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EatsFatsVancouverSince April 22, 2007321 Reviews
Average Rating
3 (2.8)
  • Food3 (3)
  • Service3 (2.8)
  • Value2.5 (2.7)
  • Ambiance2.5 (2.7)

Reviews

Displaying 21 - 40 of 321 Reviews Found
Minami Japanese Restaurant1118 Mainland, Vancouver
Over priced, under delivered
Submitted Friday, August 17, 2012 - 10:33pm [Dine in]

Looks like a nice place. The staff really try. The food is quite okay.
And that's about all the highlights.

Let's see ...
The menu, not really expansive, but looks like there is a few unique items, so generally passable. For a place like this, would've expected more.
The ebi fritters were nice, nothing outstanding. We also had some soba noodles with meat sauce. Seriously, it's like, well, eating spaghetti with meat sauce, except with soba. Good? Yes, okay, but not terribly difficult to make nor inventive and certainly not for the price.
The sashimi platter was crazy. Bog standard items, I think I counted tuna, saba, salmon, ebi and scallops? Maybe one more. Get this, one piece per person at $20 per person ($40 total for a 2-person order). Absolutely ridiculous. For the volume of food, even at the best places in town, it would be about half that cost. And it wasn't amazing. Good, not amazing. Not $40 amazing.
The rolls were actually quite good and well-liked by all, we even ordered a 2nd round for some of them. I would give these a thumbs up.

The staff, quite friendly, definitely earnest, but not experienced nor high end. Which means whoever is training them is likely the same. They kept trying to take away our plates before we were finished (restaurant was not full, no line up), water service was very spotty. One waitress tried to appear knowledgeable and explained the items on the sashimi plate to us. SERIOUSLY? In Vancouver? For a bone standard plate of sashimi? That's a first for me and one of the party mentioned it was nearly insulting. Do we look like a bunch of country bumpkins to you? (I don't think she was being insulting, she was just doing as she was told and trying to be helpful, just lacking experience).

And to top it off, the prices were high. Not good value this place.
Would not return. Not recommended. Oh wait, no, it is definitely recommended if you're a poseur with lots of money to throw around. Like the guy who came in on a date with a nice girl yet kept chatting on his phone trying to look important instead of paying attention to the most important person in the room...

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Apollonia1830 Fir Street, Vancouver
A pleasant, tasty surprise
Submitted Saturday, February 18, 2012 - 9:58pm [Dine in]

We were in not much position to do much other than grab and eat and by default, it came to this place as it was nearby and no line up. We called in ahead for the goods and came by to get it.

Hey, what do you know? It's actually nice inside! (Or maybe just the lighting...). The staff seemed reasonable friendly and efficient, I don't think there'd be an issue there.
The menu & prices were pretty much standard for Greek places around town.

The surprising bit came when we actually chomped down on the food. Nice! Aside from being quite tasty & well done, this is maybe the first time that I can say a Greek meal was "light" and didn't weigh down on my stomach. We had the keftedes dinner, very juicy, surprisingly. Usually hard for ground meat grilled stuff to get to what I would consider juicy. The roast lamb was a reasonable portion size and hardly that fatty, but moist and falling off the bone done. No complaints about the salad or dolmathes or rice. I might rate the potatoes a bit on the dry side, but taste wise it was good.

My only complaint, as I alluded to before, the menu is fairly "standard", nothing too unique and I'd bet a small spectrum of what Greeks really eat back in Greece. However, it was well done and reasonably priced and I would return for sure the next time I get a hankering for Greek food.

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Closed
Sunset Burgers550 Nelson Street, Vancouver
Score! Just good ol' burgers!
Submitted Wednesday, February 8, 2012 - 10:40pm [Dine in]

It's just burgers. Yes, there's seating and yes, so far, it's clean and neat. I guess it's aiming for 80's California look? Who cares? In a place like this it's all about the food.

