Akebono 515 Menu

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  • Lindsay A.

    I have been to Akebono twice now. The first time was a great experience: great food, great service, great atmosphere. The second time, however... Not so great. It was Friday night at about 7:15, so there was a bit of wait (half hour), which would have been fine, as we didn't have a reservation. About a half hour in, the host informed us she was waiting for one table to leave and then we would be seated. Another 15 minutes went by and then the host came back to inform us that we actually don't get the table because there was a reservation to be seated, bit we could sit at the sushi bar if we wanted. Instead, we left. I may go back, but I did not feel like they were handling how busy they were very well at all. To tell us that we were about to be seated at the table we were expecting and then take it away left us with a few questions, as well as the people waiting for a table after us. *edited to remove typo

    (3)
  • Casey N.

    You guys! This place is the REAL DEAL for sushi in Des Moines! My husband and I moved here about a year ago from San Diego and Hawaii - needless to say we have plenty of great sushi options on the west coast, and didn't expect to find anything comparable in Des Moines. After several failed attempts and cream cheese loaded rolls elsewhere (Miyabi 9, Sakura), we had pretty much given up hope. Then one night while searching yelp for ramen (oh, how I miss good Japanese ramen....), I came across Akebono and saw they had it on the menu. Being just about the only place in Des Moines that serves ramen, we decided to check it out. The ramen was sub-par compared to what we are used to, but the fish WAS TO DIE FOR! Our favorites are: Scallops two ways Hawaiian tuna nigiri The compressor roll We don't order Ramen at Akebono anymore, but we love their sushi! The atmosphere is great as well, and they really make you feel at home (shout out to TIm, who has gotten us a little too drunk a few too many times) :) If you want delicious, fresh fish, this is the spot!

    (5)
  • Sandy C.

    Just got back from Cali for winter break. Got the tempura udon. it was great. actually, the tempura platter was better than the tempura i've had in Cali. The udon broth was also really good. the best part was that the owner(?) gave our table a round of shots - twice! the waiter was really nice, too... but kind of annoying.

    (5)
  • Mark N.

    This place has the best Sushi in Iowa. Heck, it's better than many I've been to in Seattle, Toronto, Chicago, and LA. Nice selection of fresh fish. Nice appetizer list as well. If in town, you must stop by.

    (5)
  • Hil H.

    I will echo lots of reviews here and say that the sashimi is delicious. This restaurant and Wasabi Chi have the best in Iowa in my opinion. The atmosphere is great, and if you sit at the sushi bar, you are going to have a fabulous time because the chefs are hilarious and so friendly. You will meet awesome people here, too!

    (5)
  • Lynn T.

    We came here on a Saturday night for date night and they started to get pretty busy as the dinner rush came in. It's a trendy and fun place, with a decent sized menu for both Japanese food and sushi. Despite the crowd, our waitress was also very attentive. I had the Oh Snap and Dragon roll while my husband ordered the Overload. They brought out soup and salad before our rolls arrived which is very different and nice. I actually liked the Overload roll a lot better than the rolls that I ordered. The tempura shrimp in the two rolls I ordered seem a bit too heavily battered to be tempura. If you are okay with raw fish, I recommend getting the rolls with just the fish itself instead of tempura to avoid disappointment. We will be back to try the ramen and udon!

    (4)
  • Big E.

    I love the sashimi here. So fresh and cut in nice sized portions. They also have blue cheese stuffed olives for my extra dirty martinis. Which all rolled together makes for a great sashimi experience. Also the garlic edamame delish.... I haven't tried many of their rolls as I usually get only a Philly to go with my sashimi, it is usually good. Others I have dined with like their rolls. Overall it is a great place and if you consider yourself an advanced sushi diner I think you will like this place the most in town.... A little pricey but worth it for quality fish

    (5)
  • Laurena D.

    Been wanting to try this place and finally did it before going out of town. The ramen bowl that I had was pretty delcious, I would give it a 4 compare to Krunkwich Ramen. I would give Krunkwich a -5 lol. Everything else that I had was normal, I would give this place a 3.5, but since I can't give half star, I can only do 3 star instead of 4.

    (3)
  • Ashley M.

    My FAVORITE place for sushi in Des Moines. The sushi is always very good quality, extremely flavorful and perfectly rolled. We get the bento boxes almost every time because they are such a good deal! $12 for miso soup, a salad, your choice of salmon, chicken teriyaki, beef, or shrimp tempura, and a 6 piece roll. It's extremely filling! Their Akebono edamame is to die for as well, a spicy garlicky, teriyaki sauce drenched over warm soybeans, SO GOOD I could eat plates of that for the rest of my life. (FYI it's not the biggest location and they only have street parking)

    (5)
  • Marvic R.

    We came here Friday night without reservation. It wasn't that much of a long wait since at that time but I would highly suggest to make a reservation. I was with my husband and our daughter and I told the lady that we're fine to set wherever. We stand aside to let other people since coz the host area was kinda off and as much as we would want to not blocked other people we can't. So I was standing where I can get to see the bar and dining area. I saw it was a little chaotic. I can see from where I was standing the sushi bar and it doesn't look clean and they probably think that the blue light will hide that. It like small places but less chaotic when it comes to food. How about tear those booth down to replace with a long bench. From that angle, I was thinking, "damn it the food has to be good". We were glad that we were facing the outside of the resto to not see what's happening behind me. Then came our food. I had the sumo ramen, daughter shrimp tempura (first option was veggie roll that she never had and told her "stick to the shrimp") husband had the Nonsense sushi roll. He said it was good (by definition, anything that's spicy.) My sumo ramen was really good. It has pork belly, braised pork,, fish cake, poached egg some brocollli and other veggies. I love it. I ordered some green tea as well. After a few minutes, it rained so hard. I was thinking it was a perfect combo. Our host was ok and you can see that he was just checking on us to make sure we're ok and make sure we didn't choke on some of the green onions. It was weird that there's a lot of server more than enough for everybody but I notice that there's only certain servers taking orders. There are some that get the plates and I don't know about the other but it looked disorganized.

    (3)
  • Paul B.

    Awesome sushi and great atmosphere. Get the maki or ramen. Excellent bar scene as well.

    (5)
  • Serwaa O.

    Love this place!!!! Visiting from California and was pleasantly surprised by the excellent sushi in Des Moines. The food was fresh and service was excellent!!!! The service was great! Unfortunately, I didn't get our waiter's name but he was awesome!!!! Super nice and very attentive...shout out to the young male waiter with the black earrings...you Rock!!!! Definitely will be back on my next visit to Des Moines for more .

    (5)
  • Davis W.

    Good fuckin sushi, I go here almost once a week. The staff is amazing and the sushi is even better. Even if you aren't feeling sushi, the grilled skewers are very good.

    (5)
  • Brad P.

    The sushi here is fine. The Sumo ramen is fine. You're not gonna be sad if you eat here. Well, you might be if there are factors in your life that are making things terrible...but your sadness won't come from the food.

    (3)
  • Nam K.

    After reading the reviews we decided to give this place a try. It reminded of Taki ( I think that's how's it's spelled) when it opened. The decor is cool and modern. I even recognized a couple of guys that used to work at Taki. We ordered 3 rolls, one was with shrimp tempura. I wasn't impressed. The batter was thick and hard. It looked and tasted like they came from the frozen section. The other 2 rolls were good, i just don't remember what they were called. The appetizer tofu was ok. The wife said it was too soggy. Service was ok ,nothing special. I will try ramen noodle next time.

    (4)
  • Juliana P.

    Came in here during a TERRIBLE rainstorm by myself and they were super accommodating. This isn't a particularly up to date place in terms of decor--you can tell a lot of sake-bombing has happened here. However, I had several apps and they were ALL delicious. The seared ahi has such a great rub on it and the garlic dressing was strong but tasty. I also really enjoyed the dumplings and their dipping sauce. There were just too many options on the menu and I wish I had been able to try more. One of the best non-coastal places I have been for Asian food.

    (5)
  • Teresa ..

    Decided to give Akebono another try, and this time I was pleasantly surprised. We ordered the Fiji Roll ($12), Rising Sun roll ($8), and Rainbow Roll ($11). Fiji roll is tempura fried with crab, cream cheese, and topped with a spicy tuna/crab mix. We had ordered this last time, and it was delicious. The Rising Sun Roll (shrimp tempura, crab, cucumber, topped with canadian crab) was really good! Lastly, the Rainbow Roll (california roll topped with assorted fish and masago) was by far my favorite. The fish on top was so fresh! Overall, I am glad I decided to try Akebono a second time and will be returning. They do get really busy (so take this into consideration if you decide to eat here/order out)! I've also heard great things about their ramen, so I definitely would want to try that one day.

    (5)
  • Bill L.

