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Surf and Turf
Surf and Turf

For the Love of Bentos, Kobe Fulfills Lunchtime Cravings

By Steve Murray Photos By Anthony Consillio
December 22, 2013

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It seems you can teach an old dog new tricks. After 43 years in business, the popular Kobe Japanese Steak House and Sushi Bar has finally created a lunchtime bento menu that will make long-time enthusiasts (there are a lot!) extremely happy. And although the eatery is only open for dinner, Kobe will deliver during lunch hours (for details, call 941-4444).

An awesome first choice is Teri Chicken Bento ($9), as tender pieces of chicken are teppan grilled, topped with Kobe’s special teriyaki sauce and served with white rice and pickled veggies. What the sauce is made of is almost impossible to say, because chef Lester Nishida isn’t telling anyone, not even the owners. Just know that this secret sauce is tasty and enhances the smoky flavor of the chicken.

The second bento option is Bento 2 (Pacific Cod Bento, $10.) Also served with rice and pickled veggies, this is a lighter meal that is baked then teppan fried to produce a tender, crispy and juicy fish. The lightly flavored cod is complemented by the tangy flavor of the lemon and the zest of pickled veggies.

Bento 3 ($12) features tangy steak that is marinated overnight and teppan fried. The marinade is another “Nishida secret recipe.” The steak is smoky and tangy, and more than filling.

Garlic Fried Rice ($4), also known as Bento 4, features beef, green onions, mushrooms and eggs. Mix in some of the bento steak and it gets even better.

Sometimes one protein option just isn’t enough. Therefore, Kobe offers combination Bentos for $11 each, which include choices of Steak and Teri Chicken Bento, Steak and Fish, and Teri Chicken and Fish.

Bento service begins at 10 a.m. and lasts throughout the day. Because of the preparation time, 24 hours notice is required before picking up your bento (five bento minimum). No big deal. It’s worth the wait and ordering for your coworkers just makes lunch much more fun. Plus, kamaaina receive $2 off Kobe bentos and $1 off fried rice. No doubt, area hotel and travel industry workers will take notice, along with everyone else!

Kobe Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar

1841 Ala Moana Blvd.
941-4444
Open daily, Lounge: 5-10 p.m. Dinner: 5:30-10 p.m.