$8.95 » The bento box is more or less the mother of all lunch trays. Forget the stamped institutional plastic of sorry public lunches. Bentos are timeless, traditionally transportable, and in Sapa's case, serve up a lot of food. The portions aren't meager, but they aren't grandiose.
Relying on good bites of a simple crunchy salad, a nibble of gyoza-wrapped fried shrimp there. Then there's the bowl of gentle miso with diced tofu to wash down spoonfuls of short-grained rice. The centerpiece though is your choice of protein, be it of the traditional flesh-based sort or one derived from soybean. The thin sections of beef short rib tend to be more on the tender side and not overwhelmed with a soy-based marinade. Each component has its own little lacquered box that fits together into one larger unit. You can take any leftovers with you. Sorry, but the boxes stay put.
Sapa Sushi Bar & Asian Grill is at 722 S. State St., Salt Lake City; 801-363-7272. Hours are Monday to Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Monday to Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5 to 11 p.m.