Tastemakers recently visited Akida, a new Japanese restaurant and sushi bar across the street from the Science Museum. Wow, this is a much needed addition to the low-profile corner of Robinson and Broad streets. Akida looks small, but it has a big menu. Page after page of interesting a-la-cart items and combo platters are accompanied by color photos to help any novices with their selection. We recommend you grab a seat at the intimate bar, which comfortably seats about four. From here, you can watch chef Tony Chen carve your dishes under the glow of hanging lanterns, and take a look at all the bright decorations like the huge samurai guarding the bathroom. We tried the eel lunch special, $8. Reasonably priced when you consider that the entrée was preceded by miso soup, salad and a large California roll. Completely stuffed, we looked around the restaurant and inspected the decorations. Everything is new and polished. The place is cozy, but well designed with good use of space and a high ceiling. Akida is located at 814 N. Robinson St. Open for lunch and dinner Monday-Friday, dinner Saturday and closed Sunday. Party platters available. 359-8036. Register by Monday, March 20 for the next dinner sponsored by the Vegetarian Society of Richmond. This March 23 event is held at Jimmy's Too!, in the Ridge Shopping Center on Parham Road. The vegan menu features lasagna with salad, soup and dessert, all for $15. For more information call 344-4356.