It's so difficult to not like Mr. Moto's Rice Box, a neighborhood staple that has endured even after a fire required closing, renovating, and re-opening a few years back. Located in a convenient stretch of NW 21st, Mr. Moto's is a charming little "healthy" Japanese eatery tucked into the storefront level of an apartment building next to the equally charming, though claustrophobic, M Bar. Offering a simple menu of bento-type dishes, including rice combos, teriyaki, udon and potstickers at an affordable price and an outstandingly friendly owner taking and serving your order, it would sound like Mr. Moto's has everything going for it. Unfortunately, all this charm and friendliness cannot make up for the fact that the food is merely OK, and "OK" does not make this a destination or a first choice unless it is your most convenient option. One example would be any dish that has "vegies" in it, ordered as such (ie; teriyaki rice with vegies, or udon noodle soup with vegies). "Vegies" has--across the board--seemed to only consist of a very small amount of very tiny broccoli florets, and perhaps a few shreds of ginger where appropriate. That doesn't cut it. But, I'll say it again: It's so difficult to not like Mr. Moto's, and when convenience prevails, I continue time and time again to grab some quick take-out from the Rice Box. In fact, for all of the charm, I feel guilty for calling the food "merely OK" and wonder if "unassuming" would be a more polite description? I feel that it's fair to give Mr. Moto's a 3 star review, which is an "average" on Citysearch. The food isn't bad, it just isn't enough to get very excited about.
Pros: Charming and friendly service. Affordable, and according to the sign, "healthy." Take-out is an option.
Cons: Nothing spectacular in the box.