Bento boxes: another thing the Japanese got right. Their origins can be traced back to the 12th century, and you can see why people kept them around. A little bit of this, a little bit of that—everything organized neatly in little compartments. So pretty. Eating from bento boxes is a lot like digging into those thalis at Poppy —fun, frequently delicious, and totally noncommittal.

So this is good news: two Seattle-area restaurants are getting in on the bento game. Barking Frog in Woodinville, cheffed by his wonderfulness Bobby Moore, is doing a lunchtime bento. It’s Grand Marnier prawns, two sliders, pickled cucumbers (strictly speaking, your bento should contain something pickled), and mochi ice cream, all for $15. Lunch is from 11:30am to 1pm daily.

Meanwhile Fresh Bistro in West Seattle has a $16 special at happy hour: a bento box featuring tapenade and artichoke hummus with chips and cukes for dipping, shiso veggie tempura, and—my God—plantain poutine: smashed fried plantains covered with mozzarella and black bean gravy.

Happy hour at Fresh Bistro is 4 to 6pm and 9 to 10pm on weekdays, only on Friday it goes until 11. On Saturday the menu is available from 9 to 10pm only, and there is no HH on Sunday.

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