9734 Deer Lake Ct
Jacksonville, FL 32246
Until I visited, I felt Bento Cafe was not a restaurant that held much interest for me. I had been at the other Bento but that was Bento Blue, a fast food turn over spot. There is a world of difference. I did not know about Bento Red. This space it bright, spacious dining area, with excellent outside covered seating, large rattan sofas and chairs, covered in the most comfortable plump cushions. A full bar and Sunday brunch complete the plus column. So when my foodie friends called and talked about Sunday brunch I was not interested, well that was until I caved in and showed up. What a wonderful experience. This spot is relatively new so we basically had the place to ourselves for the first hour. There are two food stations, one in the main restaurant, this spaced showcased the cold items and salads, outside on the covered deck were the hot entries and noodle dishes. Menu as expected is heavy in Asian dishes and sushi but for the more traditional breakfast fare, bacon, sausage, potatoes and eggs are also available at the hot table. Delightfully and beautifully presented we almost regretted digging into the dishes. One thing foodies are known for though is get the shot before you touch the food. And there we stood snapping pictures of these beautiful dishes, not wanting to disturb a grain of rice or misplace a flower.
In among these amazing carvings sat attractive plates of cold salads, meats, sushi rolls , sashimi. and desserts.
An last the dessert offering:
There were more items available, but I did not want the reader to be suffering hunger pangs or picture fatigue. My favorite was the Sashimi the slices of salmon tasted like butter in the mouth. The rolls fresh and firm, and the place is well staffed, so even when the trays became depleted there was no wait for food or service. Pancit and Basil fried rice both had good flavors, especialy the rice had that nice bite I expect from the basil. If a roll is not available if you ask they will make it for you. Staff was very attentive with our drinks, and clearing away the many plates we managed to counsum. I encourage anyone who is looking for a change from the usual Sunday brunch, to take a trip out South Side Blvd and give this spot a test.