Bento Asian Kitchen + Sushi announced plans to expand to Lake Nona, in a space that will see mosaic koi fish artfully suspended above their tastier plated counterparts below.
It's the seventh Orlando-area outpost for the Florida chain, a family-owned fast-casual pan-Asian restaurant started in Gainesville 20 years ago.
The 100-seat, 3,000 square-foot restaurant will be located at 12851 Narcoossee Road, across from Lake Nona High School and Valencia College, and near Aldi and the upcoming Chick-Fil-A.
"We recognized Lake Nona as an up-and-coming area of Orlando – home to Medical City, and some of the nation's top hospitals and research institutions," said Bento co-founder Johnny Tung in the announcement. "The area has seen massive growth in the last five years, and we’re proud to be part of that."
The Lake Nona Bento will offer lots of patio seating to enjoy their wok-seared dishes, fresh-rolled sushi, build-your-own poke bowls and boba tea.
The first Orlando Bento was opened in 2007 in the downtown business district, before expanding to Dr. Phillips, the UCF area, Winter Park, Kissimmee at Margaritaville, and Oviedo.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, much of Bento's operations have been built around to-go and delivery dining, and all of its future locations will heavily featuring pick-up windows for less contact.
Bento's name comes from the namesake Asian lunchbox, and each member of the Taiwanese-American family has a separate but complimentary role. Father Steve and Johnny develop the wok recipes, with Jimmy responsible for sushi and Mama Tung the boba tea. Sister Johanna takes care of hospitality and customer service.
"Although Lake Nona is quickly growing, there are still very few Asian dining options in the area," says Tung. "We've received so many requests from our customers to open here so we're excited to finally be able to call Lake Nona our new home and to contribute to the emerging food scene."
Look for Bento to open in Lake Nona this fall.
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