Let’s face it—the pocketbook of your typical college student is not exactly a-flowing with diamonds and rubies. Or twenties, for that matter. Bloomington might be a restaurant mecca, but what can you do when you’ve got five dollars, a couple of quarters, and an insatiable craving for Asian food? Enter Wednesday afternoon.
After three consecutive morning lectures, I dragged myself to Ami, a Japanese/Korean restaurant located on 3rd street in the southeast campus region, across from Forest residence center. The place was busy as usual, but my friend Henry (who is a PL as well!) and I were seated within five minutes of entering the restaurant. With a large menu selection that includes Japanese and Korean foods, Ami has what many on-campus restaurants do not: tasty budget-friendly food and a quiet but cheerful environment. Orders also come with a side of steaming hot miso soup and salad (mine contained an alarming number of rotten lettuce leaves), which are delivered promptly to the table after the order is made.
Even though Henry was not too pleased with the effect the dim ambient lighting had on his photography, he was quite pleased with his “007” roll: crunchy tuna, crab, cream cheese, avocado wrapped in sticky white rice and seaweed. And although he was worried that the roll would not be enough to satiate his hunger, it turned out to be surprisingly filling.
“And delicious!” Henry said. “If only we came on a Tuesday, when all of the Maki and Chef’s Special rolls are 30% off…”
It turns out that Ami has a daily 30% off special, which makes dining there often even more tempting: on Mondays, the 30% off special is sashimi rice and bibimbap. On Tuesdays, it’s sushi; on Wednesdays, it’s noodles. That Wednesday, I paid $4.45 for a giant bowl of gyu don, a rice bowl with sautéed beef, vegetables, and noodles. Last Tuesday, I paid $7 for eight massive pieces of sushi. Students on a budget: take advantage of these specials! So while Ami might not be the best place for the discerning sushi connoisseur, it is certainly a great place to eat slowly, relax, and talk.
If you’ve never had Japanese or Korean food, Ami would be a place to try—take-out is available if you’re in a tremendous hurry, but delivery services are not provided. Go with a friend (or two) and try it out!
Reviewed by Shaina Pan