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imonaplainRichmondFoodie ExtraordinareSince July 5, 200839 Reviews
Average Rating
3 (3)
  • Food3.5 (3.3)
  • Service2.5 (2.5)
  • Value3 (2.9)
  • Ambiance3 (3.2)

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 20 of 39 Reviews Found
Sakura Sushi6390 No 3 Road, #4, Richmond
Excellent Sushi...from a Japanese Chef!
Submitted Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - 1:36pm [Dine in]

When going into a hidden gem, hole-in-the-wall type operation like Sakura Sushi, it's not really fair to judge them on ambiance, but rather the quality of food. The place itself is quite small and cramped, but Ive been going here several times now, mostly dining alone for a quick lunch and have always receieved polite and courteous service.

I like that their menu has some Japanese words on it and all their staff including the chef is actually Japanese! They offer you to take a seat after you place your order at the front cash register, then immediately give you tea and free miso soup with your meal. The sushi is pretty fresh, I love saba and I like to think you can usually gage the quality of ingrediants buy ordering the saba (mackeral) - the one at Sakura Sushi is melt-in-your mouth buttery and the "fishier" taste found in mackeral isn't very evident or overpowering here at all. They have some pretty good lunch special combos as well though I prefer to order just nigiri or rolls.

Parking can be a bit of a problem in this lot...good luck finding one!

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Charcoal Sushi and BBQ Restaurant7997 Westminster Hwy, Unit 250, Richmond
UPDATE from previous post
Submitted Monday, May 21, 2012 - 1:50pm [Dine in]

I've been to Charcoal well over 15-20x now and I think it's time for an update. The food itself is still fairly consistent and fresh, and I appreciate the photo album of pictures for those visual eaters out there. However, it's disappointing that the service has never been that solid - for all the times that I patron their business never once have I been recognized as a regular even though I'm being served by the same people, sometimes even within the same week. Service is very matter-of-fact and to-the-point, they want you to get in and get out cause the place has picked up over the years and once they drop your food off don't expect to see them again.

Value has slided because the price of their speciality rolls have gone up significantly - I ordered a few of the ones from the photo album (not on the menu) priced around $12-$14 and all were disappointing, no unique taste just more expensive fish being mashed up "fushion style". The worst offender though would be their "Lobster Yakiudon" - I believe it was $16 complete with ZERO lobster whatsoever. It was 100% regular shrimp overcoated in a nasty 5-spice sauce topped with some roe. That's it. No lobster and no taste of lobster unless you consider 5-spice lobster. I felt robbed because for 3 people and 5 dishes that night our bill came to $87 with tax and tip. Charcoal used to be a solid go-to place for me, but now I wouldn't go there unless I had to - there are so many Japanese restaurants in Richmond that can offer you fresh sushi and more bang for your buck with friendlier service too.

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Cora's Breakfast & Lunch11380 Steveston, Unit 170, Richmond
A notch above most breakfast joints but still needs improvement
Submitted Sunday, May 20, 2012 - 10:06pm [Dine in]

Went to Cora's on the weekend after hearing so much hype about the place opening up. As a breakfast/lunch restaurant there isn't much real competition in the category (IHOPS, Denny's) but I can still appreciate how Cora's is really unique on its own with the fresh fruit concept and it's branding and decorations (feels like I'm in elementary school all over again). A great place for the family and the restaurant itself is quite spacious.

The boyfriend and I arrived around 3pm and the place was at about 40% capacity but were still asked to wait for around 5 minutes. The owner then escorted us to the tiniest 2-top in placed awkwardly in the middle of the room, which I can understand if the restaurant is busy with a wait, but since there were so many open tables by the window and booths, did he really anticipate a rush of 4-tops around 3pm? Anyway, I had the Cora's special (big breakfast with 2eggs, bacon, ham, crepe, potatoes, toast and I added mushrooms too :D). The meat was of much better quality than most diners and I actually enjoyed the crepe even though some other reviewers on other sites found it quite tough. My bf had strawberry waffles which he enjoyed, but I thought it was a bit too sweet with the English cream. We also had their strawberry banana smoothie too which was NOT a smoothie at all, in fact it tasted EXACTLY like that Yop yogurt drink you get at the stores, right down to the colour, taste, and consistency. I don't know how they could call it fresh, it was watery as could be and obviously not blended with ice. Our server explained that "they must have ran out of the smoothie mix and are cheating" which is an interesting thing to say...I was not impressed needless to say but they did end up replacing it with their "100% fruit cocktail" which was much more like a smoothie though not that great either.

