When I went to Hawaii a couple of years ago I greatly enjoyed the local food there, but I’m sad to admit I never made it to Café Ramind at 448 Larkin before it closed recently. Although people kept telling me it was tasty and an incredibly good deal, somehow I always got sidetracked by Burmese Kitchen next door…
Café Ramind’s new incarnation is Bento House, a Japanese restaurant that opened just a month ago. For the time being they’re just open for lunch (from 11AM to 3PM), but they have plans to have dinner service soon, once their liquor license is approved. Naturally, they have an extensive sushi menu, and also several appetizers, salads, rice bowls and soba or udon noodle soups. As their name indicates, they have bento boxes, too. Apparently those have been very popular among the Civic Center lunch crowd, so they’re considering including sushi options in their bento box menu — currently all feature chicken or salmon teriyaki.
Simon, one of the owners, recommended I tried one of their house specials and in particular he seemed very proud (or amused) by their Dynamite roll. It’s basically a spicy tuna sushi roll with some hot sauce and a maki wrapper fried in tempura. As you can see in the picture above, he probably wanted me to order it because of how it looks. I also tried another house special, the Golden Gate roll which also had a tempura maki wrapper but had crab instead of tuna (and no hot sauce). They were both tasty, but I’m more a fan of regular sushi than fancy California-style creations so next time I’ll be ordering one of their more ‘boring’ options.
Both dishes were $7 and came with a salad and a bowl of miso. Currently they’re having a ‘Grand Opening 10% discount’ on everything, so I thought the meal was a really good deal. You can’t beat their prices, and considering how few sushi options there are in the lower Tenderloin/Civic Center, I’d recommend Bento House. Oh, and they deliver around the neighborhood.