The sole "waitress" was entirely competent and efficient, no complaints there. Burgers were made to order, took a bit less than 10 minutes with other customers ahead of us, so not too bad.

The fries are "natural" potato fries, very reminiscent of In 'n Out fries. Not the best fries I've ever had, but they are entirely decent and taste like, well, fried potatoes. Which is a good thing.
The burgers are on a standard McGavin's bun, but that's the only downside. The rest of the burger is solid. Kobe beef? I don't believe it, but these are probably the juiciest restaurant burgers I've ever had. I'm being picky now (because it was so good), but the beef could stand to have a little flavour as it risked being overwhelmed with the rest of the ingredients. Which, by the way, there are many optional toppings that come free, including fried onions and mushrooms. It came with a crispy piece of real lettuce, tomatoes, pretty much everything I would want in a burger. We also tried the chicken burger, which is basically a slab of chicken breast ... not blown away, but on the other hand, maybe it was one of the better restaurant chicken burgers I've had.
Add on top of that the price? Yeah, we have a winner.

There's nothing there that will surprise you, but just good, well-done, solid burgers. I think I prefer this to Vera's offerings in fact, though Vera's does have many more choices & toppings, they just keep it simple here. Maybe Romer's is better, but I'm not always in the mood for a sit-down. And compared to anything from Earl's, Cactus, etc? I'd take Sunset anyday, not even considering the price.

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Shizen Ya1102 West Broadway, Vancouver
Japanese food, even lighter
Submitted Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - 12:19am [Dine in]

I was a little bit skeptical before going there. A place that advertises organic, brown rice, etc. Does that mean that's all it can sell and it doesn't have taste?

Well, we headed there. Being a newish joint, it was clean and done up nicely. We were the only ones there at first, so definitely we got good service. Even when the place filled up with a couple of more tables, the dishes came out really fast. Still freshly made though.

It's, well, a Japanese restaurant and it has a mix of stuff. Some curry, some sushi, some noodles. Thankfully, the food was quite decent. The rolls are well executed and tasty, however, the brown rice in the rolls isn't done sushi style. Or at least not done right, none of the vinegar left in there. You can tell also by the sashimi, while nicely done, was not cut by a good sushi chef. They also decided to go different and paired it with alfafa sprouts, but unfortunately it pairs poorly with salmon or tuna sashimi. Quite bad actually.We also ordered some curry, udon noodle soup and tempura. All very nice. The tempura is apparently whole wheat. It was reasonably done, though it really has to be eaten right away or else it gets a tad soggy, so there's some work to do on that front.

At the end of the day, yes, we were quite happy with the food and the service. There is nothing mindblowing that we've tried yet, but it seems to be a solid restaurant to grab a bite to eat if you're in the neighbourhood.

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Pizzeria Farina915 Main Street, Vancouver
It's real pizza
Submitted Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - 12:10am [Dine in]

It's in a sketchy part of town and it only does pizza, so it better be darned good! To be fair, at least the inside of the place is done up nicely, it really does not fit with the neighbourhood.

Service, friendly. Not super quicky, but hey, it's being made from scratch, to order. Just like the restaurant, let's get to the point. It's like Neapolitan style pizza and it is good. I'd rate it 2nd to Bibo, but others in our party rated it equal or better than Bibo. Thin crust, yes. Lots of flavour in the crust? Yes. Good chew? Yes, but not too tough, just about right.

The size of the pizza? If you're hungry, you could suck down one per person. The price isn't too bad either. It's just really good pizza, so just go have a try for yourself.

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Cuu Long3911 Knight Street, Vancouver
Surprisingly good little hole!
Submitted Monday, January 9, 2012 - 12:09am [Dine in]

Oh yes, the drive by made us pass on one previous occasion. Looked kind of sketchy, maybe where some shady characters hang out, but hey, we were feeling adventurous this weekend.

On entry, oh no worry, the 2 staff where friendly, normal looking, dare I say innocent, types :-) and surprisingly, I was not worried about cleanliness (yup, checked out the washroom too). Whew! What a relief! Small yes, but everything seems reasonably clean and well taken care of.