    First of all I'd like to just mention I usually DON'T drive by this place and wonder what it's like to eat here. (A little joke for a few buddies) Even though I don't drive by this place, I have heard great things about it and have always wanted to come here and see what this downtown sushi restaurant has to offer. A couple of things to mention first, if you park in the parking ramp, they do validate parking which is awesome! Another thing is that we arrived just before the lunch rush, when everyone and their coworker in downtown are waiting to eat here. We probably came in with a handful of tables available, mid-meal there was a line literally out the door. We started with 2 grilled pork belly on a skewer to try for an appetizer. One of the orders was pretty burnt, it was disappointing, until I tried the other one which was not burnt and tasted great. So a note there is, if you order the skewers, be prepared that they may burn it. We both had a choice of either salad or soup that came with our entrees. I had the miso soup which was flavorful and done right, she had the salad with ginger dressing which also tasted good and the same as other sushi places. We also started with a specialty sushi roll to start, we order the Akebono roll (One thing I learned from eating sushi in Des Moines, if you order a specialty roll and you can't decide, just order the one with the restaurant's name in it, you can't go wrong) Proves it again this time, it was great sushi! For the entrees of course I had to try their ramen, just to see how authentic and good it is. Of course I had the Sumo Ramen, which is the standard ramen, I had actually tried leftovers of someone's Hi-Ya (Kimchi) ramen a while back and it was not good at all. The Sumo Ramen was very good, everything was done right except the pork, it was pretty hard and not tender like it should be, but still flavorful. I'm obviously comparing the ramen to authentic Japanese ramen, which sets the bar high. The other entree ordered was the Donburi Tonkatsu (pork), this was just like a rice bowl with breaded pork, veggies, rice, and a poached egg. Pretty standard dish, it was flavorful and what you would except for a rice bowl dish. Overall, had a great experience here, the staff was very friendly and helpful throughout our time here. There wasn't too much that stood out to me that I can say sets this place apart from other sushi places in Des Moines.

    (5)
  • Catherine J.

    Great sushi for Iowa. This place is great for those new to sushi, and for that one friend that likes to tag along but doesn't like sushi. Not that I've tried it but they have an Iowa sushi roll- full of corn and pulled pork. The rest of their menu is fairly authentic. Anyway, back to our experiences: My boyfriend and I have been here a few times. Every time, we sit at the sushi bar (which I highly recommend) and talk to the sushi chefs. Shout outs to Tim, Chucky and Nam because they are all great people, and they make great sushi too! They make great suggestions on what type of fish and sushi is best on the given day. The nigiri is usually the highlight. We've had great mackerel, red snapper and uni (sea urchin) here. Our favorite specialty rolls are the Overload and Akebono rolls, but my boyfriend swears by the hand rolls.

    (4)
  • Celeste B.

    Been here numerous times and have always been impressed with the quality and flavor of their food. Their drink menu is imaginative and packs a punch. The sushi rolls are imaginative and fresh. The oh snap roll, scallop appetizer and blueberry mojito are must order items! Service is always friendly and wonderful!

    (5)
  • Jennifer W.

    Came in last night with my girlfraaans. We originally went to Sakari but it was a 30-45 minute wait so we opted for Akebono instead. I was skeptical because the last time I was here for lunch, I was not impressed. This time was a game changer for me! The place was buzzing when we got there around 7:30PM. We got lucky with an open booth right when we arrived so we didn't have to wait. For appetizers we ordered edamame with little bacon chunks ( I think?), crab puffs, and dumplings. The edamame was my favorite. I thought the crab puffs were a little small for the amount (4) I got for the price ($6/7). I ordered the Dragon roll. One friend got the flaming roll- loved that one! it. That's what I will order next time. One friend got the veggie roll and then one other roll I can't remember but had lots of fish on. I really like that the rolls come with soup and salad. What a great deal! I also a dirty martini with blue cheese stuffed olives. Delicious. The service was awesome. Our server, the hostess, and bartender were all very accommodating and fun. Our hostess got us a round of saki on the house. Overall, between the food, drinks, and service it made for a great ladies night out.

    (5)
  • Jessie M.

    One of my favorite places in town! I've had a lot of sushi in many places but this one by far is best. The staff is amazing and super friendly, the fish always fresh, even their non fish items are killer! The Fargo, oishi, and the nonsense rolls are a must! When the live scallops are in you better get them because they run out so quick! So good.

    (5)
  • Alex L.

    I was here on a weekday night for takeout. I was trying to decide between a bento box and a donburi bowl and the server, whose name i have forgotten, recommended the donburi. The menu in the restaurant had a few more options specified than the online menu. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could get chicken katsu, which is not explicitly mentioned on the online menu. Overall, i though the donburi was quite good and appropriately portioned. If I am in Des Moines again, I would certainly keep Akebono in mind as a place for a good meal.

    (4)
  • Christina M.

    We have lived in the San Francisco Bay Area surrounded by amazing sushi our whole lives and our meal here was honestly some of the best sushi we have ever had. Couldn't believe we were getting such fresh seafood in Iowa! The Fiji and crispy rolls are a must. Loved our waiter and we are already talking about ways we can come back here. Worth going to over other sushi restaurants in the area.

    (5)
  • Mike C.

    My first time at Akebono and i will be back! Excellent service, atmosphere and the food is fantastic! I had the nonsense roll, which is not for the faint of heart! Its spicy! Excellent experience and good prices too.

    (5)
  • Patrick T.

    Man, Akebono 515 is a nice place.. With a super cool staff, and hip, trendy vibe. Lots of Beers on tap and in door and out door seating. I really think it's a 4 star, but If I could I would probably do 3 1/2.. But the staff and the way the food LOOKED, it's got to be a 4. The Sushi looks and smells incredible but I was a little disappointed when they told me they could only do a few things Vegan. I did like how honest they were about using the same utensils and cutting board for all the sushi too, So if you were a very strict vegan you might not want to have anything here! (I Like that kind of honesty from a staff). I choose not to eat anything but has a few beers like Lucky Buddah that I have never had before and they were great! Again I totally appreciate the staff being so cool and I hope that they could ad a few more things that a Vegan could eat!

    (4)
  • Stacy T.

    I went around lunch time, probably at 11:30 and they were not that busy. I got the bento box to go & the service was really good. The food is great, I just wish the sushi rolls were a little bit bigger for the bento box special

    (4)
  • Jane C.

    Amazing. My mom and I went here tonight during happy hour and had a phenomenal meal. We ordered the HI-YA ramen and the Tasmanian salmon roll. I will 100% be coming back!!

    (5)
  • Erynn D.

    Awesome place for sushi, socializing and having a good, chill time. The staff and sushi chefs are top notch and quality of sushi was great. Very surprising for Des Monies but very pleasant. Full bar and a separate selection with TVs for watching games and politicking.

    (5)
  • Sachin R.

    We came here based on location and reviews off yelp and we were not disappointed. My husband and I both had the bento box, chicken and salmon, and it was fresh and very tasty. We will definitely be back. Atmosphere is great, I would recommend the patio. It was busy so service was a bit slow but we didn't mind.

    (4)
  • Craig S.

    This place has fantastic Sushi and service, I lived on the west coast for years and this sushi will not disappoint. Many shots of Hennessy with the sushi chef and let them create a off the menu order!!! If you are in Des Moines and you love Sushi you have got to hit this!!!

    (5)
  • Brittany R.

    The food and atmosphere are the best! No need to order multiple rolls if you don't want; rolls come with a salad and soup so it's easy to fill up without busting the wallet! The Akebono and Rainbow rolls are my top favorites. Fresh tasting and always exactly what I'm hungry for.

    (5)
  • Thao P.

    Within the past 10 years, it appears Des Moines has experienced a rapid increase in sushi places opening up-- along with non-sushi places beginning to serve sushi. For the first few years, it felt like a luxury considering we tend to fall behind other big cities. Lately, it has been hard to find something that stands out. It appears Akebono 515 is striving to differentiate itself from its competitors. Before coming here, I knew it would be great because of the owners' history with Taki Steakhouse, which has always been one of my favorites. The location is great. It's downtown close to a lot of other great restaurants. One of the highlights of this place are the aesthetics. One of its prominent displays is its blue neon lit fish tank close to the sushi bar. The decor and lighting are beautiful and relaxing. Whenever I introduce someone to this place, the aesthetics are the first thing they comment on. The menu choices are great. For example, they serve Kalbi (Korean shortribs), Ramen, and Asian Fusion-esque burgers which I haven't seen anywhere in DSM at a sushi joint. An appetizer that stands out to me are the tofu fries. Very good choice for Vegans/Vegetarians and they come with a delicious spicy mayo dipping sauce. Sushi is delicious! I tend to always get the malibu crunch and I love it. Never have had a bad roll here. Even though the sushi isn't out of this world amazing, the variety in the menu items is what I think makes this place great.

    (4)
  • Holly D.

    The guys at the sushi bar let me order my weird white girl vegetarian sushi every time I come and only laugh at me a little. Boyfriend orders regular sushi though, and he says it's divine. Get the donburi with pork; that's the most authentic meat for the dish. Pro tip: Make friends with the manager and the guys behind the bar. They like to bestow sake bombs and random shots of Hennessy upon you whenever they feel like it.

    (5)
  • Thuy N.

    The restaurant has a nice interior that is relaxing with dim lighting. The food is good. The KimChi Ramen tastes great and the happy hour has great deals. I also love the Seoul burger!

    (4)
  • S Y.

    Second night in a row. Last night in a bit of a stupor, but food was so good, had to go back. Brought my 11 & 14 year old daughters who agree on nothing. Not only did all of us enjoy the food, but Nick made the experience complete. Helped my daughters making choices, taught them to use chopsticks and was attentive without being intrusive throughout our meal.

    (5)
  • Caliope W.

