One of my fondest childhood memories is of my mom packing picnic lunches in lacquer Japanese bento boxes. I loved having a variety of small bites compartmentalized and displayed neatly in front of me. On a recent visit with my family to Sushi Roku in Pasadena, I was delighted to discover their new Okosama (kids’) menu, featuring Japanese favorites in bento boxes for diners ages 10 and under.
This top-rated sushi restaurant once known as a date-night spot has become a family-friendly destination. Upon arrival, children can entertain themselves with a wooden bento box play set by toy makers Melissa & Doug to pass the time until the real deal arrives. Kids also get to choose a gift from the treasure box, a welcoming gesture put in place by General Manager Justin Leyvas, a dad whose warmth and hospitality make diners feel like guests in his home.
“Every week, we welcome many families to Sushi Roku Pasadena who seek out a comfortable environment for guests of all ages,” says Leyvas. “In an effort to take our family-friendly dining approach to the next level, we want to offer something tailored to our young clientele’s discerning palate. We hope that these budding foodies find our bento boxes not only delicious, but also entertaining, ensuring that our adult guests enjoy their experience as well.”
Leyvas hopes to roll out the Okosama menu to other Sushi Roku restaurants, but for now, you can find these kid-friendly bento boxes for $8 to $13 at the Pasadena location:
Beef Yakitori — Beef skewers, tempura potato and broccoli, edamame, applesauce and steamed rice
Chicken Yakitori — Chicken skewers, tempura potato and broccoli, edamame, applesauce and steamed rice
Sushi Combination — Tuna roll, cucumber roll, shrimp sushi, egg sushi, edamame and applesauce
Crispy Chicken — Japanese fried chicken, tempura sweet potato, edamame, applesauce and steamed rice
My daughter ordered the Chicken Yakitori and, just like her mother, she truly enjoyed eating her way through the bento box, compartment by compartment, tasting each and every offering.
Sushi Roku Pasadena is located at One Colorado, 33 Miller Alley, Pasadena. For reservations, visit www.SushiRoku.com or call 626-683-3000.