The compartmentalized bento box dates back to medieval Japan, where workers would pack a whole meal into a single box and carry it with them to the fields.
Today, the bento box remains vital to Japanese life. Not only are bento served at restaurants, but they're also used for school or work lunches and are even sold in supermarkets and train stations.
Here are some local sources of a fine Japanese meal in a box:
Any two kitchen entrees on the menu can be combined to form a bento box, which also includes a California roll, shumai or steamed shrimp dumplings, and fresh fruit. Soup and salad, too. $19.
SUSHI KO , Marrick
Salmon teriyaki is the focal point of "bento box C," a combination that also features beef negimaki, a spring roll, white or brown rice; choose miso soup or a salad. $18.
SHOW WIN , Northport
At lunch, a real deal is the bento-style "lunch box 4," with a salmon-avocado roll as well as 2pieces of salmon sashimi and 1piece each of salmon, tuna and white fish sushi, along with a seaweed salad. Soup, a salad and rice also are included. $11.