Yoshi's is the premiere place to go to hear jazz in the East Bay. I've heard some incredible musicians perform there over the years -- Dizzie Gillespie, McCoy Tyner, Branford Marsalis, Oscar Peterson...
I make the trek to Yoshi's whenever I'm in the Bay Area. And yes, the sushi is pricey, but it's superb and worth every penny.
I went there on a date with my wife. The manager was rude and obnoxious. There was no service to speak of. The music was not as advertised.
The only reason I am going again is that Jane Monheit is appearing. I would not set foot on that place again otherwise. The attitude is complacent at best. The guy taken my ticket order was not trained and seemed to be doing this as a last resort in his life. I have had better service in lunch counters.
As soon as you have another jazz club that treats people nicely, they are gone. And please spare me the sad write-ups about another jazz institution gone. They richly deserve it.
Yoshis is a class act. With excellent entertainment and fabulous Japanese cuisine -- you must give Yoshis a shot. Perfect for a date or group of friends, at night at Yoshis is money and time well spent. And if you don't want to head over the bridge to Oakland -- Yoshis recently opened a location in SF.
I think this place is just awesome. I was recently there for a 10 p.m. show with 8 o'clock dinner reservations.The sushi was fresh and tasty. They have an extensive non-sushi menu. For some, the sushi menu might be limited for someone who's accustomed to say Kirala (Berkeley) or Aya (San Carlos). But the fish they have is very fresh. Also, as FYI, typical rolls come with 4 pieces vs. 6 pieces to the places that I've generally eaten at which also happens to make this place a bit more pricey. So we underestimated the amount of food -- we should have asked.
We were worried about getting a good seat in the jazz house but if you're there for dinner before hand, the waiters takes care of it for you! No having to save the seat yourself or wait in line! She shows you the diagram and then you give her your preference. She delivered with great seats!
They also take good care to be prompt with the food so that you can enjoy your food, be relaxed, and get seated for the show. I don't recommend the desserts -- the lemon cheesecake and chocolate raspberry cake were so-so. The mochi was pretty good.
It's a lot of fun to go here for dinner and a show. It's even more fun if you go to the first seating and then if they have space available in the second seating, you can stay. The Japanese food is good and it's nice not to feel rushed while eating, knowing that you can just wander over to the theater afterwards. The theater has a nice intimate feeling.
I used to go the Yoshi's when they were on Clairement Ave. Their new location in Jack London Square is a even better venu. The food is also very good. If you book tickets for the early show (usually starts at 8 pm), it is convenient to go there early, pick out your table, get dinner there, then see the show. If I remember correctly, the food is a little pricey (but aren't all Japanese restaurant?).
I'd just like to talk about the Jazz House. This is a neat little place to go to hear the best live Jazz. Located in Jack London Square in Oakand, CA. I get regular email updates as to who will be performing. It' neat and cozy, a great place for couples to enjoy. I recommend Yoshi's.
PROS: Live music, great atmosphere
This is a terrific place for Jazz and sushi with upscale atmoshere. They have a live stage in the restaurnt. While tasty, fresh sushi is being served, you can enjoy the live jazz. Try Spinach & Arurugula Kobe Salad, it really melts in your mouth. Small portion, but the food is impeccable.
Took my parents here for Father's Day and we had a great time. I started with the Lemon Basil martini which was so refreshing and smooth. The scallops and ribs appetizers were outstanding. I had some of the best sushi I've ever had. My step-father had an interesting seafood tempura and my mom had some fish. Everyone loved their meal. And to top it off, the ambience was very warm and welcoming. The complaint I have is that the service is a la cart, which I've had before, but here there was a large gap between dishes. My parents were done with their meal before mine ever came out. But over all I give Yoshi's two thumbs up and I'll be back.
Pros: Food, ambience, parking
Cons: A la cart service is slow
I've lived in the area for 10 years and have frequented Yoshis. It's a well known fact that you will have to share your table or booth, even if you put your name on a seat previous to the show. (People that haven't been there yet, please be forwarned, you have no choice but to share it,) Food and service will never be the reason to go to Yoshis in Oakland, however... the calibre of performers is always outstanding, and they give some locals and lesser known people perform there as well. They mix up the genre at times which has proven to be a good thing since there are a lot of evenings earlier in the week where they can still have a full house for the first show and you can turn on to some upcoming artists.
I went to Yoshis in the city for the first time to hear Count Basie Orchestra with Ledisi -- what a great show, AND I got to reserve seats! I'm going back again, and again, and again... Yoshis is 5* for music and great value!
I can't comment on the atmosphere or the music but I did sample the food in the form of take out. It's your standard sushi fare but nothing really stood out. The bar staff was helpful with my order when the waitresses were useless. The folks that man the phones left a LOT to be desired also. I've never been put on hold for that long before.
