Buddha Bowl opens at Crave Delivery serving Boise, Idaho | Idaho Statesman

Restaurant News

Japanese charcoal? Hi-tech woks? New Boise restaurant opens with ‘unparalleled flavor.’

Organic Beef Wasabi ($18.98) is one of six “favorite combination bowls.”
Organic Beef Wasabi ($18.98) is one of six “favorite combination bowls.”

A new virtual restaurant just opened telling Idaho to “forget everything you know about stir fry.”

But you’ll need to remember to download the Crave Delivery app.

Buddha Bowl launched June 11 at Crave. This is the final concept to fill the Crave Collective, a 16-suite ghost-kitchen facility at 2900 W. Excursion Blvd. in Meridian. (In 2020, it felt like a new Crave restaurant opened almost daily, right?)

Buddha Bowl is the fourth Crave brand from the Mina Group, led by award-winning chef and restaurateur Michael Mina. With a menu created by Mina Group chef Gerald Chin, this is “the evolution of stir fry,” according to the restaurant’s promotional language. The fast-casual concept “combines sustainable, organic and non-GMO meats, seafood, grains and vegetables with patent-pending wok technology that incorporates the best of traditional wok technique while infusing clean, flame-grilled flavors that are both healthy and delicious.”

So what does all that mean? You’ll find enticing, quality bowls that — at around $15 to $20 — are a little spendier than the Boise norm. (All bowls come with Buddha slaw and fresh oranges, by the way.)

Buddha Bowl offers custom, build-your-own meals in three steps. You choose from six organic veggie mixes ($9.99). Then you add a “sustainable protein,” such as wild-caught Pacific salmon ($6.99) or 100-percent grass-fed beef ($8.99). Last (and at no charge) comes your base. A popular pick undoubtedly will be Buddha’s “wellness” brown rice with ginger, cayenne pepper, turmeric, coconut aminos and avocado oil.

Hate making decisions? There are six prearranged combination bowls. Hodo Tofu Orange Sesame ($14.98) includes asparagus, snow peas, red radish, Bloomsdale spinach, lotus root, bok choy and sesame seeds. Jidori Chicken Yuzu Teriyaki ($19.98) has broccoli, a trio of mushrooms, bean sprouts, carrots, pineapple and “wellness” rice.

Cooking with Japanese charcoal, the restaurant says its “variety of options is set to please meat and veggie lovers, vegans and everyone in between — all designed to offer healthy cuisine with an unparalleled level of flavor through a proprietary technique that’s uniquely Mina.”

Buddha Bowl does not use refined oils, sugar or soy sauce. The menu explains that they have been “replaced exclusively with anti-inflammatory avocado oil, agave nectar and coconut aminos.” It also informs customers that all vegetable mixes come with ginger, garlic and scallions.

Like other Crave concepts, Buddha only does delivery and takeout. There’s no on-site dining. Delivery costs $4.99, can include multiple Crave eateries, and is available in Boise, Meridian, Eagle, Nampa, Caldwell, Kuna and Star.

The Mina Group’s other Crave brands include Tokyo Hot Chicken, Mac ‘n Cue by International Smoke and Mi Almita Taqueria.

Michael Deeds is an entertainment writer and opinion columnist. He chronicles the Boise good life: restaurants, concerts, culture, cool stuff. Deeds materialized at the Idaho Statesman as an intern in 1991 before taking on roles including features editor, sportswriter and music critic. Over the years, his freelance work has ranged from writing album reviews for The Washington Post to hyping Boise in that airline magazine you left on the plane. Deeds graduated magna cum laude from the University of Nebraska with a bachelor’s degree in news-editorial journalism.
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