After reading the Mia Stainsby article, we were intrigued enough that a restaurant imported fish from the Tsukiji Market that we trekked all the way to W. Van for a casual dinner meal. It was quite the effort to get there especially when you miss the Highway 1 exit #2 turnoff and end up getting caught in the ferry traffic.
Food: This was the only reason why we came here, to re-experience incredible fish from Tsukiji Market. And I must admit that for the most part, we were not disappointed. The fish was fresh, exclusive (e.g. oo toro), and not readily available at your run of the mill sushi restaurant. The sake, regular & oo toro nigiri's were delectable. The maki's were well made with rice made with proper seasoning and quality seaweed. Dynamite, negitoro, and sweet potato rolls were tasty. California roll was average. The Japanese pickles were a little disappointing, - daikon was fine, Japanese cabbage was like bland kimchi without the spiciness.
Service: Upon arrival, it took a few minutes for the hostess/server to acknowledge us but once seated, our orders were promptly taken and tea was served. The appies came out quickly and then an unexplained 25-30 minute lull before any of our sushi orders arrived. Food eventually did arrive after a request for service check. Tea was refilled and our plates were changed. Server was professional.
Value: More like a 2.5. Sushi rolls are reasonably priced for the quality, such as california ($2.95), negitoro ($4.95), dynamite ($5.95). Nigiri ranges from $1.50 (tamago) to uni ($3.95). Chu toro and oo toro ($8) were market price. I found everything else to be more expensive than its counterparts, like black cod ($15), katsu don ($16), chicken teriyaki ($18), ramen ($12). For food that has nothing to do with imported fish from Japan, I don't see the justification for the higher pricing. Our bill for 3 - $105. I guess you're paying for the location...which is actually out of the way for the majority of average folk.
Ambiance: nice view of the marina and covered patio area. The interior had leftover remnants of a Whistler inspired bistro with high ceilings and lots of green everywhere. Feels like a place I would have bennies for brunch. The "Japanes-y" feel exists in place setting, sushi bar, and landscaping near the entrance. Vibe was definitely subdued and caters to a more mature, affluent crowd (median age 45?). I even witnessed a fellow eating nigiri with a fork (yikes!). Although though the space is nice, I much prefer a livelier atmosphere.
Overall: Good food, decent service, out of the way location. Recommended for those who want to treat themselves to nice destination restaurant.