Bento Cafe sets the tone for an urban and contemporary cafe which serves quick casual sushi and Pan Asian Cuisine. The interior is very modern with tones of black and red. There are striking red columns hanging from the high ceiling. The side tables have a beautiful calming inserted glass box with rocks and petals. There is the proverbial sushi cases and a corner counter dedicate for take out.
Upon entry there is an empty greeter stand with quite a few staff walking around. A less than excited staff walked over nonchalantly, grabbed menus, and motioned to follow. What if we just wanted take out? Picky, picky. For a place with such a high server to table ratio, it took forever for a server to greet us. While there were several staff standing around more interested in their own bubble than a guest. When the server did decide to come over, she was cordial but very impersonal. She did offer to explain the menu. But when asked for a menu item that defined Bento Cafe, the standard non familiar answer of “they are all good” flew out of her mouth. Although it was early evening of a weekend day, it did not seem like anyone was really happy to be there. No smiles nor acknowledgments.
The sushi rice was soft, mushy, and extra sticky. Sushi roll pieces stuck together. Sashimi were still cold in the middle. The fish was not sliced completely through as they hung together. The “white fish” or tilapia blood line was not removed leaving that all too familiar fishy odor. The booba balls were a mixture of fresh and not so fresh, some were chewy while others were little rocks. The glass of Moscato di Asti was completely flat.
For the price and swanky neighborhood, this place should deliver a higher caliber of food and service. Not because the restaurant is billed as “quick casual” it means “quick sloppy”. There are still certain basic elements of service and food preparation that should follow any restaurant. Especially in a sushi restaurant.