Obento-Ya, if you’re not familiar with it, is a little gem of a Japanese restaurant in the Como neighborhood.Their patio is a fixture on best-of lists every year. Foodwise, they do terrific bento boxes for lunch and dinner, and were doing robata, those yummy skewers, before anyone knew what robata even was.
Just two months ago they posted on Facebook that executive chef and owner Mie Winters had cancer. She passed away earlier this month, but her restaurant will continue. Her memorial service is this weekend according to a post on their Facebook page:
“A month ago today, we lost our beloved chef, friend, wife, and mother. Please join us in remembering Mie’s talents and her beauty on Saturday, March 22nd at 2 p.m. at the gorgeous chapel in Lakewood Cemetery located 3600 Hennepin Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55408.
We will be closed for lunch March 22nd for the memorial service, and open again for dinner at 4:30 PM. We again thank everyone for their support. Make it a beautiful day. See you at Obento-ya!”
My two picky eaters learned to like miso soup there. They love the veggie rolls, the Ramune sodas with the marble inside the bottle, and the bacon and quail egg robata. They also are fans of the kara-age, Japanese-style fried chicken. Mie’s dream of a showcase for food that combines nutritional balance and aesthetic harmony has long been treasured in the neighborhood, and is worth the trip if you’re further afield. Our family will be going to Obento-Ya, and I hope you will too.