A bent for bento boxes

An anonymous (why? why?) reader sent the following e-mail to yours truly and three colleagues on a food topic perhaps best showcased here:

“I would like to make a suggestion for a food article. I presented this idea to a staff writer about 4-5 years ago and they just filed it away. [Of all the nerve. — DA]

“I am an avid fan of Bento Boxes. Definition of what these are follows:


“My main interest, however, is where these are available in the Inland Empire — more so around the surrounding Ontario airport areas. I know of a few that I patronize regularly. It’s a lot of good healthy food for an average price of $6. Most Japanese establishments have this available. Some in the fine dining category may not.

“The ones that I am aware of in my general area (around Ontario Mills where my office is at) are:

“Robin Dono Sushi, 4th & Milliken, Ontario, CA (fine dining)

“Happy Bento, Arrow & Haven, Rancho Cucamonga, CA (more reasonably priced, fast food)

“Kazama Sushi on Foothill in Upland had a bento box but they down-graded the contents and it was not the same.

“If there are more I think Daily Bulletin readers would enjoy this and take advantage of these Bento Boxes for their lunches. Japanese food is not only about sushi but Bento Boxes too.

“Also having lived in Orange County, I patronized places that offered these bento boxes daily. There are more of these venues in O.C. so it’s a common find.

“I hope this can be considered as an article. If you know of the staff writer that can perhaps do this for the Daily Bulletin, please forward this email. I’m sure they would enjoy these bento box lunches as I do.

“Thank you.”

I’ll leave it to the features staff whether to write an article about bento boxes, but at least your plea has been heard here at the blog. Anyone want to add to the list of bento box purveyors?

Oh, and let me add that Kazama Sushi is now in Claremont’s Village Expansion, where it opened last week. Another sushi restaurant has taken its place at Grove and Foothill.

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    Gyu-Kaku – Rancho Cucamonga
    7893 Monet Street
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91739

    Located inside Victoria Gardens Shopping Center, Gyu-Kaku is all about fun and food. You are your own chef, cooking tasty morsels perfectly to your liking, right there at your table. It is an ideal way to share a meal with family and friends. There’s a saying in Japan, “People who eat together from the same pot of rice develop and enjoy stronger, meaningful and long lasting relationships.” At Gyu-Kaku you can share the warmth not only of our delicious food, but also the warmth of those you love. Gyu-Kaku, meaning “Horn of the Bull” in Japanese, is Japan’s best loved yakiniku restaurant. With over 800 locations across the land of the rising sun, Gyu-Kaku is the preferred destination for Japanese families and friends stepping out to enjoy delicious food over a charcoal fire.
    Dining Style: Casual Dining
    Cuisine: Japanese, Barbecue, Tapas / Small Plates
    Neighborhood: Rancho Cucamonga
    Cross Street: Day Creek/Victoria Park Lane
    Menu: View menu on restaurant’s website
    Price: $30 and under
    Website: http://www.gyu-kaku.com
    Email: email@gyu-kaku.com
    Phone: (909) 899-4748
    Hours of Operation:
    Monday – Tuesday: 5:00pm – 11:00pm Wednesday – Thursday: 11:00am – 11:00pm Friday – Saturday: 11:00am – 12:00am Sunday: 11:00am – 10:00pm
    Payment Options:
    AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa
    Executive Chef: You!!!
    Dress Code: Business Casual
    Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
    Offers: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
    Parking: Public Lot
    Parking Details: Victoria Gardens Valet service also available located conveniently
    Catering: Prefer to celebrate in your office? Or just want to eat in? Not a problem. We can arrange customized platters of our special Sushi & Salad Bar items the way you like it, in just the right amount, for your office get-together. For an easy lunch, swing by and pick up one of our pre-boxed lunch sets, or Bento Box. For prices and details, or to order yours now, please simply give us a call.

    [That was a lot of effort to get to the bento box bit in the next-to-last sentence. Gyu-Kaku is recommended, by the way. — DA]

  • Josh

    Sakura Ichi in Pomona, on Mission and Garey, sells Bento boxes during lunch hours. I recommend them!

