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Japanese Bento -- East San Fernando Valley - where?!

Maxmillion Jul 7, 2008 06:11 PM

Okay 'houndz -- I need to find a good place to pick up a true 'bento' (aka Japanese lunch box) for a picnic-style dinner at the H'wood Bowl.

I mean an individual to-go box with separate compartments that have all sorts of small portions of Japanese delicacies, such as cooked fish, perhaps some teriyaki chicken, also sushi or maki rolls, perhaps some tamago (egg sushi) and other stuff (it's been ages since I had one). Dessert element is not important. Drinks I can provide myself.

So, who knows a good place I can pick up from, around 5.30pm?

Forget Mako -- it must be located in either:

Studio City
Sherman Oaks - or -
as far West as Encino...

Please help out a hungry 'hound!!

Thanx in advance.

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  1. Das Ubergeek RE: Maxmillion Jul 8, 2008 06:28 AM

    Perhaps you should call Daichan in Studio City (Ventura and Eureka). If that doesn't work, you might try Maki Yaki on Ventura and Tujunga. You'll probably want to explain pretty clearly that you want the box (and will bring it back).

    We're going to the Bowl tonight too, but I'm going to go to Banh Mi Che Cali and get sandwiches, goi cuon and che.

    1. Servorg RE: Maxmillion Jul 8, 2008 06:41 AM

      Tama used to offer a really nice o-bento box for around $30 or so. You might give them a call and see what they say.

      Tama Sushi
      11920 Ventura Blvd
      Studio City 91604 @ Carpenter Ave

      1 Reply
      1. re: Servorg
        Maxmillion RE: Servorg Jul 8, 2008 12:55 PM

        Fantastic -- both suggestions are excellent ones. I was gonna suss out Daichan as their menu would be suitable (love that place) but wasn't sure if they had the box to go. And yeah, I can bring a box back - maybe even offer to leave a deposit?!

        Thank you!

      2. Maxmillion RE: Maxmillion Jul 9, 2008 11:50 AM

        Anyone else? Bueller??

        1. Maxmillion RE: Maxmillion Jul 14, 2008 10:17 AM

          Our concert at the Bowl isn't till the end of this month, so if anyone knows other places who have or may have o-bento - I'm open to suggestion!

          I'll post back with my results.

          1. Maxmillion RE: Maxmillion Jul 17, 2008 03:29 PM

            Okay, I apologise for the multiple responses to my own post, but here are my results:

            Thanks to suggestions, I found two places locally who do 'o-bento' that I now need to sample as their pricing is wildly different (!)

            Tama Sushi offers a really nice-sounding o-bento to go for $32. It contains Kobachi – a pre-appetizer; Zensai – which is three kinds of appetizers; Three kinds of sashimi; Shrimp and vegetable tempura; Yakizakana – grilled fish; Nimono – seasoned and cooked Japanese vegetable and rice. Order and pick up.

            Tama Sushi, 11920 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, just E of Laurel. (818) 760 4585. Open seven days, 11.30-2.30pm; 5-10pm.

            Maki Yaki 2 in Studio City also has o-bento to go that’s a bit more affordable. They do a sushi and tempura bento for $8.95 and a sushi and gyoza bento for $8.25. Order and pick up or free delivery available, within a certain radius.

            Maki Yaki 2, 11388 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, at Tujunga. (818) 753 0852. Open 11am-9pm, Mon-Thurs; ’till 10pm Fri & Sat and 4-9pm Sundays.

            FYI -- Daichan do food to go, but no "all-inclusive" bento box, which is what I was after.

            I also gave 4 on 6 Sushi in Encino a call, just for the hell of it, but no go.

            that is all.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Maxmillion
              Servorg RE: Maxmillion Jul 18, 2008 08:30 AM

              Thanks, a million Max ;-D for your pre-tasting fact finding report. I look forward to reading your final, "apre the chow" write up.

            2. t
              triarts RE: Maxmillion Jul 18, 2008 09:26 AM

              i have bento's delivered to my business every day from los angeles, i am in north hollywood, will get my drivers number if you want it

              1 Reply
              1. re: triarts
                Servorg RE: triarts Jul 18, 2008 09:38 AM

                Driver unimportant for this discussion. What is important is where do you get your bento from? What do you get in your bento boxa and what is the best of the food items? What is the cost of the bento, less the delivery charge and any tip you give your driver?