    The Fargo Roll was amazing. Not so great were the spicy scallop and the mulberry roll. The drinks were disappointing. The blueberry mojito was too sweet and it's not a mojito if the sides aren't flush with mint and some lime. Don't order the peach sake. All in all, it was a 3 star dining experience, but I'm sure I missed some good dishes.

    (3)
  • Paul D.

    I go to sushi places all over the country while traveling for work. This one is in my top 3. Staff is amazing, price is reasonable and the sushi is on point. If you are in Des Moines and looking for sushi, check this place out.

    (5)
  • Maggie E.

    Best sushi I've had in Des Moines so far! After having spent the last ten years in Chicago's West Loop I've become quite the restaurant snob :/ Des Moines has some fantastic gems but I've also run into a few spots that were grossly overrated. Not so with this place! Forgot you need change to feed meters downtown (like I said, I'm new here) and ran in to get sushi to go only to have the bartender insist I take money from his tip jar to pay the meter! So sweet. Sat down at lunch time and was enjoying the ambiance. The restaurant has a very open feel to it and the paintings are beautiful, so is the lighting and it wasn't crossed at all. The waitress was very attentive and my rolls came out minutes after the miso soup which basically feel out of the sky the moment I sat down. I had the Fiji roll per the server's recommendation and it did not disappoint. So fresh and savory and the fried tempura was extra crunchy perfection. I had a blueberry mojito that was basically perfect in every way and drank it embarrassingly quickly. I also ordered another roll (the cupid) to go. I asked the chef who was very friendly and talkative what roll would hold up best till dinner and he said he could make pretty much any of them in a way that they would. Got the roll with the intention of waiting till dinner.... yeah. That didn't happen haha but at least I was able to wait to engage in thanksgiving-worthy behavior until I made it to the privacy of my own home! It wasn't easy to drive home with that previous cargo buckled into the seat next to me, begging to be consumed. The roll was sooooo good and I ended up licking the leftover ponzu out of the little to go container (like I said, thanksgiving behavior). The chef, waitress and bartender all made me feel like a rock star, the ambiance is amazing and the sushi is my favorite thus far in Des Moines. I highly recommend this place! I will be back ASAP!

    (5)
  • Greg F.

    Amazing Sushi, fresh and delicious. Good customer service and nice atmosphere. I love this place, good quality

    (5)
  • Florence W.

    Visited with my girlfriends. We are very impressed with the food. I ordered salmon and tuna Nigiri. It was so good and fresh. Ramen was also good but I've had better. I liked the kimichi on the side. Green tea is complimentary and our waiter kept it always full throughout the dinner. I'll come back to try other items next time.

    (5)
  • Sarah S.

    hi-ya ramen was great. I sat at the bar and the bartender was really friendly and was offering out sake bombs

    (4)
  • Anna F.

    I came across this lovely establishment while I was roadtripping back to Minnesota from Kansas. Although their prices were cheaper (compared to other sushi restaurants), the quality and taste of their food still very delicious. It's a causal setting with some clubby lighting, and a bar next to the booths were I was sitting. I had some of their specialty rolls, tempura shrimp, and a burger for my boo. The burger was just mediocre, but everything else was wonderful. What I like the most was that they gave out complementary miso soups! How great is that?!?! Definitely be back when I travel down to Kansas again! Food Verdict: Damn good food for a low price. I like it ;)

    (4)
  • Ron D.

    Food was excellent! Service was polite and friendly! Gave us a number of extras! Will definitely go back to this fine restaurant !

    (5)
  • Jessica L.

    I have been dining at Akebono 515 since it opened. I feel terrible that I have failed to submit a review until now. Akebono offers extremely fresh sushi and a great combination of flavors in their offerings. I am not extremely daring in my selection when it comes to any food items but especially sushi. I usually sit at the sushi bar and am fortunate enough to often sit next to generous people who are willing to share a piece with me in an attempt to either watch me make a crazy face or expand my horizons. My favorite rolls there are Cupid and Overload. The first time I went there, I sat next to a couple who I actually frequently see at Taki. They eat wild food and allowed me to sample marlin, swordfish and barracuda. They have an extensive drink menu but I usually just stick to Hennesey and Maker's Mark. I tried an interesting bourbon there last week - I can't remember the name now though but they do offer a lot of unique liquors. The atmosphere at Akebono is a lot of fun - everyone seems to be in a super great mood - the staff and the customers. I love to stop in there by myself if I just want a quick bite to eat or spend hours there with a group of friends. Des Moines is really blessed that Tim and Nam are running this awesome sushi spot!

    (5)
  • Emily S.

    We had an amazing meal at Akebono today. Our server Paige did an amazing job. Serving us, her demeanor was cheerful and she was attentive without hovering. Every little touch was perfect, from the natural color ginger to the speedy and delicious fare. We came at happy hour and enjoyed great food and cocktails for a great price. We hung out for a couple of hours and no one seemed to mind at all, in fact we were treated with a free roll and sake bombs! The atmosphere is loungey but still casual, perfect for a chill lunch or nice dinner. And a few amazing vegetarian/vegan options. Will definitely recommend to friends and family.

    (5)
  • Rocky R.

    Outstanding service. The sushi was very good but not the best in Des Moines. I would recommend the Akebono and Oh Snap rolls. The other rolls we got were on the average side. We also got the fried chocolate cake for desert, which we shared with four people, and it was very good as well.

    (4)
  • Heather V.

    Mmmmm! Great sushi, great service and fast! Can't beat it over your lunch hour downtown!

    (5)
  • K K.

    I was skeptical being from the east coast that Des Moines would have a sushi option worthy of mentioning. Boy was my skepticism misplaced. This sushi restaurant was tremendous. What an amazing experience. From the moment I walked in, I was treated like a regular, catered to in every way. The sushi chefs knew my pallet and went to town. Offering me a Mexico roll as an alternative to my usual hamachi and scallion roll, and the Tasmanian Salmon roll in place of my usual sake nigiri...Chuckie and Nam nailed it!!!! The fish was tasteful and refreshing, presentation was magical, and the service was second to none. I highly recommend Akebono 515 to anyone looking to enjoy the highest quality sushi experience. I can't wait to come back to Iowa.

    (5)
  • Owen M.

    The family had dinner couple of nights back here. Three family members had the Hi-Ya Ramen, I had three separate sushi items which I shared with the family. Service was very good, food was good, all were filled up. Parked at adjacent public parking garage which with restaurant validated ticket. We will go back our next time in Des Moines.

    (4)
  • Veronica K.

    I went here with my husband a couple weeks ago and we had one of the best dining experiences ever. Everything was great. The atmosphere was very nice and the restaurant had a modern, big-city look. I felt like I could have been in Chicago or Minneapolis. There was also outdoor seating for days when there was nicer weather. We were seated at a high booth, which was nice because we couldn't see or hear the people next to us and it felt more private and intimate. Our waitress Tess was an extraordinary server. She did an excellent job the entire evening. I could tell that all the servers were great and really seemed to enjoy their jobs, which was very different than most restaurants in town. Other servers refilled my water glass all evening even though they weren't my servers and I didn't even have to ask anyone to refill my water. I thought that was awesome. The owner of this restaurant should be commended for training their waitstaff so well. I ordered the Hi-Ya Ramen and a California roll. Had I known that our meal came with a complimentary miso soup and small salad, I wouldn't have ordered the sushi roll, because I was so stuffed at the end of our meal. The soup and salad were good. The ginger dressing on the salad was yummy. That's so cool of them to provide that for free. The ramen was awesome! I absolutely loved it. My husband and I have been lamenting for so long that there are no ramen places in town and now we have one! He ordered the Sumo Ramen. He liked his, too, but he liked mine better. What's not to love about beef short ribs, kimchi and tofu? My only complaint about the ramen is that the noodles kind of tasted like the same kind from the cheap ramen packets in the grocery store. They didn't taste like they were made fresh. I was also expecting them to be fatter. But I'm being nitpicky. It's still great ramen and had really good flavor. My California roll was very good, too, but I couldn't really enjoy as much because I was so full. The fish and wasabi were very fresh. I'm a stickler about that. I can't stand it when the fish isn't fresh or the wasabi is a hard lump. Next time I come back I'm going to just try the sushi. I can't wait to try some different rolls. I love this place. The prices are reasonable. The food is amazing. The servers top notch. The parking situation isn't that great like most restaurants downtown, but they do validate parking if you park in the parking ramp that's right near them. Jeez, what else do they offer, a dry cleaning service? I think we have a new favorite sushi place. I can't wait to come back.

    (4)
  • Jennifer L.

    DO NOT EAT HERE!!! I threw up and got the worst food poisining! the owners also stole all the money out of my purse! beware!!! it's not worth it! the sushi is so spoiled and awful!!

    (1)
  • Daniel N.

    I'm always a little hesitant to try new sushi places, because I have a few I really like. I decided to go here for my birthday dinner and couldn't have been happier with my decision. I started out with the cucumber martini which was very good and didn't have an overpowering cucumber taste. We needed up ordering the Fiji roll, akebono, oh snap, the trifecta, and shrimp tempura roll. They were all really good. I also had the Madai and hamachi nigiri, and both were great and tasted fresh. Overall I enjoyed my food and the service was excellent. My experience at akebono was a positive one, and will be going back.

    (4)
  • Alison D.

