I'm not sure why people think this is such a great place.
I visited a couple of times soon after it opened a long time ago. It wasn't that great and vowed to not go back as there are many better Japanese food options.
Recently returned there for lunch as some coworkers are high on the place. We were going to go elsewhere but the power was out across the street. That may have caused Kura to be a bit busier than usual. Really that would be hard to expect as it's not a huge restaurant in the first place so can only get so full.
Anyway it seems they weren't equipped to handle the lunch crowd. Took a long time to get our order in, and a long time for it to come. Half the lunches came after the first half had been eaten. Took a few times asking to get my drink. The waitresses were not slacking, they were simply run off their feet.
The food itself was nothing special at all. In fact I think the tempura was mushy.
The ambience is such that it makes you feel like you are eating in a dolled up warehouse.
So perhaps it is a Japanese run place but to me that doesn't matter if it doesn't cut it. I'm not sure a lot of people know what good Japanese is or not. My wife is Japanese and we have eaten at scores of Japanese places and I think we have some idea. Then again maybe I've just been really unlucky on my visits here.
Ok that's might no be saying much since there are no cool places in Burnaby but this place could easily fit in on trendy Robson. The decor is modern and comfortable. It's been in the same spot for over ten years and nothing much has changed except for the heavy wooden front door that looks like it was taken from a shinto shrine. Even the owner is the original. The food is very good and selection unbelievable considering they're probably not getting a lot of big spenders or japanese tourists. Big selection of daily specials and lots of type of fish and dishes you won't find in 90% of the japanese restaurants in town. We had a big table and the food kept coming out on time and quickly.
I've been coming here for years as I live right around the corner from it. The sushi (food in general) was really good, the sushi was really fresh and really delicately made, not just a mound of rice with a slice of fish on it. The last time I went the sushi was just that, sloppily made and not very appetizing. I could have picked some up at Safeway at the deli section that was better than that. I'm pretty sure the ownership/chef has changed hands. Was my favorite sushi place, not anymore. Won't be seeing me back there again.
i love that this restaurant is owned and operated by japanese people-something very hard to find in vancouver! the owner seems like a very friendly and personable guy who's always chatting it up with customers and constantly laughing which brings a nice vibe to the place. the waitresses on the other hand all seem so distant even when business is slow. their beef sashimi is absolutely awesome!! it is the only thing i go for because everything else is just soso. the salmon carpaccio we ordered was awful...the garlic butter clams was the saltiest thing i have ever tasted in a restaurant?? the chawanmushi was bland as was the motoyaki ... like, really really bland ... and the spicy sauce that they put on top of my spicy tuna sushi was a nightmare ... although i was impressed that their sashimi did come on top of a slab of ice?? that was pretty cool and how many places in vancouver can you order live sea urchin sashimi?! this place has its great perks and really bad downs
Kura is an interesting study in how not to run a restaurant. The food is very good. My wife wanted to give this a 4, but I would have been happy with a 3 or 3.5 if that were available. We settled on the 4 because the truth is, the food here can actually be very good. The chef is way above average in skills.
Having said that, the service sucks. The girls are generally sweet in disposition, but they move slowly and are inattentive. That rattles me a lot. When I go to a restaurant, I expect good service, and that's why I pay top dollar for my dining experience. If the problem lies in not having enough staff, then they need to hire more. Anyway, whatever the reason, the service is slow.
As far as the decor, it's pretty basic. The main door into the place is pretty cool, but once you're inside, it's unimpressive and drab. You can't succeed in the restaurant business with only one good component. Serving great food means nothing if the customers don't feel like they've gotten great service.
Bottom line, there are other places sushi nearby to choose from that have food which is just as good, at around the same prices and with better service. Do the math.
We went on a Saturday night for a casual family meal. I was immediately impressed by the decor and layout of the restaurant - high ceilings, high-walled booths allowing for privacy, cool sushi bar. The atmosphere was laid back and conducive to conversation. However, the food and service weren't as impressive. Our food came slowly and the meal lasted almost 2 hours. We had the Chef's Special Sashimi Plate which featured their fresh daily sashimi - it was decent, the Tokyo Roll - impressive on paper but bland tasting and a run-of-the-mill Dinner Box. The quality of the food is decent - I would probably come back for the ambience and for a long and lazy meal but not the food.
