Get your chopsticks ready because Bento Cafe is scheduled to have its soft opening 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday at Plaza on University.
The restaurant will feature full entrees, such as Bento Boxes and noodle and rice bowls, alongside sushi options including sashimi, vegetarian or classical sushi varieties. The Plaza location is the second Bento location in Florida to offer a bar.
Bento Cafe was founded in Gainesville 13 years ago by University of Florida alumni Jimmy Toung, Johnny Toung and David Yu. Media director Ariane Hernandez said that the founders wished to provide students with a quick and easy way to sample Asian cuisine without the long waits of traditional restaurants.
"The concept is [that] it's cooked-to-order and prepared in minutes. Students would order whatever dish from the menu, cook it up and it will be made right away, under seven minutes," Hernandez said. "Time is essential for college students who are in a rush."
Veronica Brezina is a Senior Staff Writer for the Central Florida Future.