Walker and Fierro blog at twentysomethingSA.com about the city’s evolving lifestyle and entertainment options.
Bento boxes are one of our favorite lunch entrees. With all the compartments of goodness, it's like taking a little trip down the buffet line except with better food and no feelings of guilt. We tracked down five of the best bento boxes in San Antonio to add some excitement to your next lunch break, and maybe to help you brush up on your chopstick skills.
Godai Sushi Bar and Restaurant
11203 West Ave., (210) 348-6781, godaisushi.com
Godai Sushi Bar and Restaurant is often overlooked because of its dreary location. However, we found its bento boxes to be enticing. Each bento box includes tuna, shrimp and a three-piece tuna roll along with tempura shrimp and veggies, and a crab with cucumber salad. Choices range from the typical teriyakis to tonkatsu (a deep-fried pork cutlet) and chicken katsu (a deep-fried chicken breast). We chose the teriyaki salmon and, well, we think this sums it up. "This is my favorite. You can quote me on that," Fierro says.
Cost: $12.95, lunch only
Sushihana Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar
1810 NW Military Hwy., (210) 340-7808, sushihanasan.com
Right down the road from Godai is Sushihana, our second bento box stop. All of Sushihana's bento boxes come with six pieces of a standard Cali roll, two fried dumplings and steamed rice. Options for the main course range from vegetable tempura to tenderloin beef teriyaki. The interior of Sushihana is gorgeous, but the box lacks any real excitement. The teriyaki was delicious, but we were looking for unique sides to pair it with. Maybe a little squid and seaweed?
Cost: $8.95 to $13.95, lunch only
MJ China Bistro
10103 Huebner Road, (210) 265-5800, mjchinabistro.com
Every day of the week means a different bento box at MJ China Bistro. The restaurant features a sample of its daily roll along with edamame, pan-fried gyoza, five pieces of nigiri sushi, pepper tuna or seaweed salad. We stopped by on a Monday to get our sushi fix and enjoyed four pieces of the JK Roll (MJ's most popular roll is made up of shrimp tempura and cream cheese wrapped in soy paper and topped with snow crab, avocado, nori stick sprinkles, spicy mayo and Sriracha dots), edamame, two pan-fried gyoza dumplings and five pieces of nigiri sushi. We agree with status quo, the JK roll is on our list of favorite sushi rolls in the city. Also, we love themes and not having to think long about what we'd like to order for lunch. "Just the Wednesday bento special please!"
Cost: $12.99 for lunch and $13.99 for dinner
Sapporo Sushi & Asian Cuisine
5638 W. Hausman Road, (210) 314-4423, sapporosanantonio.com
Over on Hausman Road near the UTSA Main Campus sits Sapporo, one of the least expensive sushi restaurants known across San Antonio, likely due to its proximity to the school. Bento boxes start at a mere $6.50 and come with your choice of grilled meat, steamed rice, fried gyoza, four pieces of a Cali roll and a house salad. We went with the kitchen entree plus Singapore rasa noodles, which make the bento box at Sapporo. The teriyaki chicken that accompanied the bento box was left untouched because of its lack of flavor and dryness. For the amazing prices, though, this could be overlooked, just make sure to double up on the noodles. Sapporo's playlist also adds to the experience by taking you back to the '90s with throwback tunes.
Cost: Lunch and dinner start at $6.50 and $7.50, respectively
Osaka Steakhouse & Sushi
Multiple locations, osakasteaknsushi.com
Osaka reigns supreme in my mind as the ultimate restaurant for bento boxes. Located on Bandera Road and Broadway, the joint knows what you want, which is, of course, sushi, piles upon piles of sushi. You can order your choice of two rolls accompanied with a salad, soup and two gyoza. Osaka also gives you the option to up your sushi game and order specialty rolls for an additional $2.50 per roll. Rainbow and dragon rolls are not off limits during lunch at Osaka. If you'd rather stick with meat (don't do it — order the sushi bento box), the restaurant also offers kitchen bento boxes featuring the ever-popular teriyaki chicken.
Cost: $9.95 to $15.95, lunch only