Lunch at Ittou Bento in El Segundo

Ittou Bento is one of the latest additions to the dining options along El Segundo’s bustling Sepulveda Strip.  Recently I stopped by to check out their Japanese Bistro.

I’ll admit, Ittou Bento was not my first choice for lunch on that day.  Earlier I had tried to get a tasty sandwich from the Grilled Cheese Truck.  Turned away by the prospect of a long wait in line, I headed back to work in search of some chow to take with me.

Serendipity struck as I passed one of the new strip malls on Sepulveda and saw a sign: “NOW OPEN: Ittou Bento Japanese Bistro”.

One downside:  Ittou Bento is not immediately visible from Sepulveda.  Its on the backside of the shopping center, behind two other restaurants: Malibu Fish Grill and Rubio’s.

The upside? If you manage to get into the gated lot (parking is free, though) and get past the other two restaurants, you’ll be in for a treat.

Away from the noise of the busy street in front, the cozy restaurant is situated next to a patio with tables and chairs for al fresco dining, a patio with benches, and  a bubbling fountain.

The peaceful patio outside Ittou Bento.

Inside, the dining room is set up “Chipotle” style with tables and chairs in the center of the room and a corral to the right that leads patrons past the kitchen to the counter.  Above the room, LCD screens flash appetizing pictures of menu items, almost suggesting what one might order.

Glancing over the menu I decided on the namesake bento with salmon teriyaki.  Make a note, though, when ordering the salmon; the menu quotes $8.95 but the actual price might fluctuate with the market.  Mine was $1 more.

I ordered carry out which was prepared quickly by the friendly staff.  In no time I was on my way to the office.

The Salmon Teriyaki bento lunch box.

Back at work, I dug into the bento options: a nicely cooked piece of salmon teriyaki, six pieces of California roll, a side salad, and steamed rice.  The fish was tender and flavorful. The roll and salad were par for the course in flavor.

I’m looking forward to checking out Ittou Bento again just as much for the food as I am for the location and scene.  The menu features several reasonably priced gourmet rolls (baked lobster wrapped in soy paper at $6.50, for example) and other bentos to choose from.

Catering to the El Segundo lunch crowd, I think Ittou has captured the fast-casual sweet spot between the counter service of San Sai and slightly more upscale Taiko.

I’m certain, though: Once summer days return to Southern California, Ittou’s patio will be a great place to enjoy lunch!

Ittou Bento
www.ittoubento.com
400 N Sepulveda Blvd
El Segundo, CA 90245
Neighborhood: El Segundo
(310) 607-9999

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About the Author

Michael loves grilling, rum, and has a weakness for key lime pie.

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