Pasadena >Food & Dining > Maison Akira Restaurant
713 E Green St, Pasadena, CA | Directions 9110134.144805 -118.135758
Neighborhoods: South Pasadena
Amazing – Been a few times now and I would say this is one of the best restaurants in Pasadena and anywhere. Everything is superb. Just look at Mr. Akira's credentials - wouldn't expect anything less then the best and he delivers. I'm a seafood eater and I've had the best sea bass of my life here. You're not just ordering food here, you're ordering art. The price can be high, but anything comparable will be even more (i.e., places in Beverly Hills and the west side).
Blown Away – Maison Akira is our favorite restaurant in Pasadena -- we always order the Menu Epicurean with accompanying wines and it is always PHENOMENAL! Best tasting/prix fixe menu in Pasadena, hands down. They beat out The Raymond restaurant's tasting menu -- no contest. The food is artfully prepared with interesting and unique combinations of the freshest ingredients. Portions are not too big, not too small. The wines their sommelier pairs with the dishes are always a great match and often give us an opportunity to taste something new. Kudos to Maison Akira - please keep it up!!!! Also, since it has been suggested in other reviews, I would like to add that I have NO marketing or business affiliation with this restaurant. I don't have any self-serving reason to write this review other than the fact that I just love their food and want them to stick around! :)
My-son A-so-so! – I have to give kudos to the marketing for the place. Great chef. Food is good but not phenomenal. For the price I paid, I expected more. Portions were a little small compared to the other fine restaurants in LA. Great menu items. It all sounds wonderful. Just no oommppph! This is not your every weekend stop for dinner destination. It's an OK place to go to have a romantic and quiet dinner and spec occasion spot. Service was good. How can it not be- the place was only half filled on a Sat night. You know how sometimes a restaurant just has it and you feel it! This place was so-so.
not so great – this place isnt great and i agree that it is some marketing thing that is being done. look at the reviews, no grammatical errors and the people say oh the chef is genius, the food amazing, great, great, and the waiters are rude, some should be fired, some maybe drunk on the job. not high quality standards . the food may be old sometimes, thats what i feel at least, the desserts are good, but ingredients dont seem superb, taste is good though. i think more money should be spent in the quality of ingredients, so the food can have a a better quality, and there should be more diversity, and if a waiter commits a common he/she should be relieved of their job.
Not all that it's cracked up to be – We read an excellent review in the Pasadena Star News, but we weren't very impressed with our experience. The menu items are very limited, the prices are expensive, and the food isn't anything special. Despite some good word of mouth, only three tables were occupied on Friday night.
FIrst experience will take me back again! – What a fantastic experience! Very accomodating for large groups and children (small groups too). The decor is bright and lends to a wonderful envionrment to enjoy the most fabulous food. The food is authentic, offering a nice variety to chose from (we had the buffet on Sunday). The wasab tasted amazingly fresh! The desserts are also incredibly yummy, and the fresh fruit... juicy and sweet. The service topped it all off. My coffee cup was never empty, the waiter pulled the chair out for me everytime he saw I was out of it, and he was in the area. The dirty dishes were gone before we returned with our refill. Just class, class, class, and very worth the price. All around a great experience. Oh, and noise level? No problem. It was very easy for our group of 7 to have conversations without yelling.
One of the best meals I've had... ever! – Had the most incredible meal there... the Prix Fixe Menu from start to finish was so delicious... my fiance and I were in heaven with each bite. The service was great... I had made a reservation for 6:30 pm the day before... had to change it last minute to a later time but was informed that there were no available tables. I then started to look for another restaurant when the hostess called me back and informed me that someone had cancelled and that they could move my reservation back to 7:30. That's service! We had such a wonderful experience, my now wife and I decided to make Maison Akira our official "once a month date" place!
Don't believe the reviews here – I lived in Pasadena for years and went to Maison Akira a few times since its opening. The food was good for Pasadena standards but as good as the sublime Derek's Bistro on Glenarm. The service at both places was below average even for LA standards. The sea bass at Derek's (when they had it) was superior to Maison's. The lst time I was at Maison Akira, the Mexican head-waiter and the French Maitre D', Christine, were completely rude to us. I mentioned to Christine that there was no need chilling our wine right before serving it and that they could have served it directly. The bottle was about $40 on the menu which admittedly was not a high-roller one. Christine turned around and called our wine a "cheap wine." Good thing I was not there with a date that i was trying to impress. This restaurant has had a major marketing campaign and despite my emails requests, they have not removed me from their email list. They obviously hired a marketing manager who in the past six years has tried to do a lot in pushing the place. I highly suspect a lot of the reviews here are posted by the business affiliates. I have notices that trend with a lot businesses on citysearch that have messages from the merchant before the review. The place was not well-known for years after its opening, even though the service was a lot better. To recap, the food is good but it is silly for anyone living on the west side with access to so many superior restaurants to even talk about Maison Akira.
Wonderful find! – I had never even heard of this place when my family went two weeks ago to celebrate my brother's birthday. To my amusement, everything on the menu looked so great, I had no idea what to order. Luckily, there were six of us, so I got to try most things. I opted for the pre fixe, which, at $50, might be the best buy and best pre fixe in southern california. They gave us an amuse bouche of a wonderful yellotail tuna, which really did get my tastebuds going. I started with a wonderful mushroom soup. Blended and creamy and yummy. hen I had the "Grilled Beef Ribeye steak in a black peppercorn sauce with gratin potatoes". Dee-lish. The steak was tender and flavorful, the sauce wonderfully complimented it and was pepery without being overpowering. The gratin potatoes (a comfort food to me) were a delicate gourmet version of sorts, sliced think and stacked elegantly and creamily on the plate. I was in hog heaven. I tasted the fois gras, which was the best I've EVER had, and tasted like steak but melted like butter on the tongue. I also tasted the asparagus soup, which was delicious and made with a vegetable stock. The miso marintaed chilean sea bass (Akira's signature dish) was good, and my bro's wagyu (kobe style) beef was out of this world. The desserts were great, too. I had a lavender creme brullee, and next time would opt for it without the lavender (it was good, but sometimes I'm a purist with these sorts of things). All in all, the dinner was great! An expensive night out for 6, but frankly, if you're looking for a special night, the pre fixe is a great deal. The restaurant itself is also warm, inviting, off the beaten track, and not at all pretentious. It's a little bit like my beloved Inn Of The Seventh Ray, but a little more gourmet, and French, and less hippy. You know...
One of the Better Dining Experiences – Took my wife here for her 30th bday.
she had the menu epicurean with the "kobe" ny steak, i had the miso sea bass. we shared our appetizers, which included the kampachi & yellow tail and the foie gras. wanted to try dessert but we were given complimentary bday icecream dessert and by the time we finished, we ran out of room.
i was simply blown away by the taste and quality. we've had our share of find dining experience (gary danko's in sf, mastro's, matsuhisa, nobu, etc) and this ranks near the top.
i wanted to take my wife somewhere special, but not somewhere that was "too" established. maison could not have suited this purpose any better.
can't wait to go back.
here's my breakdown
food - 9 out of 10, 10 being best
the sea bass is no joke. menu states that chef hirose served this dish to the emperor of japan. i can confirm that this dish is fit for any royalty.
service - 8 out of 10
honestly, i was too busy eating. we've had better svc at restaurants like gary danko's (known for treating their patrons like kings/queens).
decor/atmosphere - 7 of 10
place is cute and cozy, nothing extravagant. doens't really matter though...the entrees look everything look better.
value - 8.5 of 10
spent about $120 per person, worth every dime!
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