New bentos on the block
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Long known as a landmark for meals prepared teppanyaki-style right in front of you, Kobe Japanese Steak House and Sushi Bar has been staking out new territory with made-to-order bentos and catering pans for lunch. These items certainly do a number on hunger.
Bento 1 ($9) features teriyaki-glazed teppan-grilled chicken packed up with white rice and daikon pickles. The secret to the chicken’s appeal is not only in the sauce — the chef won’t disclose the details — but also in the preparation. The grill’s high heat and quick cook times ensure that protein stays at the optimum texture: tender and not too firm. “It’s moist inside and juicier,” explains teppan head chef Lester Nishida.
Pacific cod takes center stage in Bento 2 ($10). First baked then teppan-fried, the light fare is flaky and tender. A spritz of lemon zests things up. The third of the bunch, Bento 3 ($12), delivers on the steak house promise of something meaty. Marinated overnight, the steak is soaked in flavor and picks up smokiness from the sizzling grill. Bento 4 ($4) is a big scoop of good ole garlic fried rice. Bits of beef, green onions, mushroom, eggs and, of course, lots of garlic give the rice its heartiness. “Garlic is good for you, too,” says Nishida.
Can’t decide on just one entree? You don’t have to. Combination bentos ($11) take lunch to the next level with options such as Teri Chicken and Fish Bento, Steak and Teri Chicken Bento, and Steak and Fish.
If you have a crowd to feed, or simply want liberal leftovers, go big on quantity and flavor with Kobe’s various catering options cooked to perfection with trusted seasonings. Each single party pan feeds up to 15 people. Choose among yakisoba cooked with carrots, celery and cabbage ($25), garlic fried rice ($25), morsels of teriyaki chicken sprinkled with sesame seeds ($35), teriyaki-glazed strips of steak ($70) and lightly breaded pieces of Pacific cod ($50). “It’s a generous amount of food,” say general manager Roy Nakamura.
Grab some coworkers, family or friends, and put in your bento or party pan order at least 24 hours in advance (five bento minimum for bento orders). Pick up is between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Or, better yet, ask about delivery around the Honolulu area. Delivery for bento orders is a flat rate of $10, party pans $20.
Kobe Japanese Steak House and Sushi Bar
1841 Ala Moana Blvd.
Open daily Lounge: 5-10 p.m. Dinner: 5:30-10 p.m.