As part of Urban Heat Advisory’s “Who’s Cooking?” series, we recently visited the beautiful Oakland, California in the Bay Area to check out a very historic and popular Japanese restaurant and music venue. Yoshi’s – located within Jack London Square in downtown Oakland, has grown to be recognized as one of the world’s most popular jazz venues, offering savory Japanese cuisine and historical live performances by some of the today’s most acclaimed jazz artists. Yoshi’s founder Yoshie Akiba, opened the first Yoshi’s Japanese restaurant with two other business partners near the campus of UC Berkeley while studying dance there. Later, Akiba decided to move the restaurant to Oakland where she soon after began booking high-profile jazz acts gaining the restaurant international acclaim.
Yoshi’s menu offers traditional Japanese and fusion style cuisine with delectable starters, fresh tempura, sushi and fulfilling sea and land dishes. The dimly-lit dining area along with the subtle jazz tunes playing throughout the restaurant set a cozy and intimate setting to enjoy your meal. I ordered the Tempura shrimp and scallop ‘Kakiage’ fritter, which was deliciously seasoned and fried. The cocktail lounge area has a full-bar with featured cocktails and Sake. There is also an impressive wall-of-fame located in the cocktail lounge with framed pictures of many Jazz greats who performed at Yoshi’s, such as Joe Sample, Victor Wooten, Kenny Garrett and Shirley Horn, and many others.
After enjoying a delicious dinner I headed over to the Jazz club where Grammy nominated South-African guitarist and singer Jonathan Butler took the stage to perform live. Through decades of performing, the singer/ guitarist/songwriter/producer remains a stellar and captivating performer, passionately expressing his feelings while performing tunes from his immense catalogue. During his performance at Yoshi’s, he performed tracks from his most recently released album, “Free”.
If you’re ever in the Bay Area check out Yoshi’s Japanese Restaurant and Jazz club. You’re guaranteed to be satisfied with this authentic Japanese cuisine and world-renowned Jazz venue.
Check out their website for full menu and upcoming performances:
-Eric Bailey (Urban Heat Advisory)