I first reviewed Japanica II six years ago with a brief update two years later. Not much has changed, which is a good thing. No image because Bluehost engaged in its own cropping of the menu, and the on-line images look like clip art.
The place is even quieter than in 2010 because they don’t turn on the TV unless there’s another customer at the sushi bar, and they keep the sound turned low. Music plays at a reasonable volume. The space has been renovated with blue lights under the shelf of the sushi bar and curtained tatami rooms. The ambiance is still low-key compared to some show-off places.
The waitress has changed, and this one can be a little scattered, though she generally manages to salvage things. The sushi chef is always cordial but has minimal English.
The miso is always loaded with seaweed and contains generous amounts of scallion and tofu. Often it’s just lukewarm, which is OK on days when the outside temps hit 97 in the parking lot. The salad leaves much to be desired as it’s mostly big chunks of iceberg with a leaf or two of mesclun, a shaving of carrot, a piece of cabbage drowned in neon orange dressing. The eight pieces of sashimi (two each of escolar, snapper, tuna, and salmon) are always fresh. Best of all the bento box includes oshinko. (I called it takuan before, but it’s definitely oshinko.) The prices remain lower than other places in the area, and the portions are still generous.
The big drawback remains: It’s in the same plaza as Staples, where I have been known to blow serious money. Most of the time I restrain myself, but temptation looms.
Still a B+