Portland >West Coast Bento
Pretty special little place that's been around a long time. I got the bao which was tasty, if a bit cold.
HORRIFYING!!! Avoid unless you want Salmonella.. HORRIFYING!!! Avoid this place at all costs. I took a bite and my Chicken was pink and glistening inside. I took the plate back inside and the guy, who I guess is the owner, shrugged his shoulders and told me "It's only a little bit rare." UGH - ever hear of salmonella??? What a grossly irresponsible attitude and a vile place. Don't put your life in danger for a piece of chicken on a stick.
Best Bento in PDX!. We call it "Big Dan's Bento" or just "big Dan's". When you walk up its like your dad or uncle is on the grill asking you what you want-"I've got a chicken, no beef right now...you can wait a few minutes for the beef." It is always grilled to perfection and on a nice sunny day the outdoor seating is great. He also has hum-bow (sp?) which are better than any other! I wish there is more seating inside when the weather is cold and rainy but other than that- can't complain. For all you "Big Dan" addicts he moved from westover and is now on Thurman across from the co-op! TRY IT!
Addicting! That's West Coast Bento-But is Danny in business???.
Danny & his West Coast Bento are the best! Addicting! I need my Danny/Bento fix but I cannot find him at his original location up across from the Burnside Mall. If Danny is still in business-try him once and you are hooked!
The Original and Still the Best. I LOVE West Coast Bento. :) Dan the Owner, is so friendly and knows everyone in town and this place has been in the same spot for more than ten years that i've been going there. The food is very healthy, big portions for small dollars and soooooooooo good. My mouth is watering right now thinking about it. I love the extra spicy beef and sometimes I get an extra skewer of chicken too-- the skewers are an inch thick and sooooo tender. Everything is marinated minimum 24 hours and melt in your mouth. This is where the Portland style concept of Bento originated. I have tried at least 30 other "Bento" spots in the Portland metro area-- they may have copied the concept but no one has got the recipe right. You gotta get there early 'cause he sells out, and if you get there right at lunch time be prepared for standing in line but Dan knows how to move people through and still finds time for a friendly word for everyone. Great guy, great healthy quick inexpensive filling food that isn't greasy and disgusting and bad for you. Way to go Dan!
onen for lunch only m-f. I stop by once a month, Bento is excellent, Dan the owner has ran this place for many years and I have always had godd service and the food is high quality and reasonably priced.
Good bento, fast service, but when in doubt, call ahead.
I can recommend the spicy beef or lamb, particularly early in the day (as the kabobs stay on the grill until someone buys them, so they continue to dry out). Your sauce options are teriyaki or spicy, and spicy is more sweet than hot. If you go with just teriyaki, ask for extra, since he doesn't use much. There's also a vegetable curry option which I'm told is good though I haven't tried it. Stay away from the chicken - it's consistently overdone and dry as death. Gyoza (potstickers) are good, and his other side dish (I forget the name, it's a dumpling with a pocket of barbecued pork in the center) is not bad although a bit too doughy for my taste.
UPDATED March 07 - Originally I had some critical comments here about the service, as it seemed pretty frequent that I would stop by and Dan wouldn't have what I wanted and didn't seem to care much either way. He's definitely improved over the last few months though. He's quicker about greeting his non-regulars these days, and he encourages folks to call ahead to make sure he's got what they're looking for. So if you'd like something in particular, give him a ring at 503-227-1779, and 15-20 minutes later, you can stop by to pick it up. Works great.
I still think the chicken's painfully dry, but if you stick to the beef, lamb, veggie curry or sides, and call ahead just in case, you can't go wrong. Thanks Dan - keep up the good work.
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