Reid, 5. April 2007, 20:34

I knew about Well-Bento for a long time, and I always wanted to try there, but just never got around to it. I think the main reason is the location. It’s behind the convenience store next to the Mo’ili’ili Ezogiku. There’s a India Iimports-type store in that place. Anyway, it’s a bad location: the parking’s terrible, and I guess, I never had a reason to go there.

Anyway, I’m glad I did. I’ve been there four times already within the past two weeks. The plates are kinda pricey at $8-$9, but the food is good and filling. All the plates come with brown rice covered with a tahini–which is a kind of “creamy” sesame sauce–I think it’s sesame, although I don’t detect a strong sesame taste. Also, while the sauce taste creamy, they do not use any dairy or meat products. This sauce is really killer, and, to me, it’s what makes everything so good. Plates also come with some carrots, sauteed potatoes and on gobo. Oh, yeah, I can’t forget the mac salad (no mayonnaise) and coleslaw (no mayo). To me and one of my workers, you can’t tell the difference, but Larri disagrees.

I said they don’t use meat products, but that’s not true. They have “transitional” plates where they serve grilled chicken, salmon (white some tamari–basically a kind of teri sauce–and olive oil), hamburger steak or steak. The chicken comes in three sauces–cajun, Southern bbq or tamari.

They also have grilled tofu, tempeh (which is a kind of flour product that has the texture and consistency of aburage) and seitan (which are soy patties). I’ve had all three in diffferent sauces. I liked the tofu in Southern bbq (which was a surprise) and the tempeh in a scallopini sauce.

The sauces are really key to the dish. They’re super flavorful and make you not miss the meat. The cooked side vegetables are also bursting with flavor. The reviewer in the Honolulu Weekly, Grace, Larri and I all remarked about the flavor.

I also had the salmon which was good (not overcooked and overpowered with sauce) although nothing unique. The chicken was OK, but not as good as I was anticipating. The food is good here, and filling. After eating a plate, I feel full, but not grossed out. I also don’t get hungry for a fairly long time afterward. I recommend trying this place.

1 Response to “Well-Bento”

  1. Reid

    Here’s a picture of the place:


    If you don’t know where this is, it’s behind the convenience store (next to Ezogiku) on University Avenue and Beretania, Kinko’s is makai of this place.

    Here’s an interior shot:

    This shot was taken right from the door. As you can see, it’s a small space, certainly no room for seating. Btw, I asked one of the owners, if she considered moving, but she said they’re locked into a two year lease.

    Here’s the dish I got–tofu on temari (I think) sauce:

    The sauce is similar to a teri sauce. The container holds their wonderful tahini gravy. They usually serve this on the brown rice, but I ask for it on the side, as I think it’s really high in calories. Underneath this gravy are the cole slaw and macaroni salad, both do not contain mayonnaise. The vegetables are carrots, potatoes, gobo and cabbage. They’re some of the tastiest vegetables I’ve had.

    I was sad to hear that the business was not going well–so much so that the owner tried to sell me the place. This is one of my favorite plate lunch places. If I could make vegetarian food like this, I think I could seriously become a vegetarian. Give this place a try before its no longer there.

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