Dinner with friends can turn uncomfortable come check time — especially if you ordered a salad while your pal chowed down on a filet. Solve that problem deliciously with a multicourse pan-Asian dinner for four at The Bento Box. While the menu changes frequently, a typical family-style meal consists of two to three apps (think crispy egg rolls and barbecue steam buns) and two entrees such as beef bulgogi and jidori chicken and shrimp. As for the libations, it's BYOB.
Chef/owner Rick Spiros decided to open The Bento Box because he thought the neighborhood could use a little eatery, and it just so happened that there was a space available in the front of his catering facility, Artisan Catering. The revolving menu is based on "inventory, the seasons, and my little book of ideas," says Spiros. His ingreds are purchased everywhere, from local and out-of-state farms to Kimball Avenue for authentic Asian flavors. How's that for thinking outside of the (bento) box?