As the seasons change, we inevitably turn our thoughts to tasty autumn dishes. Fatty mackerel, crisp tempura, mouthwatering steak and much much more are featured in this autumn roundup of some of our favorite restaurants.
Interviews and articles by Misa Murohashi, Noriko Hantsinger, Ai Isono, Harmony Kelly, Azusa Ueda and Sumiya Kurihara. Translation by Bruce Rutledge
～Japan’s authentic bento store in Issaquah～
Owner-Chef Kazuo Ishikawa has more than 25 years of experience cooking in the Seattle area. In July 2017, he started this his own bento shop. “I wanted to have a store that served good Japanese homey meals with a casual and reasonable fast-food concept,” he said.
Take a look at the store’s signature item, the Makunouchi Bento, and you’ll soon understand what Chef Ishikawa is aiming for. It includes a teriyaki chicken thigh made with homemade sauce, grilled wild keta salmon treated with salted rice malt, and a variety of shrimp and vegetable tempura selections. Each could serve as a main course in a restaurant both in quality and portion! His bentos include regulars like kinpira, niimono items and California rolls.
“I include on my menu only items that I as a Japanese person would enjoy eating,” says Chef Ishikawa. To make sure his bentos are healthy options for children, he uses organic items whenever possible, selects natural ingredients, and includes a lot of vegetables. These bentos are beloved by Japanese moms on the Eastside. “There are a lot of parents who share their bentos with their children,” the chef adds.
Other selections that are consistently popular with Japanese customers include the Shogayaki Bento and the Kara-age Bento. They come with the Japanese-style macaroni salad with finely cut ham and vegetables. Chef Kazuo’s bento is something you will find at bento stores in Japan. It is worth visiting them in Issaquah.
Warm bentos can be picked up 10-15 minutes after ordering them. Chirashi Bowl takes less than five minutes to prepare and is a good option when you are in a rush. Eight types of fish slices sit upon a bed of sushi rice. This bowl is very reasonably priced. The bentos and the donburi items like chirashi come with miso soup.
The store has started a new catering service. They can cater your company meeting, event or even just a get-together of friends. Contact them for more details.
700 NW. Gilman Blvd., #E-103A, Issaquah | (425)677-7460| www.bentoyagoemon.com