A quick look at the menu and it seems to be different, unlike many other places, there is only about 4 pho on the menu, the rest, some pork-based broth noodles and also pho go, rice dishes and other goodies. We settled on a pho ga, some spring rolls and some udon-noodle dish (okay, I know, not Vietnamese, but that's what it says on the menu and one of our party had a hankering).
Everything came quickly, as expected, with a very, very, very generous helping of bean sprouts. The food itself, very solid. No real complaints about the taste (except the squid in one of the noodle bowls). The soup was good and better yet, if there was MSG, we certainly didn't detect it nor suffer any of the usual after-effects.

It's alway seemingly tricky to find a clean, safe and MSG-free pho place, but this one fits the bill. Seems like some nice people running the place as well, so that's a bonus. Yeah, sure, I would recommend a try and I anticipate some return trips for us as well. Certainly there are some other interesting things on the menu that we've still to try.

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Closed
India Chef Cafe, The5351 West Boulevard, Vancouver
Limited menu, but pretty darned good! Return trip in the works...
Submitted Monday, January 9, 2012 - 12:01am [Dine in]

It's a tiny place, looks like family run and they state the "chef" is the owner. Okay. It was kind of a last resort place as our original plans didn't pan out so we thought we'd have a go.
Inside is a typical "take-out" joint. A few creaky tables and that's about it. Not much for decor, menus and pictures just kind of taped up. It doesn't look too dirty at least.

The menu is pretty straightforward, a lot of your usual things you'd expect from a small Indian joint (I would guess more mid or south-ish, not northern type, but I'm no expert). We picked a butter chicken, lamb curry, palak paneer, pakora's, naan. Just to try. The chef (very friendly & helpful guy) told us 20-30 minutes. What?? There was only 1 other customer there already eating. Maybe some large takeout order? Or they're incompetent? Or the most unlikely option .... he was making it from "scratch". Turns out the reason seemed to be, yes, indeed, he was going to make everything. It wasn't just scooped out of a giant vat on a warmer somewhere. Amazing!

Yes, it was certainly a surprise. The downers, the naan (no tandoori oven there, so they are compromising with a regular oven) and pakoras. Maybe they're a different style, but they're much more dense and carbo-loaded than I prefer. The rest of the stuff was really, really good. The palak paneer, one of the few times I can test the spinach, and the whole thing was very rich, vibrant looking. I saw him also take out what look like a container of paneer that may have been made in-house. Definitely wasn't a regular sized block in a pre-packaged wrap. That at the curry were both quite spicy (to my limited spicy skills), but surprisingly, no torture. Spicy, but tolerably and tasty. All 3 had the unique characteristic of looking rich and fresh (vibrant natural colours), a trick for typical Indian dishes of this type.

We were thoroughly satisfied and as my usual measure of success, I felt great afterwards. Full, but not bloated, which is not always the case with many Indian places for me.
I would definitely like to try again and if you're in the neighbourhood and need a quickie take-out, there's no better place. It is not 2nd rate food there!

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JR's Taste of Ceylon3929 Knight Street, Vancouver
Slow food. And not necessarily in a good way
Submitted Sunday, January 8, 2012 - 11:24pm [Dine in]

We've driven by so many times, we've been aching to give this a shot. It's not as if Sri Lankan cuisine is sprouting up everywhere in Vancouver. Finally the stars aligned and we had a chance to give it a go.

It's not a great looking place outside, but neither is anything else in the neighbourhood. Our first worry ... nobody was in there. We sent in a scout, and we couldn't get even a mouse, so we left. Then we went in again a few minutes later and finally some dude shuffles in view.

We were the first and only ones at that time ... so presumably we had his undivided attention. Strangely enough, when we asked for a child booster chair he disappeared for what seemed like a good 10 minutes. What? Did he just whip one up in the back alley? Did he go steal it from a vacant house? Hmmm ... at least it gave us a chance to scope out the washrooms, which were impeccably clean. Good start there.

