Kirbie's Cravings

Artisan Bento

Artisan Bento opened a few months ago in Banker’s Hill, specializing in healthy gourmet bento boxes using local and seasonal ingredients.

The restaurant space is fairly small, with a few tables inside and a bar area, and a few more table options outside.

The menu offers bento boxes, bowls, bao buns and some small bites.

Here are some of the options in their display case:

Chicken Meatball & Edamame Bao Buns

We ordered our food to-go, so the presentation wasn’t quite as nice as what is in the display case. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I ordered this, but in my mind, I had imagined something saucier.

I was pleasantly surprised by the fresh avocado slices, which matches the color of the edamame beans embedded in the chicken meatball slices. The meatballs themselves tasted unexpectedly light and healthy. The buns were fluffy and soft. We both really enjoyed these.

I hadn’t actually done too much research into this spot before visiting, so I didn’t know of their concept for local, fresh, seasonal, and healthy but these meatballs were a good example of it.

Miso Salmon Bento

For the bento boxes, you can choose between the regular (one side), or the deluxe (two sides and dessert). We chose to order a regular bento, but upgraded the main item to miso salmon ($1 extra).

Again, since we ordered ours to-go, the display isn’t as nice. It’s also a little sad to see the empty compartment. There are about six different sides to choose from, and we chose the seafood poki. The bento box also comes with miso soup and two multigrain onigiri balls.

While this didn’t look like much, I thought it was the perfect portion for a weekday lunch for one person and a reasonably priced healthier alternative to many of the other lunch options out there.

Overall, we enjoyed our meal. It did take them quite a while to make our food (nearly 20 minutes even though there were no other customers), but other than that, I had a pleasant experience here. I felt like the restaurant managed to incorporate the traditional Japanese elements into this more modernized take on Bento boxes and I hope that they will continue to do well.

For another view, check out mmm-yoso’s visit here.

Artisan Bento
2505 5th Ave
San Diego, CA 92103
https://artisanbento.com/
Artisan Bento on Urbanspoon

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4 comments on “Artisan Bento”

  1. This place is so close to my house I’ve been meaning to go there for ages….glad you liked it, some of the pictures on Yelp seemed  a little ‘meh’ so I wasn’t sure how the food was going to be!

  2. Hey Kirbie – I’m glad you had a chance to check them out. I usually hate multi-grain “rice”, but for some reason reallyl ike the version here.

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