I have to admit that I do not eat sushi, but that does not keep me away from Japanese restaurants where my favorite indulgence is a Bento box, the complete Asian meal from soup and salad to main course presented in a visually appealing and efficient manner.
So it was to my delight to find Isamu when I first moved to Beacon. Through the years it has been a restaurant that I have frequented with family and friends or dining alone. There is never a wait for a table and there's always a friendly and peaceful ambience. Even when families with young children are present, I have never witnessed a meltdown; it must be the low light conditions and water fountain that create a calm and mindful atmosphere. Or maybe it's the sight of exotic calligraphy or a creative sushi chef in action at the sushi bar.
Of all the Bento boxes I have eaten at Isamu, my favorite repeat order, the Zen Delight, is a vegetarian choice with stir-fried tofu alongside vegetable tempura and avocado rolls.
I think the picture is worth a thousand bites. Simple tastes and a fulfilling meal. Even when they forget the request to swap the rice to brown rice, it's a winner. Arigatou gozaimasu!
Food for thought: People ask why I don't eat sushi. When I was young, I was told never to eat raw fish by my dad who fished in the fjords of Norway as a boy. Norwegians eat a lot of fish--poached, salted, pickled, even lye-soaked--but I was indoctrinated not to eat it raw. Old habits sometimes never die. But I'm ok with the choices I have in a Japanese restaurant without thinking twice about what I am missing out on. I guess one could say I can live in a both-and world; there are those who appreciate the raw fish and those who don't and they can co-exist without feeling like it is an either-or choice. And that is something to celebrate.