Well, that's where it all started to go downhill. Despite being the first and only ones, I think it took maybe 40 minutes or so for the first dish to arrive (which was pretty good, by the way). A few other tables trickled in and they had a hard time getting so much as a menu let alone a glass of water. Another table had to wander by and borrow the menus that were left with us. Okay, we won't beat around the bush. Most of the stuff we ordered was pretty decent and unique, nothing mind blowing. All except the last dish, the "lamprais", which, well, tasted a bit off. Which is funny since we were warned it would take 20 minutes to make (from what? from a batch of slightly off ingredients?). In actuality, it took us about 2 hours to get out of there. And there were only 3.5 other tables there (0.5 for the couple at the table that just had a beer and gave up due to lack of service). As we left, one of the other tables still hadn't gotten their food and none of the other tables had complete orders yet. Poor sods, they were probably lucky to get out of there before midnight.

We know there were at least 2 workers in the restaurant, and if you can't handle 4 tables with a fairly limited menu? My gosh, that's destined for failure. As much as I wanted to like this place, the final "off" dish did it in for me along with the excruciating wait. (Seriously, given a WiFi connection, Google, I could've whipped up those dishes myself in less time). Feel free to try if you have A LOT of time on your hands.

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YEW Restaurant + Bar791 West Georgia, Vancouver
Best overall
Submitted Saturday, December 31, 2011 - 2:46pm [Dine in]

This is some fancy looking place situated in the Four Seasons downtown, they definitely have it done right and I get the right feeling as soon as I step in the opening. It's a very large restaurant for sure. So why did we have a go here? Actually, we just heard it was "kid-friendly".

The service is absolutely impeccable. This was definitely one of the best even amongst the finest establishments in town. Yes, that's right, even with a young child in tow, they did not skimp at all. Completely professional. It was one of those cases where they are never there until right when you need them and they're immediately at your table side. We never felt rushed, the waiter (who seemed to have a trainee tagging along) was very knowledgeable and patient. Also brought extra distractions for children. We opted to go "family style" (even though that is not the intent of the menu), but that went without a hiccup and they adjusted accordingly. Fantastic!

I saw the mains pricing for most things came under $30, so that is very reasonable for this level of quality, in my opinion. And yes, the quality is there. We were stuffed to the gills before our last round of order came out and we still found it delicious. Start to finish, absolutely satisfied. Maybe the only small complaint is their version of a caesar salad had real herring or anchovy slices (of the fresh or pickled variety) in it and some did not like the taste of that. I should note that one member commented the food was easily better than Market. We didn't manage to order everything on the menu :-), but what we did order was always slightly off the norm and executed perfectly. Still waiting for the "blow my mind", how did they come up with this plate, but those are few and far between anywhere.

For the few extra dollars over casual fine dining, I would take this any day. Highly, highly recommended. We will be returning. Especially if you have (well behaved) young children and are missing the fine dining experience, these guys are ready to serve. And if you are in that demographic, this can hardly be beat, that's why I give it the best overall comment. I can't think of any place that is this good and I can take children to. (I can also do that at Provence Marinaside, but it is not nearly at this level).

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Edible Canada at the Market1596 Johnston Street, Vancouver
Best ketchup. Ever. Oh, and tasty eats too.
Submitted Saturday, December 24, 2011 - 4:28pm [Dine in]

I kind of like the idea of this place and it has the right ambience for the concept. Place is just the right layout I think, not too tight and not too open. Everything seems reasonably clean, although it is slightly hectic given it is kind of situated with a `regular store` as well.

We were promptly seated, but unfortunately, the hostess was the highlight of the service. The server, well, she was kind of nice enough, but totally spaced out and seemed to have had a rough day already (before lunch time even). Was not on top of things really.