    Went to Akebono for my second visit this weekend and cannot wait to go back for more! My first visit was with a large group of around 20 for a birthday party. We arrived in waves, and the staff was courteous, helpful and did not make us all wait for the entire group to begin service. We ordered a huge amount of food/drink and they did an amazing job of circulating the various rolls around the table, keeping us all well hydrated and happy and also encouraging the party to have a lot of fun. It felt like we were the only ones there the service was so attentive, and yet it was packed. The sushi was also absolutely fantastic. For my second visit I was with just one other person and we went for happy hour. Wow! The prices and happy hour offering is astounding, as is the service. The regular dinner menu comes with soup and salad and we were happily surprised that the happy hour menu also included this perk. I love visiting a restaurant where you aren't entirely sure who your waiter is, because every single time a service person walks by your table, they notice if you need something and just DO it. We stayed for several hours, and tried about everything on the menu. Everything from the mussels to the cocktails, to the 'house' wine was fantastic. I cannot recall visiting another restaurant in the past five years that has it all down, in multiple visits. Food, service, ambiance, fun. What a great addition to Des Moines, now please come to Ames! HIGHLY recommended rolls: oishi, tazmanian.

    (5)
  • Ardis G.

    I was a sushi virgin Until I discovered akebono. Whether it is selecting an entre or needing chopstick lessons their wait staff are wonderful. ALMOST as wonderful as their food. The rolls are incredible. tempura shrimp-- delicious.

    (5)
  • Namarazzi N.

    The Shashimi here was fresh and great. Comparable to some places I've eaten at in Hawaii. Very fresh, cut well and overall good display. I was able to mix and match my assorted Shashimi plate. Thanks Nick for the friendly service!

    (4)
  • Anu B.

    My boyfriend and I had dinner here on 10/17. Food was awesome. We decided to come back the next night with his kids before the Iowa Wild game and the food and service was even more awesome. Nick our waiter, walked the kids through the menu and gave us awesome suggestions. He went above and beyond with everything suggested. Nothing we ate was bad. The drinks he suggested were good too. Nick even comped us an appetizer and dessert. Loved my ribeye skewer and Oh Snap roll. I am from Philly and was hesitant about eating sushi in the Midwest. Can't wait for my next trip back to Des Moines so I can eat here and see Nick!

    (5)
  • Umi W.

    We ordered bento box for two nights. It was pretty good. Just rolls were not so good because I could hardly know it got sushi vinegar in it. Good price for the box with soup.

    (4)
  • Darien G.

    Went again recently and will stick with the 5-star rating. This time I had a bento box with the thinly-sliced marinated beef and a spicy tuna roll. It really is the right combination of flavors here. Just really-well done and hits the mark. Service was a tad bit slow as it was busy, but the group I was with all seemed happy with the food once it arrived.

    (5)
  • Nick H.

    I recently went to Akebono for my first time. I had the large sashimi plate and the Akebono roll. The roll was AMAZING! I personally thought it was the perfect amount of fish, crunch, and heat. This roll has spicy tuna in it which I am not usually a very big fun of. But when you put the spicy tuna with the crunch of the shrimp tempura it was a perfect combination. I would definitely recommend this roll. On the other hand, I also had a plate of sashimi. I was impressed with the presentation of this plate but not so much with the quality of the fish. I felt the fish was very tough, almost gristly, and wasn't impressed with how the fish was cut. When I spend $30 for a plate of sashimi I expect to get a premium. I was disappointed. I will be returning though to try out some different rolls!

    (3)
  • Hallie A.

    Wow! This sushi place is amazing!! Just what downtown Des Moines needed. The atmosphere is unparalleled, and the service is good. They have such a wide variety of sushi, appetizers, and meals to appeal to a variety of palettes. I'm certain the most critical of people could find one thing they love here. The sushi is fantastic, especially the fresh from Hawaii choices. The scallop appetizer is a must try. Also, the Tasmanian salmon. I'm very weary of salmon usually, and this is phenomenal.

    (5)
  • Jodee W.

    The freshest sushi I've ever had! Friendly, prompt service and very knowledgable about the offerings. The sushi chef was engaging and offered us samples. I would definitely recommend this place to everyone looking for a good sushi spot. We'll be back soon!

    (5)
  • Carrie M.

    There is a sushi roll that they light on fire.....get that one (we ordered it twice in the same night). 4 of us went there about 2 weeks after they opened. The rolls were quite small and 8 rolls and $100 later we walked out still hungry. Six of the rolls we had were OK tasting but the one they light on fire is REALLY good. From reviews below maybe they have gotten better since I've been there. I may try again someday but there are so many good sushi restaurants in town that it's hard to go back when the experience isn't off the charts.

    (3)
  • Karrissa A.

    Amazing sushi. Amazing service. Amazing ambiance. Overall amazing restaurant. Went here last night for the first time with my boyfriend. We were in gym clothes and didn't exactly look as fancy as the other customers in the restaurant, but we still received the best service. The waiter was extremely friendly and attentive. They even brought us a complementary Fiji roll. We had a great experience and will be back for sure!

    (5)
  • Lauren M.

    I live next door to Akebono 515 and couldn't be happier! The sushi is SO fresh and the service is great. I recommend the Akebono roll for sure. I find myself craving sushi all the time... Thank God I have Akebono 515!

    (5)
  • Adele Z.

    Love that this place has outdoor seating. The tuna Poke is quite tasty as is the vegetable tempura which is lightly battered. The shrimp on the skewers with teriyaki is too sweet and syrupy. The scallops are quite good but do not care for the cauliflower cream sauce that they sit on top. Overall the food is delicious and definitely worth a visit. I have had the sushi several times and it is always good.

    (4)
  • Amber N.

    My friend and I go here very often! So fresh and yummy! We always get the sushi rolls. I haven't had a bad roll yet. I recommend trying The Rising Sun or The Fargo. The staff is awesome, the location is great and the food is great. Favorite place in Des Moines for sushi!!

    (5)
  • Sausan Z.

    I came in from out of town and found this restaurant to be one of the few that was open on a Sunday evening. The food was well priced and the sushi was incredibly fresh. The meals all come with miso soup and salad. I must admit that my favorite part of the meal was the udon soup. They gave a generous amount tempura shrimp and tempura veggies with the udon. Yuuuum! The service was also excellent.

    (5)
  • Bret B.

    Top notch - has to be one of my favorites in DSM right now for fresh, creative sushi.

    (4)
  • Jen K.

    I order the oh snap and it was awesome. The place was busy but we received excellent service. Meals come with soup and salad both delicious. Ginger dressing is to die for.

    (5)
  • Scott M.

    I went there for lunch for the first time yesterday. I had the Salmon Bento box with Spicy tuna. It was excellent. The lunch crowd was a bit light, but the service was excellent and attentive. The space is very nice and they played 80s music, so that was pretty fun. I do plan to return, probably for dinner, and definitely for lunch.

    (5)
  • Lim K.

    Good miso soup and salad. Tried two rolls, Tasmanian and rainbow rolls. Both had tiny skinny pieces of fish which tasted no fish but cucumbers and avocado. Kalbi came with kimchi. It was thin but had good flavor. Good service.

    (3)
  • Michelle Y.

    I would say three and a half stars. The mussels were dry and bland, the rice for the sushi didn't seem authentic. However, you can't go wrong with the vegetable tempura and the scallops were pretty good. Service was excellent but for the food, I wouldn't go back.

    (3)
  • David L.

    Awesome sushi!! The service rocks and the specialty rolls are spectacular. Fiji twister kaji are all must try rolls!!

    (5)
  • Brad S.

    Pretty good. Tuna sashimi was very good. Like buttah...

    (3)
  • Sally J.

    The sushi roll I got was stellar, but the one my friend got, not so much. It's pricey, and though there were only a few other people there at the time, our food took forever. We were making jokes about whether or not they had to go to the ocean to get the seafood. I was not impressed with the soup but the salad dressing was good. This place seems to be hit-and-miss, and for the price, I expect a lot more hits.

    (3)
  • Michael T.

    Welcome back, fellas! The former proprietors of a top sushi bar/steakhouse are back with a sumo-sized bang. We enjoy the freshness of the ingredients and the prices seem fairly reasonable. We've been there three times since it opened and already love the Malibu roll. I'm sure we'll be back for more.

    (5)
  • Irene K.

    Visited this restaurant for the first time after my friends recommended and raved about this place. They recommended I try the sushi and ramen noodles. I've been to many restaurants and hands down Akebono515 was one of the best. Sushi and rolls was fresh and so was the sumo ramen. Customer service and waitstaff was great. I appreciated all the dishes our waitress recommended and wish I could have tried them all. You definitely should check out Akebono515!

    (5)
  • Bill M.

    We went for lunch. I'm not a sushi guy (I didn't think I was anyway). The food was all very good and the service was great. Turns out I am a sushi guy after all.

    (5)
  • Jessica T.

    Great sushi place! My friends and I stopped by there on a Friday evening and they were very accommodating even though we didn't have a reservation. Honestly a great experience start to finish and the sushi was probably some of the best I've ever had! Would highly recommend!

    (5)
  • Big E.

    I love the sashimi here. So fresh and cut in nice sized portions. They also have blue cheese stuffed olives for my extra dirty martinis. Which all rolled together makes for a great sashimi experience. Also the garlic edamame delish.... I haven't tried many of their rolls as I usually get only a Philly to go with my sashimi, it is usually good. Others I have dined with like their rolls. Overall it is a great place and if you consider yourself an advanced sushi diner I think you will like this place the most in town.... A little pricey but worth it for quality fish

    (5)
  • Laurena D.

