Bento 39 in Novi

Before our careers in real estate, Patrick and I were expatriates living in Hiroshima, Japan for 3 years. That’s even where I gave birth to our son. We loved living there, absorbing a culture that is so foreign, yet technologically advanced. One of my favorite aspects of living there was the food. I love seafood and interesting dishes – Japan has lots of both. The food is overall very healthy. One of the traditional everyday meals in Japan is the Bento Box meal. It is a meal prepared either at home or for takeout that comes in a box with compartments, each holding a different food item, so you get a balanced meal all within the box. The food in a bento is typically minimally processed and items such as rice, pickled vegetables and a protein are standard.

This leads me to Bento 39, a small restaurant in a strip mall on Novi Road in Novi, Michigan. It is called Bento 39 because in Japanese, the numbers 3 and 9 sound like “Thank You” so the owners named it Bento Thank You. Japanese like to take English words and incorporate them into Japanese so this time they are doing the opposite.

Anyway, I was so excited when I found this shop a few months ago. They have a relatively small menu of about 12 bento dishes and every day there is a daily special. Sometimes I can read the special in Japanese if it has enough of the words I still remember…but you can ask them. You can either dine in or take out.

I am so happy I can get a healthy bento box now of traditional Japanese food at Bento 39.

22200 Novi Road, Novi 48375, Telephone: (248) 344-0896.