The food, thankfully, was much better. Burger from the kids menu was perfectly done and, well, NOT kid sized! I think most adults would be quite full with the kids burger meal. Also tried some fish `n chips along with a duck confit hash. The duck confit hash was really tasty. The fish was a good try, good concept anyways. It seemed to be fish wrapped in a thin skin as opposed to batter. I would`ve given it much higher marks, but the fish was plain as water, it really needed some proper seasoning.
Oh but believe it oh not, the ketchup was absolutely amazing. For ketchup. This is the standard by which all other ketchup`s will be measured. We inquired about it, it is made on site and sorry, not for sale. Too bad. I`d say it`s worth the trip just to see what ketchup could be like.

Reasonable prices with pretty decent food in a comfortable environment. I would stop by here again if I were at Granville Island. They just gotta fix up the service...

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Cazba132 W 16th St, North Vancouver
Great eats and a good deal!
Submitted Friday, December 2, 2011 - 12:27am [Dine in]

We wandered by this place one time and there was a line up of Persian looking patrons outside. Even though there are plenty of alternatives around the block. There was even a car load of people dropped off from Washington. We saw people coming out laughing, happy, some carrying extra bags of leftovers. We were suitably intrigued so we came back for a try.

Not disappointed! Inside kind of looks like a casual fine dining place a bit. At least clean and well done here. The service, very friendly and paid attention to our requests. Very acceptable for this level of restaurant.

The food is more or less the usual mid level Persian fare. Kabobs and a few stews. Hard to go wrong, so we ordered a bunch of stuff to try. Oh yes, there was goodness here. The food actually took a while compared to other places, which I will generously assume to mean they prepared it fresh (the restaurant was fairly empty when we came it promptly on opening). It certainly tasted that way. There was a couple of unique tastes to "old classics" but more or less it toed the line. What carried the day was simply execution and quality ingredients. Though there were one or 2 dishes that some of our party preferred elsewhere, there was not a disappointment to be had. Very yummy stuff. And we had plenty to bring back for another meal as well.

I'm still looking for a "high end" Persian place, but until then, this place is another highly recommended destination. Just be warned, it does get busy quickly.

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Aki Japanese Restaurant1368 West Pender Street, Vancouver
Hey, I'm in Japan! Yummy!
Submitted Friday, December 2, 2011 - 12:21am [Dine in]

We hit this place on a tip from some Japanese businessmen who came over. He said they always go to Aki's. Really? Okay, I guess it's worth a shot. Especially since it has been around so long, I guess it must have something going for it.

First, off, it was located downstairs. Below ground. This is a good sign! Most of the time in Japan, this is where we go to have a good time. Then we headed in. It was like we'd been transported half a world away. I guess the age of the place helps. It is not run down at all, but you can tell it's been around. Like many places in Japan.
And it was oh so busy, chock full of ... well, Japanese patrons.

There's a sushi bar, a robata guy, everything. You can't miss here, for sure you'll have something you like. The menu bore that out. There's a little bit of everything from which we ordered a reasonable sampling.
Yeah, the service was pretty good, prompt, fairly attentive and professional, not like many of those pop-up sushi joints.
The food, as I noted, solid. Nothing blow-me-away level, but I could see why the Japanese business guys come here. It's just like "home". This is one of those places where the food is decent, quite good actually, but the atmosphere just pulls it over the top. Recommended for decent eats with a good vibe.

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Divan Kitchen115 West 15th Street, North Vancouver
It's Turkish. It's fresh. It's good.
Submitted Friday, November 11, 2011 - 10:14pm [Dine in]

This was sort of a consolation destination from our original choice. We had spotted it on a drive-by before so we wanted to try sometime anyways.

It actually looks like just a standard little (modern) diner or coffee joint. It's nice, but nothing unique inside. The server we had that day was not Turkish, but he was very efficient. All the Turkish guys were in the kitchen.
Food came out reasonable quickly. Along with Turkish tea that we ordered ("bottomless" by the way).