    Been wanting to try this place and finally did it before going out of town. The ramen bowl that I had was pretty delcious, I would give it a 4 compare to Krunkwich Ramen. I would give Krunkwich a -5 lol. Everything else that I had was normal, I would give this place a 3.5, but since I can't give half star, I can only do 3 star instead of 4.

    (3)
  • Jennifer W.

    Came in last night with my girlfraaans. We originally went to Sakari but it was a 30-45 minute wait so we opted for Akebono instead. I was skeptical because the last time I was here for lunch, I was not impressed. This time was a game changer for me! The place was buzzing when we got there around 7:30PM. We got lucky with an open booth right when we arrived so we didn't have to wait. For appetizers we ordered edamame with little bacon chunks ( I think?), crab puffs, and dumplings. The edamame was my favorite. I thought the crab puffs were a little small for the amount (4) I got for the price ($6/7). I ordered the Dragon roll. One friend got the flaming roll- loved that one! it. That's what I will order next time. One friend got the veggie roll and then one other roll I can't remember but had lots of fish on. I really like that the rolls come with soup and salad. What a great deal! I also a dirty martini with blue cheese stuffed olives. Delicious. The service was awesome. Our server, the hostess, and bartender were all very accommodating and fun. Our hostess got us a round of saki on the house. Overall, between the food, drinks, and service it made for a great ladies night out.

    (5)
  • Hil H.

    I will echo lots of reviews here and say that the sashimi is delicious. This restaurant and Wasabi Chi have the best in Iowa in my opinion. The atmosphere is great, and if you sit at the sushi bar, you are going to have a fabulous time because the chefs are hilarious and so friendly. You will meet awesome people here, too!

    (5)
  • Lynn T.

    We came here on a Saturday night for date night and they started to get pretty busy as the dinner rush came in. It's a trendy and fun place, with a decent sized menu for both Japanese food and sushi. Despite the crowd, our waitress was also very attentive. I had the Oh Snap and Dragon roll while my husband ordered the Overload. They brought out soup and salad before our rolls arrived which is very different and nice. I actually liked the Overload roll a lot better than the rolls that I ordered. The tempura shrimp in the two rolls I ordered seem a bit too heavily battered to be tempura. If you are okay with raw fish, I recommend getting the rolls with just the fish itself instead of tempura to avoid disappointment. We will be back to try the ramen and udon!

    (4)
  • Ashley M.

    My FAVORITE place for sushi in Des Moines. The sushi is always very good quality, extremely flavorful and perfectly rolled. We get the bento boxes almost every time because they are such a good deal! $12 for miso soup, a salad, your choice of salmon, chicken teriyaki, beef, or shrimp tempura, and a 6 piece roll. It's extremely filling! Their Akebono edamame is to die for as well, a spicy garlicky, teriyaki sauce drenched over warm soybeans, SO GOOD I could eat plates of that for the rest of my life. (FYI it's not the biggest location and they only have street parking)

    (5)
  • Teresa ..

    Decided to give Akebono another try, and this time I was pleasantly surprised. We ordered the Fiji Roll ($12), Rising Sun roll ($8), and Rainbow Roll ($11). Fiji roll is tempura fried with crab, cream cheese, and topped with a spicy tuna/crab mix. We had ordered this last time, and it was delicious. The Rising Sun Roll (shrimp tempura, crab, cucumber, topped with canadian crab) was really good! Lastly, the Rainbow Roll (california roll topped with assorted fish and masago) was by far my favorite. The fish on top was so fresh! Overall, I am glad I decided to try Akebono a second time and will be returning. They do get really busy (so take this into consideration if you decide to eat here/order out)! I've also heard great things about their ramen, so I definitely would want to try that one day.

    (5)
  • Juliana P.

    Came in here during a TERRIBLE rainstorm by myself and they were super accommodating. This isn't a particularly up to date place in terms of decor--you can tell a lot of sake-bombing has happened here. However, I had several apps and they were ALL delicious. The seared ahi has such a great rub on it and the garlic dressing was strong but tasty. I also really enjoyed the dumplings and their dipping sauce. There were just too many options on the menu and I wish I had been able to try more. One of the best non-coastal places I have been for Asian food.

    (5)
  • Christina M.

    We have lived in the San Francisco Bay Area surrounded by amazing sushi our whole lives and our meal here was honestly some of the best sushi we have ever had. Couldn't believe we were getting such fresh seafood in Iowa! The Fiji and crispy rolls are a must. Loved our waiter and we are already talking about ways we can come back here. Worth going to over other sushi restaurants in the area.

    (5)
  • Mike C.

    My first time at Akebono and i will be back! Excellent service, atmosphere and the food is fantastic! I had the nonsense roll, which is not for the faint of heart! Its spicy! Excellent experience and good prices too.

    (5)
  • Holly D.

    The guys at the sushi bar let me order my weird white girl vegetarian sushi every time I come and only laugh at me a little. Boyfriend orders regular sushi though, and he says it's divine. Get the donburi with pork; that's the most authentic meat for the dish. Pro tip: Make friends with the manager and the guys behind the bar. They like to bestow sake bombs and random shots of Hennessy upon you whenever they feel like it.

    (5)
  • Marvic R.

    We came here Friday night without reservation. It wasn't that much of a long wait since at that time but I would highly suggest to make a reservation. I was with my husband and our daughter and I told the lady that we're fine to set wherever. We stand aside to let other people since coz the host area was kinda off and as much as we would want to not blocked other people we can't. So I was standing where I can get to see the bar and dining area. I saw it was a little chaotic. I can see from where I was standing the sushi bar and it doesn't look clean and they probably think that the blue light will hide that. It like small places but less chaotic when it comes to food. How about tear those booth down to replace with a long bench. From that angle, I was thinking, "damn it the food has to be good". We were glad that we were facing the outside of the resto to not see what's happening behind me. Then came our food. I had the sumo ramen, daughter shrimp tempura (first option was veggie roll that she never had and told her "stick to the shrimp") husband had the Nonsense sushi roll. He said it was good (by definition, anything that's spicy.) My sumo ramen was really good. It has pork belly, braised pork,, fish cake, poached egg some brocollli and other veggies. I love it. I ordered some green tea as well. After a few minutes, it rained so hard. I was thinking it was a perfect combo. Our host was ok and you can see that he was just checking on us to make sure we're ok and make sure we didn't choke on some of the green onions. It was weird that there's a lot of server more than enough for everybody but I notice that there's only certain servers taking orders. There are some that get the plates and I don't know about the other but it looked disorganized.

    (3)
  • Catherine J.

    Great sushi for Iowa. This place is great for those new to sushi, and for that one friend that likes to tag along but doesn't like sushi. Not that I've tried it but they have an Iowa sushi roll- full of corn and pulled pork. The rest of their menu is fairly authentic. Anyway, back to our experiences: My boyfriend and I have been here a few times. Every time, we sit at the sushi bar (which I highly recommend) and talk to the sushi chefs. Shout outs to Tim, Chucky and Nam because they are all great people, and they make great sushi too! They make great suggestions on what type of fish and sushi is best on the given day. The nigiri is usually the highlight. We've had great mackerel, red snapper and uni (sea urchin) here. Our favorite specialty rolls are the Overload and Akebono rolls, but my boyfriend swears by the hand rolls.

    (4)
  • Celeste B.

    Been here numerous times and have always been impressed with the quality and flavor of their food. Their drink menu is imaginative and packs a punch. The sushi rolls are imaginative and fresh. The oh snap roll, scallop appetizer and blueberry mojito are must order items! Service is always friendly and wonderful!

    (5)
  • Bill L.

    First of all I'd like to just mention I usually DON'T drive by this place and wonder what it's like to eat here. (A little joke for a few buddies) Even though I don't drive by this place, I have heard great things about it and have always wanted to come here and see what this downtown sushi restaurant has to offer. A couple of things to mention first, if you park in the parking ramp, they do validate parking which is awesome! Another thing is that we arrived just before the lunch rush, when everyone and their coworker in downtown are waiting to eat here. We probably came in with a handful of tables available, mid-meal there was a line literally out the door. We started with 2 grilled pork belly on a skewer to try for an appetizer. One of the orders was pretty burnt, it was disappointing, until I tried the other one which was not burnt and tasted great. So a note there is, if you order the skewers, be prepared that they may burn it. We both had a choice of either salad or soup that came with our entrees. I had the miso soup which was flavorful and done right, she had the salad with ginger dressing which also tasted good and the same as other sushi places. We also started with a specialty sushi roll to start, we order the Akebono roll (One thing I learned from eating sushi in Des Moines, if you order a specialty roll and you can't decide, just order the one with the restaurant's name in it, you can't go wrong) Proves it again this time, it was great sushi! For the entrees of course I had to try their ramen, just to see how authentic and good it is. Of course I had the Sumo Ramen, which is the standard ramen, I had actually tried leftovers of someone's Hi-Ya (Kimchi) ramen a while back and it was not good at all. The Sumo Ramen was very good, everything was done right except the pork, it was pretty hard and not tender like it should be, but still flavorful. I'm obviously comparing the ramen to authentic Japanese ramen, which sets the bar high. The other entree ordered was the Donburi Tonkatsu (pork), this was just like a rice bowl with breaded pork, veggies, rice, and a poached egg. Pretty standard dish, it was flavorful and what you would except for a rice bowl dish. Overall, had a great experience here, the staff was very friendly and helpful throughout our time here. There wasn't too much that stood out to me that I can say sets this place apart from other sushi places in Des Moines.