This is one of the few 'japanese' japanese restaurants in the area. The menu is quite large and they have many fresh fish sashimi dishes that you don't normally see at other restaurants. I go for the nigiri sushi because they are always done right with a big selection and reasonably priced. The owner/chef is always very friendly and sometimes sends complimentary dishes to our table as we are regulars here. The servers are quite friendly but most of them are very inexperienced and there's just not enough staff. Getting more wasabi or getting our tea refilled is usually quite a hassle. They are not rude, a lot of them just seem clueless most of the time. It's a small price to pay for high quality japanese cuisine made by japanese chefs at a reasonable price in an area flooded with low quality, gigantically portioned or 'all you can eat' japanese restaurants.
I ate at this place like 5 years ago but, unfortunately every other time i came back i caught them during the midday close... or it was sunday.
Finally, yesterday i made it there for dinner and they did not dissapoint. The food is great, extensive selection, everything is fresh and authentic.
The service is phenomenal! We never once had to ask for anything. it was as if they could read our minds. Of course in a Japanese restaurant it's not shocking to get good service, but it was a welcome change from the usual snubs at sushi garden down the road. This is one time we were more than happy to be generous with tips.
My boss from Toronto, who is Japanese, wanted to eat sushi for lunch so I thought of Kura hoping they would not disappoint and they did not.
We arrived around 11:40 am prior to the lunch rush and got seated in a booth right away. I noticed other booths were already reserved which is a good sign. By noon, all the tables were full.
Extensive selection on the menu from appys, sashimi, rolls and robata. The five of us praised the freshness, taste and quality of the fish and rice. Prices are higher than surrounding sushi restaurants but the quality and presentation reflect the price. Definitely not for the buffet crowd aka Fish on Rice.
Service was efficient and friendly. An additional server to handle lunch rush would be beneficial.
Overall, very satisfying lunch experience.
Unfortunately, I have to give a poor review not based on the food, which was actually quite good--but based on the poor service. Along with some other reviewers here, I can't say that the good food is worth it. When the server brought over our miso soup, all three of us saw her thumb in the soup. It was not fully submerged, but hubby did not want to drink his soup knowing that a digit had been in it. He asked for a new soup right away, and the server asked why. He was a bit embarrassed to say it, but mumbled that he saw her thumb in his soup and would like a new one. The waitress told us that her finger was not in the soup, that we must have seen the wrong thing and refused to bring him a new soup! It was sort of funny yet left us perplexed in a bad way. Miso soup is a buck a bowl, if the customer asks for a new bowl of soup, I would have thought nothing of replacing it, but the server just stood there and said "no". She wasn't completely rude about it, but just kept saying her thumb wasn't in the soup. Not wanting to find more "condiments" in my food, I just asked the server to take the soup away and that we didn't want it.
With such an auspicious beginning, it was hard to enjoy the rest of the meal, as our server was not exactly great after that, and our party of 3 adults and 1 child did not want to just get up and leave as we had already ordered. In hindsight, I should have just asked to speak to the manager (if they had one) or the chef....but I just wanted to eat and get out of there. Will not be going back as good Japanese food can be had in many other places. A pity though as the food was quite good.
The only reason I went to this place was because some out of town friends were staying at the Hilton nearby and they suggested it. It was some of the best sushi I've had. It tasted fresh, the menu had plenty of selections, the staff was efficient, albeit rather reserved, and the prices were unbelievable.
Most of the seating is booths with high backs, which is also a plus in my book. Highly recommended!
We like Kura because it's close to home and one of the only Japanese owned sushi places around. The owner always says hello to me and the food has been above average every time. Service hasn't always been up to par but everything else for me makes up for it.
Their huge menu always makes it easy to try new things every time you go. We will go back and recommend this spot for dining in.
been here twice. love the fact that the owner? and employees are actually Japanese!! we ordered the tuna tataki AND the the tuna capariccio. the tuna capariccio is definitely better. it has just the right amount of onion, green onion, cherry tomatoes. But, i'm not too sure about the amount of black pepper that they used (a bit much). the beef sashimi was great cause it was served at the perfect temperature and very thinly sliced. i usually don't eat the spicy tuna but my bf made me try it. i'm glad i did cause it wasn't too spicy, but it had a rather sweet spiciness to it. the ebi mayo was ok; the prawns were over cooked and i felt that the mayo could have been more tangy. the oyster motoyaki was not that great. the oyster was tough and there wasn't that much of it in there. my fav. part of the meal was actually the gyoza cause it was very juicy! ambiance rating at 4 because the place is clean, spacious, and authentic!!
