by Bruce Rutledge,
Restaurateur Tom Douglas will be bringing Japan-inspired bentos to the Eastside this spring. His Department Bento restaurant is scheduled to replace the Nordstrom Grill in Bellevue Square after the Grill closes on March 4. An opening date for Department Bento has not been set yet.
For Douglas, owner of Dahlia’s Lounge, Lola’s, Etta’s and many other popular Seattle restaurants, this will be his first restaurant on the Eastside.
Douglas’ Tanakasan restaurant downtown serves popular made-to-order bentos featuring white or brown rice, a miso deviled egg, pickles, a choice of mashed-potato salad or the vegetable of the day and a main dish such as tofu, curried chicken, roasted wild salmon, ribs, seared tuna or dumplings. The company has not announced what sort of offerings Department Bento will have, but Douglas’ staff told The Eater that the restaurant will offer a “contemporary restaurant featuring scratch-made ingredients” such as Bristol Bay sockeye salmon.
Department Bento will be owned and operated by Nordstrom. It will be located on the second floor of the department store’s Bellevue Square location. The Nordstrom Grill is a sit-down full service restaurant. Department Bento will be a quick-serve restaurant, but it will also serve alcohol and other beverages.