    (5)
  • Brad P.

    The sushi here is fine. The Sumo ramen is fine. You're not gonna be sad if you eat here. Well, you might be if there are factors in your life that are making things terrible...but your sadness won't come from the food.

    (3)
  • Nam K.

    After reading the reviews we decided to give this place a try. It reminded of Taki ( I think that's how's it's spelled) when it opened. The decor is cool and modern. I even recognized a couple of guys that used to work at Taki. We ordered 3 rolls, one was with shrimp tempura. I wasn't impressed. The batter was thick and hard. It looked and tasted like they came from the frozen section. The other 2 rolls were good, i just don't remember what they were called. The appetizer tofu was ok. The wife said it was too soggy. Service was ok ,nothing special. I will try ramen noodle next time.

    (4)
  • Serwaa O.

    Love this place!!!! Visiting from California and was pleasantly surprised by the excellent sushi in Des Moines. The food was fresh and service was excellent!!!! The service was great! Unfortunately, I didn't get our waiter's name but he was awesome!!!! Super nice and very attentive...shout out to the young male waiter with the black earrings...you Rock!!!! Definitely will be back on my next visit to Des Moines for more .

    (5)
  • Davis W.

    Good fuckin sushi, I go here almost once a week. The staff is amazing and the sushi is even better. Even if you aren't feeling sushi, the grilled skewers are very good.

    (5)
  • Sachin R.

    We came here based on location and reviews off yelp and we were not disappointed. My husband and I both had the bento box, chicken and salmon, and it was fresh and very tasty. We will definitely be back. Atmosphere is great, I would recommend the patio. It was busy so service was a bit slow but we didn't mind.

    (4)
  • Craig S.

    This place has fantastic Sushi and service, I lived on the west coast for years and this sushi will not disappoint. Many shots of Hennessy with the sushi chef and let them create a off the menu order!!! If you are in Des Moines and you love Sushi you have got to hit this!!!

    (5)
  • Jessie M.

    One of my favorite places in town! I've had a lot of sushi in many places but this one by far is best. The staff is amazing and super friendly, the fish always fresh, even their non fish items are killer! The Fargo, oishi, and the nonsense rolls are a must! When the live scallops are in you better get them because they run out so quick! So good.

    (5)
  • Alex L.

    I was here on a weekday night for takeout. I was trying to decide between a bento box and a donburi bowl and the server, whose name i have forgotten, recommended the donburi. The menu in the restaurant had a few more options specified than the online menu. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could get chicken katsu, which is not explicitly mentioned on the online menu. Overall, i though the donburi was quite good and appropriately portioned. If I am in Des Moines again, I would certainly keep Akebono in mind as a place for a good meal.

    (4)
  • Paul B.

    Awesome sushi and great atmosphere. Get the maki or ramen. Excellent bar scene as well.

    (5)
  • Patrick T.

    Man, Akebono 515 is a nice place.. With a super cool staff, and hip, trendy vibe. Lots of Beers on tap and in door and out door seating. I really think it's a 4 star, but If I could I would probably do 3 1/2.. But the staff and the way the food LOOKED, it's got to be a 4. The Sushi looks and smells incredible but I was a little disappointed when they told me they could only do a few things Vegan. I did like how honest they were about using the same utensils and cutting board for all the sushi too, So if you were a very strict vegan you might not want to have anything here! (I Like that kind of honesty from a staff). I choose not to eat anything but has a few beers like Lucky Buddah that I have never had before and they were great! Again I totally appreciate the staff being so cool and I hope that they could ad a few more things that a Vegan could eat!

    (4)
  • Stacy T.

    I went around lunch time, probably at 11:30 and they were not that busy. I got the bento box to go & the service was really good. The food is great, I just wish the sushi rolls were a little bit bigger for the bento box special

    (4)
  • Jane C.

    Amazing. My mom and I went here tonight during happy hour and had a phenomenal meal. We ordered the HI-YA ramen and the Tasmanian salmon roll. I will 100% be coming back!!

    (5)
  • Erynn D.

    Awesome place for sushi, socializing and having a good, chill time. The staff and sushi chefs are top notch and quality of sushi was great. Very surprising for Des Monies but very pleasant. Full bar and a separate selection with TVs for watching games and politicking.

    (5)
  • Lindsay A.

    I have been to Akebono twice now. The first time was a great experience: great food, great service, great atmosphere. The second time, however... Not so great. It was Friday night at about 7:15, so there was a bit of wait (half hour), which would have been fine, as we didn't have a reservation. About a half hour in, the host informed us she was waiting for one table to leave and then we would be seated. Another 15 minutes went by and then the host came back to inform us that we actually don't get the table because there was a reservation to be seated, bit we could sit at the sushi bar if we wanted. Instead, we left. I may go back, but I did not feel like they were handling how busy they were very well at all. To tell us that we were about to be seated at the table we were expecting and then take it away left us with a few questions, as well as the people waiting for a table after us. *edited to remove typo

    (3)
  • Casey N.

    You guys! This place is the REAL DEAL for sushi in Des Moines! My husband and I moved here about a year ago from San Diego and Hawaii - needless to say we have plenty of great sushi options on the west coast, and didn't expect to find anything comparable in Des Moines. After several failed attempts and cream cheese loaded rolls elsewhere (Miyabi 9, Sakura), we had pretty much given up hope. Then one night while searching yelp for ramen (oh, how I miss good Japanese ramen....), I came across Akebono and saw they had it on the menu. Being just about the only place in Des Moines that serves ramen, we decided to check it out. The ramen was sub-par compared to what we are used to, but the fish WAS TO DIE FOR! Our favorites are: Scallops two ways Hawaiian tuna nigiri The compressor roll We don't order Ramen at Akebono anymore, but we love their sushi! The atmosphere is great as well, and they really make you feel at home (shout out to TIm, who has gotten us a little too drunk a few too many times) :) If you want delicious, fresh fish, this is the spot!

    (5)
  • Sandy C.

    Just got back from Cali for winter break. Got the tempura udon. it was great. actually, the tempura platter was better than the tempura i've had in Cali. The udon broth was also really good. the best part was that the owner(?) gave our table a round of shots - twice! the waiter was really nice, too... but kind of annoying.

    (5)
  • Mark N.

    This place has the best Sushi in Iowa. Heck, it's better than many I've been to in Seattle, Toronto, Chicago, and LA. Nice selection of fresh fish. Nice appetizer list as well. If in town, you must stop by.

    (5)
  • Brittany R.

    The food and atmosphere are the best! No need to order multiple rolls if you don't want; rolls come with a salad and soup so it's easy to fill up without busting the wallet! The Akebono and Rainbow rolls are my top favorites. Fresh tasting and always exactly what I'm hungry for.

    (5)
  • Thao P.

    Within the past 10 years, it appears Des Moines has experienced a rapid increase in sushi places opening up-- along with non-sushi places beginning to serve sushi. For the first few years, it felt like a luxury considering we tend to fall behind other big cities. Lately, it has been hard to find something that stands out. It appears Akebono 515 is striving to differentiate itself from its competitors. Before coming here, I knew it would be great because of the owners' history with Taki Steakhouse, which has always been one of my favorites. The location is great. It's downtown close to a lot of other great restaurants. One of the highlights of this place are the aesthetics. One of its prominent displays is its blue neon lit fish tank close to the sushi bar. The decor and lighting are beautiful and relaxing. Whenever I introduce someone to this place, the aesthetics are the first thing they comment on. The menu choices are great. For example, they serve Kalbi (Korean shortribs), Ramen, and Asian Fusion-esque burgers which I haven't seen anywhere in DSM at a sushi joint. An appetizer that stands out to me are the tofu fries. Very good choice for Vegans/Vegetarians and they come with a delicious spicy mayo dipping sauce. Sushi is delicious! I tend to always get the malibu crunch and I love it. Never have had a bad roll here. Even though the sushi isn't out of this world amazing, the variety in the menu items is what I think makes this place great.

    (4)
  • Caliope W.

    The Fargo Roll was amazing. Not so great were the spicy scallop and the mulberry roll. The drinks were disappointing. The blueberry mojito was too sweet and it's not a mojito if the sides aren't flush with mint and some lime. Don't order the peach sake. All in all, it was a 3 star dining experience, but I'm sure I missed some good dishes.

    (3)
  • Paul D.

    I go to sushi places all over the country while traveling for work. This one is in my top 3. Staff is amazing, price is reasonable and the sushi is on point. If you are in Des Moines and looking for sushi, check this place out.

    (5)
  • Owen M.

    The family had dinner couple of nights back here. Three family members had the Hi-Ya Ramen, I had three separate sushi items which I shared with the family. Service was very good, food was good, all were filled up. Parked at adjacent public parking garage which with restaurant validated ticket. We will go back our next time in Des Moines.

    (4)
  • Adele Z.

