Do the Bento at Enso

Bento History:

Oh rice balls! The Bento Box is here. The bento is a meal about art and styling. It combines beauty, form, and color to create a visually stunning experience. Fact is: you eat with your eyes! The craftiness of the bento is that form fits function. The fun of this meal is that the bento is about thoughtful, food design.  The luxury of the bento comes from its convenience: everything you want to eat is placed in one compartmentalized  box. The pleasure of a bento comes from the taste  + assembly + presentation of the meal. Usually, bentos contain rice, meat, and selected side items; side items vary depending on the restaurant. Side items can be picked radishes, salad, tempera, or sashimi or sushi. Chef knows best, omakase! Today I explore the traditional shokado bento (松花堂弁当) from Enso Sushi & Bar in Wicker Park. Other fun bento styles shape the food to look like anime cartoons or popular culture figures and objects!

I begin this bento brief by reciting a Japanese phrase: “itadakimasu,” I gratefully receive this bento

5 Reasons to Bento at Enso Sushi & Bar:

  1. The food is traditional Japanese. Also, snaps for using local produce~
  2. Everything you want to eat is in the same spot. Convenience is a beautiful thing.
  3. The meal is prepared and packed with care. Sloppiness will just not do.
  4. The prices will keep your pockets satisfied. Meals include salad, miso, and Japanese hard-candy.
  5. Enso uses green material to pack their food. Tres cool!


1. “Chicken Teriyaki Bento” $14.00

Free-range chicken is zee best. The chicken at Enso is grilled and glazed with a light teriyaki sauce. The chicken flavor and texture is what makes this dish great. In the taste debate between free-range and industrial chicken, this dish adds a point for team free-range!

Foodie fact: Enso uses free-range chicken from Tj’s Poultry Farm in Piper City IL. All about supporting local businesses. You can find Tj’s Free Range Poultry at Green City Market.

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2. “Salmon Shioyaki Bento” $15.00 

The Salmon, or sake in Japanese, is a seared and cooked so that the flesh is crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. The fish is a nice portion and fresh. Usually Salmon entrees range from 18-24 dollars, at $15 dollars Enso sets the bar for a reasonable Salmon deal.

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 3. “Miso soup” (included with the Bento meal)

Miso soup is saving the world, filling bellys and saving trees. My kind of hero.

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4. “Seaweed Salad” $4.00

Ladies, let me introduce you to the nutritious and tasty seaweed salad. This low-calorie, high fiber salad is a must. Not only is seaweed good for your diet but it is linked to cardivascular and intestinal health. If these dietary benefits haven’t convinced you, the seaweed salad at Enso is a good choice because of the lovely flavor profile. Think sesame oil, vinegar, fresh tomatoes, and fresh seaweed. Seaweed salad is all the rage so next sushi night try and taste!

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5. “Edamame” $4.00/order

Who doesn’t love edamame with a smiley face? :)

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Till Next Tiq,

Do the Bento!

Restaurant Information 

Enso Sushi & Bar on Urbanspoon

Address: 1613 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL
Phone:  (773) 878-8998