  • Chris Moran

    About the “Robin Dono Sushi, 4th & Milliken, Ontario, CA (fine dining)”:

    I’m not sure what this person’s idea of fine dining is. I stopped in to order sushi to go and I found the sushi to be a liitle too warm and tasteless, the sushi chefs looked absolutely indifferent to their job. One looked downright resentful. It took 15 minutes to get a tuna roll. Only one other party was in the restaurant.

    The floor was old, sealed but cracked concrete and it appeared dirty. Whether it was or not – I didn’t get too close to find out.

    I still have yet to find good sushi in the IE. I will follow some other suggestions posted here, but cautiously.

  • wyl

    If you don’t mind the flies (and you won’t if you’re going to get a bento box) there’s a place that opened in 2006 on the northwest corner of Archibald and Riverside aptly named Bento Box.

  • http://www.goddessofpomona.blogspot.com Goddess of Pomona

    One can always make your own, as well. I’d actually be interested in places in the I.E. that sell the boxes minus the food. I’ve got a few bentos, including one called a laptop lunchbox that is my favorite (it’s available online at the website of the same name).

  • terry

    I’m Japanese and I think Kishi in Upland (off Foothill & Redding near the high school) has good and reasonably priced weekday bentos. Satsuma Sushi in Rancho Cucamonga (also on Foothill, past Archibald, I think) is a great place, too. They’re both Japanese owned…if it matters. Good places to eat!

  • reader

    Gyu Kaku has no Bento boxes. This is not about sushi, people. Duh.

    [According to that long e-mail, they do have bento boxes. — DA]

  • Annonymous

    I’m the author of this email that Dave was kind to blog. The places I listed are just suugestions that have bento boxes. This is not an endorsement of ‘best places’ or sushi places to eat at. It’s simply and only about BENTO BOXes.

    Gyu Kaku has nothing to do with this blog to advertise all those details above short of the menu.

    I’m surprised at how emotional some of Dave’s blog readers are about something that has nothing to do about the blog. Bento bento bento not sushi. Just looking for suggestion of places, people.

  • http://www.claremontca.blogspot.com Joslyn Jane

    There’s a Japanese market in Covina called Marukai that sells decent bentos. They also have a Sushi Boy place that makes pretty good sushi.

    Marukai is on Azuza Ave. north of Amar Rd. Their main store on Artesia Blvd. in Gardena is a real wonder, selling all things Japanese – every imaginable variety of rice, vegetables, meat, fish, sakes, as well as furniture, rice cookers and other cookware, and all sorts of plates and serveware.

    As Meg at M-M-M-My Pomona could tell you, Marukai also has two 99 Cent stores in Torrance on Hawthorne Blvd. and on Artesia Blvd. that have great deals on all sorts of goodies.

    [Nice to hear from the Claremont Insider blog, btw. — DA]

  • Donna

    Wow how strange a blog can be given by some of the comments above. Well I’m NOT associated with a restaurant but I do work in Walnut and there is a restaurant called Akasaka that has some very good bento boxes (for cheap!). Why would anyone want to eat at McDonalds?

    If you read this Dave, I think you might start needing a “moderator” since you’ve become so popular : )

    [Actually, I read every post and moderate the blog. No comments are posted until I’ve approved them. I almost didn’t post the Gyu-Kaku comment but figured what the heck. Plenty of room here in cyberspace. — DA]

  • http://www.gyu-kaku.com/monthly_special/ca/grandmenu_rc.pdf Reader

    In response to Heidi’s comment above the online menu for Gyu-Kaku — Rancho Cucamonga does NOT show any bento box choices at all. A waiter had this blank look on his face when we asked for their bento boxes. So readers — Gyu-Kaku – Rancho Cucamonga is not a place for bento boxes! See the online menu in the link.

    [I don’t know what that was about, but giving the benefit of the doubt, perhaps Gyu-Kaku had bento boxes when this post appeared but no longer does. — DA]