Japanee was pretty much my first Japanese food experience. Although my family has always been big on ethnic food, Japanese was never on our radar. Maybe because it tends to be pricier than Chinese, Thai, etc. Anyway, for our first few visits Japanee was called Japonais. They eventually changed their name because of the much more famous Japonais which totally had dibs. The restaurant is decorated in a sort of contemporary trendy style, with flat screen tvs and electro-indie music playing. The tables and chairs that are all just a tad too low or high to be comfortable. If you're going with a group, there are private karaoke rooms that you can reserve
Since I had never eaten Japanese food before, the first few times we visited Japanee I stuck with the teriyaki. Both the shrimp and chicken teriyaki are good but not super special. The teriyaki sauce is nice, not too sweet. The portions are good too, for the chicken you get two breasts, for the shrimp you get a bunch (maybe 12)? Both entrees come with some miscellaneous steamed veggies and fruit. Plus the house salad and miso soup. Japanee's house salad is the typical Japanese restaurant salad, small with a nutty/sesame dressing. I think it's the best of all the other Japanese restaurant in Bloomington.
So, on to the sushi... My gateway roll to sushi addiction was the Crazy Roll. It's tempura fried with avocado, salmon and cream cheese inside and a spicy sweet sauce over the top. It is delicious, and not at all healthy. Japanee has a few other tempura rolls that are super tasty. The Sex and the City Roll is fantastically yummy. I can't remember what's inside, but on top is fried crab and little crunchy bits. The Rock and 'Roll' is spicy crab inside, fried spicy tuna on top and is very good.
The pink lady roll used to be one of our absolute favorites. It's smoked salmon, cream cheese, avocado and tobiko rolled in pink soybean paper. It was awesome until they ruined it. Orginally it was a thin long roll, 6-8 bite sized pieces of perfectly proportioned ingredients. Now, it's five too-fat-to-fit-into-your-mouth pieces with too much cream cheese and avocado plus some faux crab meat (it's in the middle of this picture). Not good. Occasionally I do order it hoping maybe they'll make it like the original, but I'm always disappointed.
My latest favorite is the spicy scallop roll. I had one at Mikado a few months ago and was very disappointed in it. So I was a bit hesitant to order it from Japanee, but as it turns out, its super yummy! Sometimes they make it with cucumber and scallops inside and spicy sauce outside. Other times the scallops are mixed with the spicy and tobiko inside but no cucumber. Either way it's delicious, and scallops always taste very fresh.
As for vegetarian options, Japanee has quite a few. Some of the veggie rolls that we often order are the Asparagus Tempura Roll, Southern Roll (really it's just a Sweet Potato Tempura roll), and the Evergreen Roll. The Asparagus Tempura Roll is usually pretty good but is occasionally too bland and dry. Similarly, the Southern Roll is good most of the time, but last time we ordered it, it was really weird. The sweet potato was white and pretty much tasteless. The Evergreen Roll is avocado, cucumber, and asparagus wrapped in soybean paper with a sesame type sauce on top. It is very light and refreshing, I like to order it with the Crazy Roll in an attempt to balance out the deep friedness.
Japanee has some great boxed lunch specials. Just $5 for the chicken teriyaki bento lunch! I usually get the $7 salmon teriyaki which is very good, the piece of salmon is always huge! They also have tempura and mixed sushi boxes. The boxes include your protein, rice, two gyoza and four california rolls. They also come with both soup and salad which is nice. The cali rolls are pretty boring and bland, especially the lunch version for some reason. Still a great deal, very filling. Sometimes if I go with friends or family we order an extra specialty roll to share.
Service can be a bit spotty at Japanee, they always seem to be hiring and training new waitstaff. When ordering lots of sushi, especially the specialty rolls, you can expect to wait a while for your food. During the school year Japanee can get super busy on weekend nights, so make a reservation if you don't want to wait around watching everyone else enjoying their sushi.
320 N Walnut St
Bloomington, IN 47404
Menu is here.