pay in Santa Clara County. Nothing I ate, made me think Wow!. The tab was over $300 (with tip). We had two $50 sashimi plates, two $30 sushi plates, a couple of rolls ( ~$10 each), deep fried calamari ($10), miso shiro, 6 large beers for 4 people.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Thanks for those links. I arbitrarily looked for reviews in 2007 because I wasn't clear when the new chef had taken over. Sounds like, overall, people are all over the place on things and a lot of it has to do with expectations. Yet again, highlights the difficulty in operating a restaurant when it is literally impossible to please all people all of the time.

          1. re: ccbweb

            I was there recently, all I has was 4 peices of Nigiri but I was not impressed, it wasn't bad, but I remember it being better on previous visits.

        2. I thought I had posted about a recent visit to Yoshi's but I couldn't find it in the archives. Anyhow, I'd say it's worth a try but do make reservations. I showed up without reservations and even though the restaurant was not especially busy, we were treated rather coolly, left standing in the hall for twenty minutes looking at several empty tables and some open stools at the bar before being escorted to....the open stools at the bar. A lot of servers dashing around, three or four different people took our order, brought water, brought various of the dishes. The service wasn't actively bad -- each individual person was pleasant and helpful -- it was more a case of not feeling as if anyone was in charge. The flavored edamame are delicious and addictive -- you can get them in the Jazz Club too. I really enjoyed the Kobe beef salad, with a particularly tasty and complex sauce. On the other hand the organic vegetable tempura was okay, but nothing special and I seem to remember it was presented in a pretty but awkward way, huge pieces of veg that wouldn't fit into the dipping sauce cup?

          2 Replies
          1. re: Nina

            Thanks for the report. The sense I now have is that if we temper our expectations and factor in the convenience of one-stop shopping for the night, we will have a nice enough time at the restaurant and will likely have a lovely time at the jazz club. My expectation now is that we'll go, order a bit of sushi, definitely the edamame and have a drink, then go listen to some good music.

            1. re: ccbweb

              One thing I left out of my above post. They were very slow and we had to just throw money down and leave, so we wouldn't be late for the concert. We were seated two hours before the concert and still felt rushed to get down the hall to our seats.

          2. I did not have any service problems at Yoshi's JLS.

            We did not have reservations, we arrived ~5:45, before a Warriors game. We were on our way to a table before the door closed behind us. The hostest steered us to a window seat, but after sitting at a window seat before a Sharks game, I didn't want to sit at a window. So she sat us away from the windows. Our waitress was efficient, we ordered 3 or 4 times and told her we would keep ordering until we were full. We started with beverages, a server delivered the beverages, then the waitress came back, we ordered a sushi plate and a sashimi plate and miso shiro, a server delivered those. The waitress soon returned, we ordered another sushi plate and another sashimi plate, a server delivered those. I asked the server about the shiro maguro, it did not taste like albacore, I asked if it was escolar, he said it was albacore. The waitress returned, we ordered two rolls, and some more beverages and ice water. Two different servers delivered the food/beverages/water. The waitress came by again, I ordered fried calimari, delivered by a server. Plates were efficiently removed by bussers. The waitress came by again, we asked for our check. I was thinking about ordering a dinner but we had to leave to make the beginning of the Warriors game. The 4-5 waitresses stood about 10 feet from our table, they all looked similar: young slender asian females, dressed in black, with their hair in pony tails. If we would have needed something, I could have asked a server/busser or motioned for a waitress. We were there for a little over an hour.

            I remember this in detail because I thought part of the reason for their high prices was that had a had a lot of overhead (staff) to support.

            I will go back, it is convenient for Warriors games and the service was very efficient and the waitress was friendly. The prices are high, but that is more of a personal matter.