BENTO Asian Kitchen + Sushi, a family-owned quick-casual pan-Asian restaurant, has officially announced that it will be opening up its Lake Nona location in the fall of 2020. The 100-seat, 3,000 square-foot eatery will be located at 12851 Narcoossee Rd across from Lake Nona High School, Valencia College, and near Aldi and the highly-anticipated Chick-Fil-A, which is the first in the area. 

“We opened our first Orlando BENTO in 2007 in the downtown business district, and over the last 13 years, have expanded to Dr. Phillips, the UCF area, Winter Park,  Kissimmee at Margaritaville, and most recently Oviedo.  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. The area has seen massive growth in the last five years, and we’re proud to be part of that,” says Johnny Tung, co-founder. 

BENTO Lake Nona will offer plenty of patio seating and will feature an arched, koi-fish mosaic ceiling with a modern Japanese aesthetic. The eatery’s takeout-friendly, the fast-casual setup makes it a perfect complement to the area’s growing “on-the-go” family and young professional population.  

The concept’s fresh and customizable menu makes it a one-stop-shop for Asian fare. With made-to-order wok-seared dishes, fresh-rolled sushi, build-your-own poke bowls, rice and noodle bowls, bento boxes, and boba tea, BENTO’s menu features a little bit of something for everyone. 

“Although Lake Nona is quickly growing, there are still very few Asian dining options in the area.  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,” says Tung.

BENTO Lake Nona will mark the concept’s seventh location in the Orlando area, and it will be joining a lineup of several other locations throughout Florida.  BENTO currently operates 16 locations across Gainesville, Jacksonville, Davie, Boca Raton, Pembroke Pines, Tallahassee, and St. Pete. The concept has no plans of slowing down with six more spots expected to open within the next year. Eagerly-awaited stores in Tampa, Dania Beach, Wellington, Jacksonville Beach, Downtown Jacksonville, and Sarasota are all projected to open before 2020 comes to a close. 

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Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, BENTO has pivoted its operation to accommodate off-site dining. The launch of BENTO’s new company-wide online ordering site, in particular, is making social distancing easier for the brand’s loyal customers. The new ordering platform allows users to skip the line, schedule an order in advance for pickup or delivery, and pay with just a few clicks.  Users also have the option to save their favorite orders, and take advantage of online-exclusive deals. The mobile app version is now available for download on both the Apple App Store and Google Play. 

Following this wave, future locations will be featuring a new pick-up window for a more contactless experience.  

A few other things that have gained BENTO a loyal following over the years include:

  • Sauces made in-house with hand-cut veggies prepped daily 
  • A selection of house-brewed boba tea, Asian beers, and sake 
  • Dine-in, carryout, delivery, and online ordering available 7 days a week for lunch and dinner
  • A modern Japanese aesthetic with design elements unique to each location 
  • Affordable prices and great value under $12
  • A variety of catering services for any occasion including private sushi chefs and build-a-poke options