Tuesday, March 23
When I think Bento Box, I think back to my Tokyo days. There was a good bento take-out on the way from the subway station back to my apartment near Koishikawa Park. That was a typical dinner for me. Boxed food with a compartment for meat, one for rice, one for a veg and a small one for pickle. 9 PM on a typical evening would usually find me looking up the board, reading the hiragana and katakana slowly, trying to figure out the special of the day. When my mother visited, she was shocked that I had bento dinners five days a week. Not so shocking for a single gal working long hours at an investment bank, right?
Anyway, last week in DC (warning to readers, please expect at least three more posts on my trip to DC), we discovered Teaism, a bento-box restaurant in Penn Quarter. We had just finished the Museum of Modern Art, and my husband was reading a list of restaurants from his iPhone. There was no doubt in my mind where I wanted to go for lunch.
My heart sank when I saw the line spilling out the door. It was 12:30 in the afternoon and I thought that there was no way we were going to get a table for the four of us. Thankfully, the line moved quickly, and many were actually ordering takeout. Thank goodness Americans eat lunch at their desks! We found a nice table in the basement next to the koi pond. If this had been Paris, no chance.
Everyone was happy with their bento. Mine had seared tuna with a liquid, yet still potent, wasabi sauce and a to-die-for sweet potato smothered in a sesame sauce. I will never forget this sweet potato, or maybe it was the sauce that dressed it that made it so irresistible. The sauce was creamy, smooth and yet nutty and the sweet potato was warm and delectable. I was glad I was my mother's daughter who also knew how to enjoy the simple things in life.