Putting my finger on why I haven't eaten at Venti's until now is a mystery. It might be that it's kind of a hip dining spot staffed by a crew of generation X types with brightly colored furniture that stands out in the sometimes drab Salem dining scene. Walking through the front door might make even the coolest parent in town feel a bit square and mainstream. Their new restaurant, on Court Street downtown, is lighter and cleaner than the former location. The dining room is larger with comfortable booths, wood floors and an open kitchen. Ordering from their menu of reasonably priced bento bowls and yakisoba is done over the counter where you can get a peek at the chef preparing your meal atop a hot stove. While we waited for the food, we took in the scene and listened to a nice mix of Rolling Stone's greatest hits playing on the sound system. Not bad so far. It didn't take long for the food to arrive steaming hot at our table. I ordered the regular size Beef Teriyaki Bowl for $7 topped with ginger and cabbage slices. This is absolutely the best beef teriyaki that I have eaten thus far in Salem. The strips of beef were thick and juicy and decorated nicely in a circular sun shape over the rice. And it was really hot! Halfway through the meal I checked the end of my fork to see if it had melted. The bowl was also filled high with rice that can best be described as fluffy and sticky. Completely satisfied with my meal I was surprised to hear grumbling across the table from my wife about hers. She got the Chicken Thai Peanut Bowl and felt that her meal was sub par. This seems to happen a lot with the two of us when dining out. My system for trying out a new restaurant is to order a simple item from the menu or something that the restaurant specializes in. It's like dipping your toe in the water to see if it's cold before diving in. Overall, Venti's is a great little local spot adding bright color and flavor to our up and coming downtown.