The red lentil soup was different. It was sort of like a red lentil congee. Came with some pita as well and it was very generously portioned. For $5? Tasty meal by itself.
The falafel is claimed to be their own family secret recipe. It certainly was different. Was it good? Yup, for sure. We also had the kofte plate. Lack of planning, so we basically had 2 of the same thing, one the "vegetarian" version. Mind you, the rice that came with the plates was very well done. Also a side cup of salad. Nothing special about that, except that it tasted unusually refreshing to me.

Everything was cooked after we ordered it. We could hear it being cooked up in the kitchen right there, so everything done fresh.

Another recommended place! I'm sitting on the fence as to whether it's worth a trip out here. But if you're within 20 minutes, I'd say why not? Great, tasty food that isn't too greasy. There's some unique stuff here and most of all, it's prepared with care and good, fresh ingredients. Thumbs up!

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Lonsdale Kabab106 West 13th Street, North Vancouver
Chicken. Eat that chicken!
Submitted Friday, November 11, 2011 - 10:07pm [Dine in]

This is another one of those "Persian" restaurants which serves pretty much the usual list of kebabs and that's about it. It's a tiny place, but quite clean. Appears to be run by a middle age couple who are quite friendly.

We got the usual things, koobideh, joojeh, barg. A lentil soup, eggplant dip and doogh. Soup was pretty good. My, the eggplant? Eye opener. We were expecting the usual, but the first taste quickly dispelled that prejudice. The taste was not like anything else before. Reasonable portion size too. Thumbs up on that. Even the doogh, that was not the usual doogh that I've ever tasted. The koobideh and barg were also quite good, definitely competent, no complaints about that. The joojeh? Ooh yeah, that really did it. So amazingly tender and juicy. Oh. My. Gosh. This is close to setting a new standard.
All the plates came with a side of salad, which was not mind blowing, but very fresh nevertheless. Oh, but the rice, now that was another surprise! While it looked the same as all other places, the texture and the taste definitely put it a cut above.

We will keep searching around for "the best", but right now, this one is still recommended. I would definitely not mind a return trip and, well, it's not that far to hoof it over and give it a try yourself.

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Hilltop Cafe23904 Fraser Highway, Langley
It's a diner! It's a great diner!
Submitted Friday, November 11, 2011 - 9:42pm [Dine in]

I have to admit, I had my doubts. Looks like a slightly run down little place on the edge of the highway, kind of in the middle of nowhere. But hey, what's life without a little adventure?

We went in. Pleasant surprise, everything looked neat and clean and well taken care of. "Greasy" diner it's not! We were greeted and seated quickly enough. Service is good, but they're not professionals, that's to be sure. But hey, it's a diner!

The menu seems quite subtantial, but it is chock full of a few old diner standbys, burgers, sandwiches and the like. So like any good explorers, we went big. A sampling of the sandwiches, a roast turkey (dark meat!) meal, one of the mountain burgers (I think it was the 2nd biggest, not the Everest burger as the No.#2 actually looked more interesting). Milkshaes. Yeah. That burger? Man, packed with everything you could think of, burger patties, fried egg, sausage, breakfast patty. Yummmm! Piled super high. But you know what? It was damned good! Everything in harmony. Ditto for the other stuff. The turkey meal was just okay, acceptable quality.

After we polished off everything, we had a go at some of their own pie. Dang that's good stuff! So good, we took a whole pie home to try.

Lovely, lovely place. I dunno, if you're a diner food fanatic, awesome place to go, totally worth it. Maybe just for the pies alone. However, it's hard to tell someone any diner is worth the trip out there. Regardless, highly recommended. If you happen to be passing by or have nothing to do, definitely worth the trip. Very good stuff here. The whole package? I might say this is the best diner I've ever been to, by far.

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Verace Pizzeria189 Keefer Place, Vancouver
Finally real pizza in the neighbourhood
Submitted Monday, October 31, 2011 - 10:32pm [Dine in]

This was a big surprise given the other crud in the area. But yes, it is the real deal here. Pizza in the style of Naples, yes?