    Love that this place has outdoor seating. The tuna Poke is quite tasty as is the vegetable tempura which is lightly battered. The shrimp on the skewers with teriyaki is too sweet and syrupy. The scallops are quite good but do not care for the cauliflower cream sauce that they sit on top. Overall the food is delicious and definitely worth a visit. I have had the sushi several times and it is always good.

    (4)
  • Daniel N.

    I'm always a little hesitant to try new sushi places, because I have a few I really like. I decided to go here for my birthday dinner and couldn't have been happier with my decision. I started out with the cucumber martini which was very good and didn't have an overpowering cucumber taste. We needed up ordering the Fiji roll, akebono, oh snap, the trifecta, and shrimp tempura roll. They were all really good. I also had the Madai and hamachi nigiri, and both were great and tasted fresh. Overall I enjoyed my food and the service was excellent. My experience at akebono was a positive one, and will be going back.

    (4)
  • Ron D.

    Food was excellent! Service was polite and friendly! Gave us a number of extras! Will definitely go back to this fine restaurant !

    (5)
  • Jessica L.

    I have been dining at Akebono 515 since it opened. I feel terrible that I have failed to submit a review until now. Akebono offers extremely fresh sushi and a great combination of flavors in their offerings. I am not extremely daring in my selection when it comes to any food items but especially sushi. I usually sit at the sushi bar and am fortunate enough to often sit next to generous people who are willing to share a piece with me in an attempt to either watch me make a crazy face or expand my horizons. My favorite rolls there are Cupid and Overload. The first time I went there, I sat next to a couple who I actually frequently see at Taki. They eat wild food and allowed me to sample marlin, swordfish and barracuda. They have an extensive drink menu but I usually just stick to Hennesey and Maker's Mark. I tried an interesting bourbon there last week - I can't remember the name now though but they do offer a lot of unique liquors. The atmosphere at Akebono is a lot of fun - everyone seems to be in a super great mood - the staff and the customers. I love to stop in there by myself if I just want a quick bite to eat or spend hours there with a group of friends. Des Moines is really blessed that Tim and Nam are running this awesome sushi spot!

    (5)
  • Emily S.

    We had an amazing meal at Akebono today. Our server Paige did an amazing job. Serving us, her demeanor was cheerful and she was attentive without hovering. Every little touch was perfect, from the natural color ginger to the speedy and delicious fare. We came at happy hour and enjoyed great food and cocktails for a great price. We hung out for a couple of hours and no one seemed to mind at all, in fact we were treated with a free roll and sake bombs! The atmosphere is loungey but still casual, perfect for a chill lunch or nice dinner. And a few amazing vegetarian/vegan options. Will definitely recommend to friends and family.

    (5)
  • Rocky R.

    Outstanding service. The sushi was very good but not the best in Des Moines. I would recommend the Akebono and Oh Snap rolls. The other rolls we got were on the average side. We also got the fried chocolate cake for desert, which we shared with four people, and it was very good as well.

    (4)
  • Heather V.

    Mmmmm! Great sushi, great service and fast! Can't beat it over your lunch hour downtown!

    (5)
  • K K.

    I was skeptical being from the east coast that Des Moines would have a sushi option worthy of mentioning. Boy was my skepticism misplaced. This sushi restaurant was tremendous. What an amazing experience. From the moment I walked in, I was treated like a regular, catered to in every way. The sushi chefs knew my pallet and went to town. Offering me a Mexico roll as an alternative to my usual hamachi and scallion roll, and the Tasmanian Salmon roll in place of my usual sake nigiri...Chuckie and Nam nailed it!!!! The fish was tasteful and refreshing, presentation was magical, and the service was second to none. I highly recommend Akebono 515 to anyone looking to enjoy the highest quality sushi experience. I can't wait to come back to Iowa.

    (5)
  • Veronica K.

    I went here with my husband a couple weeks ago and we had one of the best dining experiences ever. Everything was great. The atmosphere was very nice and the restaurant had a modern, big-city look. I felt like I could have been in Chicago or Minneapolis. There was also outdoor seating for days when there was nicer weather. We were seated at a high booth, which was nice because we couldn't see or hear the people next to us and it felt more private and intimate. Our waitress Tess was an extraordinary server. She did an excellent job the entire evening. I could tell that all the servers were great and really seemed to enjoy their jobs, which was very different than most restaurants in town. Other servers refilled my water glass all evening even though they weren't my servers and I didn't even have to ask anyone to refill my water. I thought that was awesome. The owner of this restaurant should be commended for training their waitstaff so well. I ordered the Hi-Ya Ramen and a California roll. Had I known that our meal came with a complimentary miso soup and small salad, I wouldn't have ordered the sushi roll, because I was so stuffed at the end of our meal. The soup and salad were good. The ginger dressing on the salad was yummy. That's so cool of them to provide that for free. The ramen was awesome! I absolutely loved it. My husband and I have been lamenting for so long that there are no ramen places in town and now we have one! He ordered the Sumo Ramen. He liked his, too, but he liked mine better. What's not to love about beef short ribs, kimchi and tofu? My only complaint about the ramen is that the noodles kind of tasted like the same kind from the cheap ramen packets in the grocery store. They didn't taste like they were made fresh. I was also expecting them to be fatter. But I'm being nitpicky. It's still great ramen and had really good flavor. My California roll was very good, too, but I couldn't really enjoy as much because I was so full. The fish and wasabi were very fresh. I'm a stickler about that. I can't stand it when the fish isn't fresh or the wasabi is a hard lump. Next time I come back I'm going to just try the sushi. I can't wait to try some different rolls. I love this place. The prices are reasonable. The food is amazing. The servers top notch. The parking situation isn't that great like most restaurants downtown, but they do validate parking if you park in the parking ramp that's right near them. Jeez, what else do they offer, a dry cleaning service? I think we have a new favorite sushi place. I can't wait to come back.

    (4)
  • Amber N.

    My friend and I go here very often! So fresh and yummy! We always get the sushi rolls. I haven't had a bad roll yet. I recommend trying The Rising Sun or The Fargo. The staff is awesome, the location is great and the food is great. Favorite place in Des Moines for sushi!!

    (5)
  • Maggie E.

    Best sushi I've had in Des Moines so far! After having spent the last ten years in Chicago's West Loop I've become quite the restaurant snob :/ Des Moines has some fantastic gems but I've also run into a few spots that were grossly overrated. Not so with this place! Forgot you need change to feed meters downtown (like I said, I'm new here) and ran in to get sushi to go only to have the bartender insist I take money from his tip jar to pay the meter! So sweet. Sat down at lunch time and was enjoying the ambiance. The restaurant has a very open feel to it and the paintings are beautiful, so is the lighting and it wasn't crossed at all. The waitress was very attentive and my rolls came out minutes after the miso soup which basically feel out of the sky the moment I sat down. I had the Fiji roll per the server's recommendation and it did not disappoint. So fresh and savory and the fried tempura was extra crunchy perfection. I had a blueberry mojito that was basically perfect in every way and drank it embarrassingly quickly. I also ordered another roll (the cupid) to go. I asked the chef who was very friendly and talkative what roll would hold up best till dinner and he said he could make pretty much any of them in a way that they would. Got the roll with the intention of waiting till dinner.... yeah. That didn't happen haha but at least I was able to wait to engage in thanksgiving-worthy behavior until I made it to the privacy of my own home! It wasn't easy to drive home with that previous cargo buckled into the seat next to me, begging to be consumed. The roll was sooooo good and I ended up licking the leftover ponzu out of the little to go container (like I said, thanksgiving behavior). The chef, waitress and bartender all made me feel like a rock star, the ambiance is amazing and the sushi is my favorite thus far in Des Moines. I highly recommend this place! I will be back ASAP!

    (5)
  • Greg F.

    Amazing Sushi, fresh and delicious. Good customer service and nice atmosphere. I love this place, good quality

    (5)
  • Florence W.

    Visited with my girlfriends. We are very impressed with the food. I ordered salmon and tuna Nigiri. It was so good and fresh. Ramen was also good but I've had better. I liked the kimichi on the side. Green tea is complimentary and our waiter kept it always full throughout the dinner. I'll come back to try other items next time.

    (5)
  • Sarah S.

    hi-ya ramen was great. I sat at the bar and the bartender was really friendly and was offering out sake bombs

    (4)
  • Anna F.

    I came across this lovely establishment while I was roadtripping back to Minnesota from Kansas. Although their prices were cheaper (compared to other sushi restaurants), the quality and taste of their food still very delicious. It's a causal setting with some clubby lighting, and a bar next to the booths were I was sitting. I had some of their specialty rolls, tempura shrimp, and a burger for my boo. The burger was just mediocre, but everything else was wonderful. What I like the most was that they gave out complementary miso soups! How great is that?!?! Definitely be back when I travel down to Kansas again! Food Verdict: Damn good food for a low price. I like it ;)

    (4)
  • Alison D.

