Yakko — restaurant review — California
Posted on July 10, 2007 by Kris Nelson
Yakko joins Masa’s and Sushitomi for noteworthy Mountain View sushi. That already might sound a little odd, “Mountain View sushi”, but I’ve found much more authentic sushi down here in the Peninsula than in the City. Out of the three restaurants I mentioned, Yakko is the most romantic.. and if you’ve been there, you might be chuckling at that statement. With it’s teeny tables and severely outdated and misspelled handwritten signs with sun-faded ink announcing the weekday specials on the walls, Yakko still feels the most intimate with the semi-partitions on the floor and mini tatami “booths” on the side. We usually are seated in the front by the window, which makes us happy because the place is pretty dark and dank in the back, but I can’t see the chef station from that table. I hear they have a big glass jar filled with baby softshell crabs for insta-deep frying up there. On second thought, that might just make me sad.
When I first went to Yakko, I liked the cute little plates and pretty presentation, but I also lamented at the portion size. Maybe the portions just seemed smaller because they were spread out on separate plates and not on one inclusive dish, but no, their saba shioyaki is slightly smaller than other places though, but not by much. It is considerably tastier though with more salt. It is consistently grilled crispy. Their salmon teriyaki is pretty good too, but that dish is pretty hard to muck up.
I have to say that they really stepped up their service. Or maybe that really horrid waitress was fired. The first time we went, the lady catered to this big group of businessmen while the rest of her tables were sorely neglected. And we thought it would be professional since the waitresses were all in full kimonos. Maybe we just got a dud, because another waitress helped us out a lot and did most of the work while the other was trying to work up her tip at the next table. It was the worst dining experience I’ve ever had. Now that I’ve lived in California for a little while now, I’ve learned from other people that that’s just the norm. So I deal. Kinda. Anyway, nowadays we’ve been blessed by having a really kind college student who is far from jaded or lazy.
The sushi are mostly novelty rolls (didn’t you get the hint with the jar of live baby crabs?), making this a fun place to take a date. With inventive names like Screaming Orgasm or New Girlfriend roll, who can resist ordering? Reminds me of Honolulu’s Bubbies Ice Cream (Knock Me Up on the Blower, Multiple Orgasm). The most interesting one we’ve ventured to try was the baked salmon with mayo which didn’t sound like sushi at all to me, but it’s just ‘cos I don’t dig the cooked stuff. Needless to say we don’t order too much there since we always have room for dessert (not so with other sushi restaurants) and the waiter always gives us complimentary ice cream. So go to Yakko for the novelty aspect and the cute dishes and the extremely tasty (it’s like concentrated tasty), don’t go if you want to be cheapo (novelty costs extra) or have mind-blowing* raw nigiri. Go at least once though.
*NOTE: Quality can be inconsistent, depending on the chef.
Yakko Japanese Restaurant [JAPANESE, SUSHI][$$]
(650) 960-0626 – 975 W Dana Street – Mountain View, CA
Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm
Dinner: Mon-Thu 5:30pm-9:30pm, Fri-Sat 5:30pm-10pm
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