The place is very nicely set up, clean, open. The waitress was exceedingly friendly. As a bonus, the place is very child friendly as well.

The pizza, there's just pizza for now I think, is pretty darn good. We had a margherita, which was done pretty well, I'd give it 80%, and another special one, which had potential, but I think needed a couple more minutes in the oven or a bit more heat. I'll cut 'em some slack for now because it was otherwise well done and it's a decent value. Honestly, it's a way better deal to eat here than the Uncle Fatih's around the block.

As for comparison to other such pizza places? I think Sciue (Roman style, tough) and BiBo have better tasting crust. This is very close to Campagnolo and Campagnolo Roma. Nicli Antica? Well, it is okay, but pricier and the crust is friggin bullet proof (not good). I would give it a thumbs up. Given the choice, money & time no object, I'd go to Bibo, but if I've got a pizza craving in the area, it's tough to beat. Recommended!

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Ramen Jinya270 Robson Street, Vancouver
It's just ramen
Submitted Monday, October 31, 2011 - 10:24pm [Dine in]

Oh another ramen joint in Vancouver. This one appears to be a chain that is also in US (LA?). In fact, the proudly proclaim some press accolades, one even said it's one of the 10 best dishes in LA. Really?

Well, the decor is cheapy ramen place. I'm okay with that, but it certainly doesn't have the character of many of the other places. The menu? Short and simple. That's not necessarily bad ... but the choices are not terribly inspiring. I swear I saw somewhere that they said their ramen caters not to Japanese taste, but North American taste. Big mistake. Because this is Vancouver, not LA.

So that's the summary. Passable, boring ramen. There's nothing to complain about, but not much to cheer about either. In this packed Vancouver market, I would, unfortunately, rate this a loser. I would have to be pretty desperate not to walk an extra 10-15 min. or hop on the bus/Skytrain to hit better ramen, where there's plenty to be had in Vancouver. Sorry dudes, you can't just import Americanized swill to Vancouver and expect it to succeed. Not recommended, don't waste your tummy here.

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Campagnolo1022 Main Street, Vancouver
Good food, good place, just needs a few tweaks and upgrades
Submitted Sunday, October 2, 2011 - 9:41pm [Dine in]

Went there on a weekend lunch cause we happened to be in the area. We were the 2nd table there so it was pretty empty, but thereafter, people started flooding in.

The place is quite roomy, not cramped, and decor is reasonably appropriate. Only 2 waitresses on duty, but they attended to us quite well. Quite accomodating even though we had a young child in our party.

The lunch menu was simple, short. At least compared to what we are used to. Some antipasti, pasta & pizza. That's it. We decided to grab a pizza, which was a margherita scramble (you know, with scrambled eggs on top), a squash risotto that the waitress said they just introduced the day before and a pasta with rabbit ragout.

The pizza, well, don't knock it till you try it. The scrambled eggs worked nicely. Crust was done well, it was way better than Nicli Antica's bullet proof, hack-saw proof crust. The flavour of the crust isn't as good as Sciue or Bibo though. Decent size, overall great flavour. We really liked it, but I wish they could've been a bit more generous with the basil. Skimpy!
Aaah, the pasta with rabbit? Really, really tasty, big thumbs up for the flavour. Pasta was decently done as well. The only complaint, $14 for a really small dish. The risotto came up and we quite good. It was "creamy" but not rich, nice balance of flavours. In fact, the last, forgotten spoonful got cold, but it was still good. Yup, liked that too. Again, the dish was not big. I think there are many people who may not feel completely full with sizes like this, even for lunch.

