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230 E. Victoria St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 962-6627

Reviews by the General Public

Wonderful new eatery - keep it alive because special
Reviewer: Monica Babich from Santa Barbara, CA
We love this restaurant. Food is immaculate, thoughtful, recreational eating at its best and yet down-to-earth. High quality ingredients, beautiful presentation - a masterful chef and lovely, kind staff. We keep coming back because we don't want this place to go away! This is how Japanese food should be. 5*

Reviewer: Charlotte from Goleta
I took my husband here for dinner on his BDay. The food was very clean and simple yet genius. Seven course is a must. It's worth every penny. Very quiet, zen vibe. No alcohol license as of yet and no brown bags allowed. Boo! Food and service was really exceptional. Still thinking of that meal....that is rare.

Good, but needs refining
Reviewer: Bob from Santa Barbara, CA
Not amazing, but very good, definitely needs some work. We both had the traditional kaiseki menu, all the fish was A+ (sushi rice was sub-par though). Apart from the sashimi/sushi, my favorite item was probably the monkfish liver, oyster was excellent as well though. The other offerings on the kaiseki menu were interesting, flavorful and nicely presented.....but not THAT interesting, flavorful or nicely presented. I mean, not $100/person (after tip, no drinks). Service was good, dishes came out at regular intervals and were explained well by our server. The room itself is uncomfortable and there is absolutely nothing Japanese about it. Blank yellow walls, bad lighting, uncomfortable booths, loud (even with only a few tables occupied). They have to do something to make it more 'cozy'. Also, the no booze will be a killer...sitting there for 2 hours and not having anything but water to sip on between servings is not my idea of a good dining experience (they are well aware of this, I know). It was very good, but I can't say we'll go back. I also think that anyone that can afford this kind of meal as anything more than a once-off would expect much, much more to keep going back. We were out of there after tax/tip at $110/person, if they get their liquor squared away that number easily goes up to $130-$150/person. That is serious money for dining out in this town and the entire experience really needs to reflect that.

wow. if you love Japanese food you need to try this
Reviewer: Jonathan from Santa Barbara, CA
The seven course tasting menu was amazing. Served over two hours, it was a great experience. They also do a la carte sushi. Because some Nimby neighbor is trying to block their beer and wine license, the restaurant can't serve or allow byob right now. This is hurting them. People should go now, regardless of the lack of alcohol, to support this restaurant and to have a great meal. If everyone waits, it may be too late.

Authentic Japanese Restaurant
Reviewer: Anne from Santa Barbara, CA
Yoichi brings a fresh, authentic taste of Japan to Santa Barbara. 5 of us enjoyed the fixed-price seven-course kaiseki meal last night. Although the meal is set by the chef, there was no problem having the dietary restrictions of two of our party accomodated. Our favorite courses were the marinated black cod and the appetizer. Our least favorite course was the dessert -- very Japanese, but a bit bland. Service was attentive, friendly and knowledgable. Currently the restaurant has no liquor license so you can carry-in your own alchohol with no corkage charge. We're headed back soon for sushi!

Incomparable, and Unforgettable.
Reviewer: Andrew Baker from Santa Barbara, CA
The art of sushi, lives at Yoichi's. And no surprise, as apparently Yoichi's previous experience includes the all-mighty Nobu of Japan. We went on Sunday night, and were in awe, taste after taste. If you expect your sushi to come with rocking atmosphere and crazy sushi guys tossing sake shots, this is not your place. But, if you appreciate the minimalism necessary for a complete focus on the food, Yoichi's is a must try, incomparable to anywhere else in SB. The star of the show is their 7 course meal, called Kaiseki. Plate after plate arrived, and each was such a huge wow of taste. From an amazing oyster, to a really hard to describe never before tasted but impossibly delicious seaweed shot, to A+ perfect melt in your mouth sashimi, to an eel roll that was oh so so sooo good, to absolutely perfectly grilled black cod and on and on the dishes kept coming and the wow's just kept flowing. Pricey? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely. 

If nothing else, it's a gorgeous reminder of how amazing food can be when you stop trying to outdo the next guy, and instead, simply focus on your passion. - AB in SB

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