Nostalgic flavors of the Issei and Nisei are what’s infused in the Kenjinkai Picnic Obento, a delicious re-creation by Chef John Nishio that has turned into a fundraiser for the Grateful Crane Ensemble on Saturday, Nov. 18.

Chef John Nishio holding the obento wrapped in furoshiki.

Orders are currently being taken online with pick-up set from 4 to 6 p.m. at Nishio’s house in Pasadena.

The idea for the bento sale came from Nishio, who remembers going to local kenjinkai picnics as a kid.

“Instead of running in relay and gunny sack races,” said Nishio, “I hopped from family to family sitting on their goza under the trees—and loved to sample their foods. Chicken karaage, salmon shioyaki, inari and makizushi, nishime…I remember it all.”

Based on this fond food memory, Nishio will be bringing back these classic Issei flavors and preparing this obento once again as a fundraiser for Grateful Crane. Each obento will include the following: salmon shioyaki, chicken karaage, teriyaki beef rolls, shrimp with shell on, chashu, inarizushi, makizushi, green bean gomae, Japanese potato salad, nishime, tamagoyaki, kamaboko and takuan.

Obento are $50 each, and will be available for pick-up at 2651 Woodlyn Rd. in Pasadena.  To place an order:  

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