This restaurant has been in the area for a long time (over 10 yrs.).Their sashimi and sushi are fresh, and their fish are freshly shipped from Japan every day (according to them). The food tastes very good and they are simply fresh. The variety is good, in fact all the chef is Japanese, I think Japanese food lovers understand the difference between a Japanese chef & a non-Japanese chef, they are very talkative and friendly. The atmosphere is also good, you can invite a guest or choose it as the place for 1st dating. The only negative side is the price, it is a bit too high.
Food: This restaurant is worse than I thought it would be. The food is too small and it is a little too similar to another sushi restaurant. The first time we ordered we went to another restaurant but there wasn't enough food so we had to go to Kura. It said they open at 5:00pm but it actually did on 5:30PM. I ordered the California Roll and by 5:30PM they still say the restaurant is "closed".
Ambiance: The only good thing about the restaurant is that their are air conditioning.
Kura has been around for many years. The offerings are extensive compared to many other places in the hood. They are under staffed and the sushi bar is really inefficient. You will need lots of time and patience. The food is good. I didn't leave a tip and I hope they got the message! I would go back when I am not in a hurry and not overly hungry!
Had the box c special. Miso soup was ok but the box was fairly skimpy. Tempura was dripping with grease. The chicken teriyaki was small and very dry and chewy (one of the worst I have tasted). Three thin pieces of california roll and some rice rounded out the meal. The special really wasn't so special.
I just got back from having dinner here, on a Friday night. The food, I thought, was better than any other sushi place I've eaten at in a long time. I LOVE the fact that this place is owned and operated by Japanese people, which is very unusual in the Lower Mainland. It's the reason I decided to try it. Kura was very clean, which is a huge must for me. HUGE. The service was a bit slow even though it wasn't all that busy but the food pretty much made up for it. The selection is quite extensive and the pics are a nice touch in the menu. The bf ordered the dinner box of chicken teri/cali rolls/tempura/miso soup. I find most Japanese places that I've eaten at make watery miso soup with little or no tofu but this place has quite tasty soup. I wanted to order the chicken teriyaki don and asked the waitress if they could take the skin off before serving it, she had absolutely no problem with that,but to be honest it really wasn't all that tasty and their was too much rice. We also ordered salmon rolls, tekka roll, BC roll, and unagi roll and chicken yakitori. The rolls were great, they were so fresh. Usually freshness costs an arm and a leg but I find the prices to be just about the same as any other place I've been. I can't stress enough how fresh the food was here. The unagi roll is my favourite and tasted so yummy!!!!The service was a bit slow,but very friendly. It took about 20 min for the first part of our order to come out and about another 15 for the rest. I noticed the couple next to us waited about 20 mins. for just a couple of rolls.
A family at another table got up to leave after paying and they all said goodbye to the staff. The kids even walked up to the sushi chefs to thank them and the chefs were very friendly, smiling and saying goodbye. I think the fact that this place is run by Japanese people makes it a friendly, inviting environment.
I would most definately be going back here again. Soon
I've always loved this restaurant, especially since it is run by a Japanese owner and Japaneses chef. The food is fresh and tasty, but a little pricy (worth it) with a huge selection of choices. As for the space, it's very open with an industrial feel. There's plently of drawings/picture of Japanese art. It's very clean and the staff are very friendly. It gets pretty busy on the weekends.
I've never had a problem with Kura before until: I went out with the family to celebrate a belated mother's day, a couple days ago (weekday evening). We ordered the sashimi combo, deluxe dinner combo, and sole (sashimi & then they deep fry the bones-tasty). Since there were only 2 wait staff (usually at least 3), the service was extremely slow, but polite. A usual dinner would have taken about 1-1.5 hour tops, but this time it took 2.5+ hours. After being seated and given tea, we waited for 20min before the staff took our orders. Our tempura came out 30mins later, slightly cold, with tepid miso soup and shrimp sunomono. The chicken tempura tasted off. We spoke to the waitress about it and she notified the owner. But then she came back and said that the chicken was fine. (I work in poultry wholesale and I can TASTE when chicken is not fresh and is turning bad). Another wait of 30mins for the sashimi and the remaining dinner combo. (How long does it take to serve sashimi? Did they have to go fish it?) Again another 30mins for our sole sashimi to arrive, at which our server immediately took the fish bones in to deep fry (it takes about 15mins for the bone to cook). Waiting for the bones took about another 30mins, during which my parents left, tried of waiting.
It's a shame the whole experience left a sour taste in our mouths. Would I go back?...probably yes, but later down the road. Hopefully they'll have fixed the staffing problem.