Thinking Inside the Bento Box

In a place like our Issaquah Japanese restaurant, a “bento” generally describes a good, square meal in a good, rectangular tray with compartments for your rice, your meat, your salad, and your soup. We offer several fine bento lunch options, including teriyaki, bulgogi, salmon, and saba. They’re attractive in their simplicity, but did you know that the idea of a bento carries a weighty cultural significance in Japan?

A bento is the daily lunch experience for most people in Japan. It’s the lunch box that children carry to school, the box that professionals take to work, and the box that restaurant patrons order at lunch time. A lot of pride and attention goes into the presentation of these boxes. Meals are painstakingly planned to look both attractive and delicious, then bundled up with a set of chopsticks tied on top. For mothers, it is a way to show how good they are at caring for their children or their husbands. In certain old-fashioned circles, girls still prepare bentos for boys in order to win their attentions. Competition rises, passions clash, and people obsess over assuring that their bentos are the best at the lunch table.

Some on down for lunch at Aji Sushi and Grill and try out one of our bento boxes. We promise you all of the satisfaction of a real Japanese bento, without any of the drama!