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For the Culture: Mix of flavor, culture helps diversify USF area

For The Culture

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The University of South Florida area continues to diversify with the addition of the new Pan-Asian restaurant, Bento Asian Kitchen.

Bento Asian Kitchen is now located at 5103 E Fowler Ave. It sits less than a mile away from USF and it will soon have wok chefs whipping up unique Asian meals including sushi, poke bowls, a wide variety of other bowls, boba teas and more.

“The connotation with Asian cuisine might be the sweet and sour chicken, which we definitely have, but we are reaching out to other Asian cultures like Korean, Japanese, Malaysian, Chinese and so forth,” co-owner, David Yu said.

Yu is one of the three owners of Bento. He along with brothers Johnny and Jimmy Tung own 15 other Bento restaurants in Florida. The new USF location makes 16. The group says they will have a total of 20 restaurants by the end of this year.

David, Johnny and Jimmy were immigrants, along with their parents.

“As immigrants, we’re forced to live and think differently and adapt to a new environment and a new culture,” Yu said.

That’s why they are combing their culture along with many areas to cultivate a diverse atmosphere under one roof.

“You combine the roots and the overall experience and goodwill of both sides and you create something that’s diverse throughout our community,” Yu said.

Now their roots are being shared through every bento box they serve.

The USF Tampa location is currently operating under shortened hours. The restaurant is open for dine-in, carry out and delivery from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Saturday. The restaurant will have an official opening date in the next few weeks.

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