              2. t
                triarts RE: Maxmillion Jul 18, 2008 09:56 AM

                bento cost is 8.50 tip is up to you. typical bento i have would be salmon, rice , cooked veggies, potatoe salad, pickles all in separate compartments. also they have soba noodles, and cold chinese noodles w chopped veggies. driver is important to me since i don't know where they come from, been eating them for bout three years without any food poisoning, and they are tasty

                3 Replies
                1. re: triarts
                  Maxmillion RE: triarts Jul 18, 2008 01:23 PM

                  ^ Definitely interested in learning the source of these bento, if possible. They must be good if you get them so frequently. Please do post the info when you find out!

                  FYI - sampling MakiYaki2's affordable bento today. Will report back after I've also sampled the Tama Sushi one (which probably won't be after July 27th).

                  So, stay tuned, 'houndz!

                  1. re: Maxmillion
                    triarts RE: Maxmillion Jul 20, 2008 11:12 AM

                    bento express is name of company, 323 377-5530 . they apparently make deliveries all the way to oxnard.

                    1. re: triarts
                      Maxmillion RE: triarts Jul 20, 2008 11:28 AM

                      Fantastic - thanks for the info!

                2. yinyangdi RE: Maxmillion Jul 21, 2008 06:27 PM

                  I was just cruising thru reviews at lamag and found one that you might find useful (although WeHo and not SFV) in your search for bento boxes:

                  BENTO BOXES
                  With a host of classic and newfangled bento, boxed lunches aren’t just for schoolkids anymore

                  O-bento—the meticulously prepared meals arrayed in compartmentalized boxes—were conceived as elaborate feasts-to-go for the traveling aristocrats of Kyoto’s Imperial Court. Today in Japan, simpler versions can be found just about everywhere—supermarkets, baseball games, even railroad stations; train travelers wait to reach a certain prefecture before buying their regional favorite. Here in L.A., imaginative restaurateurs have been captivated by the bento concept and are using it to serve everything from sushi to dessert.

                  Kumo | West Hollywood
                  In Japan, creating an especially stunning bento is considered a mark of honor for professional chefs and lunch-packing moms alike. In that spirit, Kumo chef Hiro Fujita pulls out all the stops for his elegant $30 lunchtime box. The containers are designed to best suit their contents: Tempura comes in a basket, sashimi in a ceramic dish, salad in stoneware, grilled chicken meatballs in a lacquer bowl. Juicy grilled black cod and a filet mignon complete the bento, which is accompanied by nigiri sushi, rice, and miso soup. » 8360 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, 323-651-5866.


                  4 Replies
                  1. re: yinyangdi
                    Maxmillion RE: yinyangdi Jul 23, 2008 04:49 PM

                    Kumo just closed. Soon to be a Hamasaku Melrose venue.

                    Not surprised - the one time I dined there left me fairly underwhelmed...

                    Thanks for the info, tho. That link only offers a few locations for bento and none specify to go (which a bento truly is; an all-in-one portable lunchbox.)

                    It's been really hard tracking a decent one down!

                    MakiYaki2 was inexpensive but exceedingly average, plus it was not a true bento as everything came in three (THREE!) foam boxes or containers. Juuuust great!

                    Full report including Tama Sushi's bento, after the weekend.

                    1. re: Maxmillion
                      Servorg RE: Maxmillion Aug 2, 2008 07:51 AM

                      Max - any report on your bento box mission? Inquiring minds (and stomachs) want to know.

                      1. re: Servorg
                        Maxmillion RE: Servorg Aug 11, 2008 04:44 PM

                        OH -- so sorry!

                        I did try the Maki Yaki one in advance and it was okaaaaay (for about $10) but it came in about 3 different polystyrene boxes, so it certainly didn't fit the bill for convenience & transportation. All the food was extra tasty/salty but still okay - just barely average, I guess, but good for the price.

                        Then I ended up balking at the $33 (was it?) for the Tama Sushi bento and instead just got myself a yellowtail "salad" ($9) which was four or so decent slabs of yellowtail with a few thin rounds of jalapeno and some shredded daikon (radish) and shredded carrot. i really was expecting some lettuce and some of that Japanese salad dressing... Oh well.

                        Birthday Boy got a few hand rolls which were pretty good. The crab ones were really packed. I didn't think his yellowtail was as good as mine, tho, plus it was minced, which prob means they used offcuts. I think he got three hand rolls.

                        BUT his salmon sushi was terrible! Kinda hard, if you know what I mean? Not silky and yielding to the tooth as it should be. Very disappointing.

                        If Sushi Don (Sasabune) -- also in Studio City -- had been open on Sunday, we would have picked up superb handrolls for prob close to half the price.

                        Tama Sushi take away total was about $42 for that lot.

                        1. re: Maxmillion
                          Servorg RE: Maxmillion Aug 11, 2008 05:55 PM

                          Thanks, Max. Not a very good cost to benefit ratio, that's for sure. Tama can be quite good but never cheap.

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