Hmmm.... dilemma. If I were in the area, yeah, I would stop by again. We enjoyed the whole experience, especially the food. I would recommend it for that. Would I want to make a trip of it out to this questionable neighbourhood? Was it really really creative? Maybe. Was the execution beyond compare? Not quite. Are there other options in town with similar price? Yes, I think there might be, in better neighbourhoods. Tough call, but I think I would save it for when you're driving by. I'm glad it's in the area and I would go again to check it out some more to see if it merits an upgrade.

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Lions Den Cafe651 East 15th Ave, Vancouver
Decent food if you had forever
Submitted Sunday, September 18, 2011 - 2:21pm [Dine in]

Oh yes, it's a little hole in the wall. No there isn't a lot of room. The whole place looks like somebody threw whatever junk they had in a building and called it a restaurant. Maybe that's the vibe they're trying for? Maybe not. At least I wasn't surprised, so I guess it is meant to be this way.

The menu looked decent, there was large & small for most entrees with the small coming in under $10, so that's a pretty happy thing. The portion sizes were acceptable, not huge. Huge if you're a vegetarian on a diet maybe. And no, we're not big people, not by a long shot. (Oh hey, by the way, guess what, jerk chicken is supposed to be stinkin' spicy, it would be a surprise if it were not, if you didn't know that, you probably aren't qualified to comment on the quality of this type of food). We had the ackee & saltfish, waffle, goat curry. Yum, yes, just not mind-blowingingly good. Spiciness was good, even for a wimp like me, it was not enough to suffer by, but pretty tasty.

Yes, the servers & owner especially was very warm and friendly. I don't know how much of his story was true, but I guess that's not important. It's entertaining.

The problem was the service was deadly slow. Took us over 1.5 hours to get out of there. Come on! Goat curry is pre-cooked. You just scoop it over the rice & call it a day. Nobody makes a stew to order because it would take far too long! (A note, we ended up with goat curry because the ox tail was out. Really? At the BEGINNING of the day????). By the time we left, sadly, THE OTHER HALF of our party was still there, because their rice & curry dishes had JUST come. They'll have been lingering for at least 2 hours. To add insult to injury, one of the party reported that the inside of his lamb curry bits was still cold. Okay, if we choose to linger for 2 hours, that's our business, but it shouldn't be because we're waiting for food.

Food is pretty good, yes, but not super special. (There are other Caribbean places in town besides The Reef, you know). The service is far too slow and that really did it in. It's indicative of something not quite right. Even if I were to take a hunk of stew out of the freezer on order, it wouldn't take an hour to warm it back up. No, would not return and no I would not recommend. Not unless you're immortal and have nothing better to do.

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BiBo, The1835 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver
Yeah, it's good. Especially the pizza
Submitted Friday, September 16, 2011 - 10:30pm [Dine in]

Stopped by here one early weekend afternoon. It was pretty empty.
Reasonably nice setup and suits the neighbourhood and the style it's trying to achieve.

The server was pretty okay. I mean, we were served and she was kind of friendly, but come on, a bit more enthusiasm please! Especially for a place like this.

Nevertheless, food came in reasonable time, with a pizza and a pasta dish. Yes, while we make a good pasta at home, this was a properly done one. Very happy with that.
The pizza was absolutely fantastic, I think it is trying to be Neapolitan style and it really pulls it off. The crust is just the right texture, on the thin side as it should be. The biggest thing is the flavour. Yes, when you have a simple pizza like a margherita, you better get it right as there aren't a lot of ingredients to hide behind. The crust is probably one of the most flavourful crusts in town. The only other contender is Sciue, who make a much tougher style of pizza crust which is not Neapolitan. The tomatoes? Yeah, they hit it right. We know good tomatoes when we taste it, we've certainly cooked with our share of the best local and cans from Italy. It was good enough to be one of those eye-opening dishes that lets you know what something could be if done right. It's a fork 'n knifer or a really messy time for hands, as it should be for this style of pizza.

Yes, highly recommended. You should try it just once when their pizza master is in just to see what it could be. I'd stop by again to eat, for sure. But please, warm up the service a bit. It doesn't have to be formal and cold to be good...

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