Someone forgot to tell the proprietors of Yoshi’s that sushi and jazz are cultural opposites. Of course its founder and namesake, Yoshie Akiba, is also a fascinating mix.
Orphaned in Japan during WWII, Yoshie came to Berkeley as a student and opened Yoshi’s with her two best friends.
Thirty years later, in its new $10 million setting in the Fillmore District (the “Harlem of the West”), Yoshi’s has earned a reputation as one of the world’s finest jazz venues featuring jazz legends like Dizzy Gillespie, Diana Krall, Max Roach, and Harry Connick Jr.
Yoshi’s is also an award-winning restaurant, with Chef Shotaro Kamio presenting modern sushi that he describes as “seasonal, simple, surprise." You can make dinner reservations in the separate restaurant before the show or enjoy small tapas-style sushi and sake cocktails in the club. Prices are higher than average, but you’ll appreciate that Yoshi’s serves fresh and thoughtful Japanese cuisine rather than greasy quesadillas and mozzarella sticks.
Tickets range from $13 - $100 depending on the performer, and the club seats 420 in its warmly lit acoustic cavern. The custom sound system, complete with a resident Steinway grand piano, is clear and allows artists to truly be the center of attention. So feel free to jazz it up with flapper outfits and tailcoats.