    Went to Akebono for my second visit this weekend and cannot wait to go back for more! My first visit was with a large group of around 20 for a birthday party. We arrived in waves, and the staff was courteous, helpful and did not make us all wait for the entire group to begin service. We ordered a huge amount of food/drink and they did an amazing job of circulating the various rolls around the table, keeping us all well hydrated and happy and also encouraging the party to have a lot of fun. It felt like we were the only ones there the service was so attentive, and yet it was packed. The sushi was also absolutely fantastic. For my second visit I was with just one other person and we went for happy hour. Wow! The prices and happy hour offering is astounding, as is the service. The regular dinner menu comes with soup and salad and we were happily surprised that the happy hour menu also included this perk. I love visiting a restaurant where you aren't entirely sure who your waiter is, because every single time a service person walks by your table, they notice if you need something and just DO it. We stayed for several hours, and tried about everything on the menu. Everything from the mussels to the cocktails, to the 'house' wine was fantastic. I cannot recall visiting another restaurant in the past five years that has it all down, in multiple visits. Food, service, ambiance, fun. What a great addition to Des Moines, now please come to Ames! HIGHLY recommended rolls: oishi, tazmanian.

    (5)
  • Ardis G.

    I was a sushi virgin Until I discovered akebono. Whether it is selecting an entre or needing chopstick lessons their wait staff are wonderful. ALMOST as wonderful as their food. The rolls are incredible. tempura shrimp-- delicious.

    (5)
  • Namarazzi N.

    The Shashimi here was fresh and great. Comparable to some places I've eaten at in Hawaii. Very fresh, cut well and overall good display. I was able to mix and match my assorted Shashimi plate. Thanks Nick for the friendly service!

    (4)
  • Anu B.

    My boyfriend and I had dinner here on 10/17. Food was awesome. We decided to come back the next night with his kids before the Iowa Wild game and the food and service was even more awesome. Nick our waiter, walked the kids through the menu and gave us awesome suggestions. He went above and beyond with everything suggested. Nothing we ate was bad. The drinks he suggested were good too. Nick even comped us an appetizer and dessert. Loved my ribeye skewer and Oh Snap roll. I am from Philly and was hesitant about eating sushi in the Midwest. Can't wait for my next trip back to Des Moines so I can eat here and see Nick!

    (5)
  • Umi W.

    We ordered bento box for two nights. It was pretty good. Just rolls were not so good because I could hardly know it got sushi vinegar in it. Good price for the box with soup.

    (4)
  • Darien G.

    Went again recently and will stick with the 5-star rating. This time I had a bento box with the thinly-sliced marinated beef and a spicy tuna roll. It really is the right combination of flavors here. Just really-well done and hits the mark. Service was a tad bit slow as it was busy, but the group I was with all seemed happy with the food once it arrived.

    (5)
  • Thuy N.

    The restaurant has a nice interior that is relaxing with dim lighting. The food is good. The KimChi Ramen tastes great and the happy hour has great deals. I also love the Seoul burger!

    (4)
  • S Y.

    Second night in a row. Last night in a bit of a stupor, but food was so good, had to go back. Brought my 11 & 14 year old daughters who agree on nothing. Not only did all of us enjoy the food, but Nick made the experience complete. Helped my daughters making choices, taught them to use chopsticks and was attentive without being intrusive throughout our meal.

    (5)
  • Jennifer L.

    DO NOT EAT HERE!!! I threw up and got the worst food poisining! the owners also stole all the money out of my purse! beware!!! it's not worth it! the sushi is so spoiled and awful!!

    (1)
  • Nick H.

    I recently went to Akebono for my first time. I had the large sashimi plate and the Akebono roll. The roll was AMAZING! I personally thought it was the perfect amount of fish, crunch, and heat. This roll has spicy tuna in it which I am not usually a very big fun of. But when you put the spicy tuna with the crunch of the shrimp tempura it was a perfect combination. I would definitely recommend this roll. On the other hand, I also had a plate of sashimi. I was impressed with the presentation of this plate but not so much with the quality of the fish. I felt the fish was very tough, almost gristly, and wasn't impressed with how the fish was cut. When I spend $30 for a plate of sashimi I expect to get a premium. I was disappointed. I will be returning though to try out some different rolls!

    (3)
  • Hallie A.

    Wow! This sushi place is amazing!! Just what downtown Des Moines needed. The atmosphere is unparalleled, and the service is good. They have such a wide variety of sushi, appetizers, and meals to appeal to a variety of palettes. I'm certain the most critical of people could find one thing they love here. The sushi is fantastic, especially the fresh from Hawaii choices. The scallop appetizer is a must try. Also, the Tasmanian salmon. I'm very weary of salmon usually, and this is phenomenal.

    (5)
  • Jodee W.

    The freshest sushi I've ever had! Friendly, prompt service and very knowledgable about the offerings. The sushi chef was engaging and offered us samples. I would definitely recommend this place to everyone looking for a good sushi spot. We'll be back soon!

    (5)
  • Carrie M.

    There is a sushi roll that they light on fire.....get that one (we ordered it twice in the same night). 4 of us went there about 2 weeks after they opened. The rolls were quite small and 8 rolls and $100 later we walked out still hungry. Six of the rolls we had were OK tasting but the one they light on fire is REALLY good. From reviews below maybe they have gotten better since I've been there. I may try again someday but there are so many good sushi restaurants in town that it's hard to go back when the experience isn't off the charts.

    (3)
  • Karrissa A.

    Amazing sushi. Amazing service. Amazing ambiance. Overall amazing restaurant. Went here last night for the first time with my boyfriend. We were in gym clothes and didn't exactly look as fancy as the other customers in the restaurant, but we still received the best service. The waiter was extremely friendly and attentive. They even brought us a complementary Fiji roll. We had a great experience and will be back for sure!

    (5)
  • Lauren M.

    I live next door to Akebono 515 and couldn't be happier! The sushi is SO fresh and the service is great. I recommend the Akebono roll for sure. I find myself craving sushi all the time... Thank God I have Akebono 515!

    (5)
  • Sausan Z.

    I came in from out of town and found this restaurant to be one of the few that was open on a Sunday evening. The food was well priced and the sushi was incredibly fresh. The meals all come with miso soup and salad. I must admit that my favorite part of the meal was the udon soup. They gave a generous amount tempura shrimp and tempura veggies with the udon. Yuuuum! The service was also excellent.

    (5)
  • Bret B.

    Top notch - has to be one of my favorites in DSM right now for fresh, creative sushi.

    (4)
  • Jen K.

    I order the oh snap and it was awesome. The place was busy but we received excellent service. Meals come with soup and salad both delicious. Ginger dressing is to die for.

    (5)
  • Scott M.

    I went there for lunch for the first time yesterday. I had the Salmon Bento box with Spicy tuna. It was excellent. The lunch crowd was a bit light, but the service was excellent and attentive. The space is very nice and they played 80s music, so that was pretty fun. I do plan to return, probably for dinner, and definitely for lunch.

    (5)
  • Lim K.

    Good miso soup and salad. Tried two rolls, Tasmanian and rainbow rolls. Both had tiny skinny pieces of fish which tasted no fish but cucumbers and avocado. Kalbi came with kimchi. It was thin but had good flavor. Good service.

    (3)
  • Michelle Y.

    I would say three and a half stars. The mussels were dry and bland, the rice for the sushi didn't seem authentic. However, you can't go wrong with the vegetable tempura and the scallops were pretty good. Service was excellent but for the food, I wouldn't go back.

    (3)
  • David L.

    Awesome sushi!! The service rocks and the specialty rolls are spectacular. Fiji twister kaji are all must try rolls!!

    (5)
  • Brad S.

    Pretty good. Tuna sashimi was very good. Like buttah...

    (3)
  • Sally J.

    The sushi roll I got was stellar, but the one my friend got, not so much. It's pricey, and though there were only a few other people there at the time, our food took forever. We were making jokes about whether or not they had to go to the ocean to get the seafood. I was not impressed with the soup but the salad dressing was good. This place seems to be hit-and-miss, and for the price, I expect a lot more hits.

    (3)
  • Michael T.

    Welcome back, fellas! The former proprietors of a top sushi bar/steakhouse are back with a sumo-sized bang. We enjoy the freshness of the ingredients and the prices seem fairly reasonable. We've been there three times since it opened and already love the Malibu roll. I'm sure we'll be back for more.

    (5)
  • Irene K.

    Visited this restaurant for the first time after my friends recommended and raved about this place. They recommended I try the sushi and ramen noodles. I've been to many restaurants and hands down Akebono515 was one of the best. Sushi and rolls was fresh and so was the sumo ramen. Customer service and waitstaff was great. I appreciated all the dishes our waitress recommended and wish I could have tried them all. You definitely should check out Akebono515!

    (5)
  • Bill M.

    We went for lunch. I'm not a sushi guy (I didn't think I was anyway). The food was all very good and the service was great. Turns out I am a sushi guy after all.

    (5)
  • Jessica T.

    Great sushi place! My friends and I stopped by there on a Friday evening and they were very accommodating even though we didn't have a reservation. Honestly a great experience start to finish and the sushi was probably some of the best I've ever had! Would highly recommend!

    (5)

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Map

Opening Hours

  • Mon :11:00 am - 10

Specialities

  • Takes Reservations : Yes
    Delivery : No
    Take-out : Yes
    Accepts Credit Cards : Yes
    Good For : Dinner
    Parking : Street
    Bike Parking : Yes
    Good for Kids : Yes
    Good for Groups : Yes
    Attire : Casual
    Ambience : Classy
    Noise Level : Average
    Alcohol : Full Bar
    Outdoor Seating : Yes
    Wi-Fi : Free
    Has TV : Yes
    Waiter Service : Yes
    Caters : No

Akebono 515

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