Back to the food...I ordered the Rock and Roll, Spider Roll and Spicy Dragon. The first two were absolutely standard and uninspired. The Spicy Dragon, however, was delicious. It had just the right amount of spicy and very flavorful. It was delicious (did I say that already?). Overall, it isn't the best that I've had in the Bay Area but neither is it the worst. It's average.
Pros: Food not horrible, bar staff helpful
Cons: Phone hostess and waitstaff are not very helpful
Hadn't been to Yoshi's for years, remembering them fondly from the old College Ave location(I know not actually college but very near). It has a very nice urban ambience, attractive setting etc.
The service however was atrocious! The drinks didn't arrive until after the main courses, one drink was incorrectly ordered but we just decided to let it go. The food was served up at totally disparate times and was bland and poorly prepared. The menu was limited and very expensive with very few choices for the non- sushi eater.
It struck me as a swank place that simply trades on its name and reputation for being a great jazz venue. You get the sense that they are doing you a favor letting you eat there which is an attitude I just can't tolerate. As far as the restaurant goes it was overpriced and underwhelming and when you throw that in with a less than attentive wait staff it's a place I never care to visit again!
Cons: Expensive, lousy service and below average food.
I love sushi and I eat out at sushi restaurants alot...Had never been to Yoshi's before but came because I learned that the chef from Ozumo had landed here. And boy was it worth it! The sushi was fresh and pristine. The other dishes were interesting and delicious. Finally, really great sushi in the East Bay!!!!
I had a date this evening and wanted to experience the food (which has been improving) and catch the show. The waitress made a mistake and we did not recieve our food until 15 minutes before the show and the kitchen sent out an amuse to hold us over which is a plus and when the young man ("the runner") brought out the food I explained to him the situation and he totally listened and understood about being allergic to iodine (he is not even the waiter?). The manager (I believe his name was Ben) did not listen, I explained to him that the experience was ruined and I was willing to pay for the drinks and the apps, but would like to come back for the experience I was looking for and wanted them to take care of it, so I would not have a bad taste about the place. I was willing to give them another try but "Ben" told me sorry...we don't do gift certificates. Unbelievable! I was not asking for a gift...I understand mistakes happen in the kitchen and with the wait staff, but when the support staff know more than the manager??? This place has a big problem the service was okay and the food really has been getting better but this evening I found the people in charge ruined the evening, he could have not cared any less about us. This is a message to Ben, you should find another career you are the worst at the one you are in. Yoshis, I am sorry for you. Usually when I dine there it's much better.
Pros: new chef
Cons: the management is the worst, they just want to move bodies in and out
Not very good menu and service. Previous menu and chef much better. Will lose the regular clientele and will probably have one-timers with the higher prices, lower quality of food and not as professional service. Presentation is okay.
Great jazz club. The restaurant used to be good but no longer with the new chef and menu - also very over-priced. The tea wasn't even good, tasted like only hot water. The old menu, chef, and waitresses were much better. The food looks good, not tasty and cost too much. They changed the waitresses and it appears that they are too young - not experienced. Maybe they are cutting costs to open their second one in SF. Should bring the better food back and ask for donations from regular customers! We eat out most of the time and don't mind paying for good food but $100 for the meal we had should have only cost $30-35.
Pros: music, parking
Cons: food, service
I love going to listen to jazz there, the night that i have gone have been really great. the lotus drink is really good too.
I am an Oakland resident, and i have been going to Yoshi's for quite a while now, for the music
not for the food, me and my wife love Japanese food, that's why we always go to San Francisco for japanese, our favorite spot is Ozumo, then i read on the net that former Ozumo chef (Sho) was taking over the kitchen to renew the menu, so we gave another chance to the food, we sat at the sushi bar, then we realized that the last Ozumo head chef (Armando), was also there,he gave a glass of fish broth to everyone at the sushi bar,it was like people that don't know eachother were having dinner at the same table, the place was packed to the top, great busy ambiance, beautiful dinning room, and of course amazing food...oysters with foie sauce,tuna and avocado salad, fresh sushi.... try the lamb!!.....it was a truly nice evening.....what a change!!!, no more crossing the bay for good japanese food, save your gas/toll money for some good sushi(and friendly sushi chefs), thank you Yoshi for bringing this to Oakland! heard that a new venue is opening in San Francisco......please stay here!
ps: Hostess,service and course timing need some work....we guess it is just a matter of time,great value for quality and food presentation
Pros: music and food
I wish I could comment on the food. We were a party of 8 and there for a birthday dinner. No problems in getting seated and ordering. 10 minutes after we got our food, our server asked us to leave. She said that another party was coming in and that there was a time limit on our table. Uh, we had been there less than an hour!
