1423 SE 37th Av. (just off Hawthorne
Toney Bento is called sometimes the happiest restaurant in all Portland; owner and sushi chef Sato greets customers enthusiastically, and all the servers (with the possible exception of the girl with the lip ring) are joyful and friendly. Much beyond a simple bento stand, Toney Bento serves a wide variety of Japanese and other East Asian lunch food. Pricing is moderate to low, with meals ranging from $4 to $10.
The bento itself has an incredible array of options: chicken, beef, tempura, fish, tofu, veggie potstickers, refried beans, and even buffalo meat can be ordered on top of white or brown rice or yakisoba noodles. And it's no simple hunk of sticky rice with chewy burnt meat or flavorless tofu on top slathered in cheap soy sauce like some bento places: the bento is well-constructed, fresh, with veggies and a light sauce to flavor it. Many tasty sauces, including asian plum, wasabi, and sweet chili can be added on top.
A Fresh and delicious sushi is served, of the quality you'd expect at a fancy restaurant but at quite tasty prices. Selections range from the tame california roll or kappa maki to tako, unagi, and the Dragon Roll—a california roll topped with eel and avocado.
Hum bao, kim chi, miso soup, and a wide variety of pop, juice, tea, beer, and wine are available.
My personal favorite dishes include tofu bento on brown rice, veggie potsticker bento on yakisoba, and the Combination number one—a large bowl of miso soup with udon noodles in, and a california roll.
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