We complained to management and they backed the server up. It was only AFTER we all got up and had our food boxed up that the hostess discovered she had evicted the wrong table! It was the table next to us that had been there for nearly 2 hours...not us. Even then, there was no move made to get the other table to leave. The hostess simply said sorry, didn't offer us any sort of compensation, etc. There were a number of ways the management could have saved the situation for us even at this point, but they chose not to. Shame on them.
Cons: terrible service
Executive chef, Shotaro Kamio, and his team of culinary artists have completely revamped the menu with delightful and delicious original creations. Fish is flown in daily from Tokyo to give a fresh flavor to several dishes. Try the Ocean Sunomono for a unique blend of marinatied seafood and seaweed served in a martini glass with tiny fish roe shimmering around the edge of the glass. The grilled entrees are the showcase; spiny lobster, salmon, duck, lamb, and more. The sushi is prepared to order and the presentation is as specatular as the the taste. The cost of fresh ingredients, excellent taste, and an attention to detail is worth spending a little extra for a unique dining experience.
The fish were crying due to the chef's lack of skill in preparing the sushi. I feel bad for them fish for such a lousy way to go. I have had better sushi in some Japanese supermarkets. Go for the music, skip the food.
Pros: Live Music
Cons: Bad Sushi, Expensive, Bad Service
Went there on a Friday night, did not attend the jazz club, but the food was great. We had the chicken salad with sesame dressing, which was excellent, and a sashimi plate was good. There was no abnoxious smells (like in some sushi places) and the food was good. The service was a little bit slow, and the waitress was a little bit rude. The crowd was mixed, from young to old and of all races. There was plenty of seating and we were seated immediately. Definately recommended for an average price restaurant.
This is a wonderful, intimate venue. The acts are top notch, the sound is good, the chairs somewhat uncomfortable. Newcomers don't realize you have to be there very early to put your name on the best seats, or have dinner in the restaurant to get some of the better seats rserved for you. I rarely eat there, I have other choices for Japanese food!
All in all, it gets a high rating from me due to the caliber of musicians. I'd like to see a wider range of music there since it is a good venue.
I have always heard of Yoshi's and of the horrible food and great Jazz, but recently checked it out for myself. Jazz is AWESOME and worth going merely for that. Food was ok, although more what I would expect in a shopping mall. Still very edible.
Pros: location, parking, jazz
In most cases, one gets what one pays for, but not so at Yoshi's. For my 20 bucks I got chicken teriyaki that had been microwaved to death, and the sauce was the saltiest teriyaki sauce I've ever tried. I'm no chef, but I'm pretty sure that stuff's supposed to be sweet. The sushi was premade (I watched the chef turn and get my roll from a tray of them). My server was busy chatting with her co-workers (until it was time to pay, of course), and the busboy did all of the work. The show was great, though. But that has a separate price tag, now doesn't it?
Pros: good parking, great music, clean bathroom
Cons: expensive, impersonal, generic cuisine
yoshi's is the bay area jazz monopolist, and the rude staff knows it. yoshi's gets the best acts, but offer the worst experience. preferential treatment is offered if you eat their over-priced, second rate japanese food. drink service is slow and awkward, serving to people crowded in uncomfortable seats, awkwardly arranged. i have witnessed more than one drink go into someone's lap. unlikeley more than a couple will sit together unless very early, which means waiting outside. don't confuse the music with the club. catch the artists anywhere else if you can. yoshi's is a last resort. maybe one day there will be adequate competition in the bay area.
Pros: the music
Cons: crappy venue
Swank place to hear jazz. Sophisticated crowd, a-m-a-z-i-n-g sushi and good wine list. A nice evening for grown-ups.
Pros: good date nite, great acoustics
I have been to Yoshi's for dinner 3 times and after last night (second BAD experience), I will never go again. We were celebrating my mother's birthday and every plate that was brought out was not only untasty, it was unattractive. The salad was limp, soggy, and tasteless. The sashimi was pale and looked like they had just defrosted it. And to top it off, not only was the service INCREDIBLY slow, but it was totally inconsistent too - I got my sushi after the rest of my family had already finished their meals.
After all that and constant apologies from the waitress, they still charged me for my mom's dessert. RIDICULOUS AND INFURIATING EXPERIENCE!
Great acoustics and view of the performers, as well as a decent a la carte sushi menu and beers on tap. It's more enjoyable if you go with a group or if you don't mind sitting next to strangers. Great date spot!
I caught Oakland jazz scene legend Pharoah Sanders there one night, and I have to say it was captivating. The acoustics were crisp and the space very comfortable. Once you buy your ticket, they give you reserved sign to place on the seat of your choice. My party of three scored a very comfortable booth with optimal views of the stage. After securing our seats we decided to have dinner at the adjoining restaurant. I've seen a lot of people complain on the site about the food, but I was actually impressed. My salmon was so fresh it nearly melted in my mouth. My vegan friends were happy with their vegetable selections as well.
Pros: excellent jazz music
Cons: parking difficult, not close to bart