Service overall was definitely on the poor side. The lady actually dropped my toast on the floor cause it was clear having two plates in one hand was a struggle for her (if you are going to work in a restaurant you should really know how to carry more than one plate at a time!). The staff really like to take their time with things. I can tell you now that they need to hire some more experienced or harder working servers as I noticed food sitting up on the line for minutes at a time, and it took around 2-3 servers and 3-4 trips to clean up one freaking table! It was rather painful to watch them go back and forth carrying only one plate with a free hand.

I think the quality of the food and the ambiance (I like the open kitchen and decor) justifies the higher price points at Cora's (breakfast for 2 was $36 with tax and tip). I would probably go back as I love breakfast, just hoping that by then they will have their service together!

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Dunn's Famous827 Seymour Street, Vancouver
I really wanted to like this place...
Submitted Sunday, March 11, 2012 - 10:58pm [Dine in]

But unfortunately my visit there this weekend was a complete letdown. I was really excited to try Dunn's, as I heard about their "Festival" where they were offering a sampler of of 6 poutines for $17.99. I brought my friend (who's from Quebec and was excited to know that a Dunn's had opened up here in Vancouver) and I felt really bad cause it was obvious we were both trying to hide our disappointment.

The place was relatively empty on a Friday night. The inside layout is designed in such a way to make it an attractive place to hang out with some friends and watch the hockey game, but personally I didn't like how much open empty space there was, it made it awkward and less cozy - and complete with all the new furniture and decor made the place seem sort of sterile. We asked our server how long they've been open for and she said "since November, so about 2 and a half to 3 months now". I think she meant 3 and a half to 4 months if my math is correct. Anyways we ordered the festival sampler, the seafood chowder which our server said was superb, and the mac and cheese.

6 out of 6 of the poutine samplers were disappointing, their gravy is awful, it has no depth to it and tasted more like bland salty grease. The chilli/italian toppings on it were freaking cold and lacked any real spice. The seafood chowder was HORRIBLE, the mussels in it were not fresh at all and tasted like it had been defrosted, frozen, defrosted, frozen...the shells were broken into shards and the meat was fishy and brittle, the salmon was dried up and fishy, and the tomato base tasted like it was from a can. I barely had a millimetre of the bowl and when our server came to clear our dishes she didn't even ask why. As a server myself whenever I see that a customer hasn't touched a certain dish I ALWAYS ask why to see if I can remedy it, but our server didn't even come by for a quality check until after we were finished and we had to ask for refills of pop after sitting with empty glasses. The only palatable thing was the mac and cheese, which was tasty but for $14.99 you would kind of expect it to be better than Kraft dinner.

Considering their poutine was a huge disappointment and the soup was a complete write-off, including two pops we essentially paid almost $60 with tax and tip for a mac and cheese. I walked away feeling like I had just been conned into something and will never return.

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Sandbar Seafood Restaurant1535 Johnston Street, Vancouver
Some good some bad
Submitted Sunday, February 19, 2012 - 11:33pm [Dine in]

Quick review: Been here twice, once last summer for a memorable night and I still remember the Arctic Char I had. Came here last week and was fairly disappointed. Their California rolls were horrible, sure they use real crab but I thought it was poorly executed and bland. Excellent sablefish though, it was rich and buttery and perfectly cooked to my liking. Fish is definitely their specialty. Our server was stretched and never brought us bread, besides a quick quality check and the payment he was pretty much non-existant, the service was just not there. They have an amazing view of the Granville Street Bridge on their outside heated patio though.

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Bacchus845 Hornby St, Vancouver
Great ambiance but disappointing food, bad service
Submitted Sunday, January 29, 2012 - 11:11pm [Dine in]

I know it's not the most appropriate to judge a place based solely a Dine Out Vancouver (Friday night too) but I just can't get over how disappointing experience at Bacchus was. I was pretty excited after booking a reservation for 3 (girls night!) and reading the menu but the night just did not live up to expectations, the only saving grace was the fact that I was pretty inebriated with good company and the atmosphere was quite nice!

Our welcome by the doormen to the Wedgewood Hotel was warm and inviting. There were many people waiting to be seated in the lobby outside but the atmosphere was cozy, and the inside of the restaurant even better with the traditional classic Victorian-type decor. Things sort of went downhill when our waiter, either inexperienced or disinterested (or both), didn't greet us but rather said "let me guess you guys are here for Dine Out?" rather condescendingly. We wanted some wine with dinner but as students we don't have hundreds of dollars to shell out so we just went with the 1/2L of Prospect Winery, typical house wine being the cheapest. However, our waiter came back with a more expensive 1/2L and quickly mumbled something about it being a Shiraz or something and said "is that ok?". Caught off guard and confused, we agreed and he poured without letting us sample and it tasted off (two of us are experienced restaurant servers and know when wine is off!). Whatever, not going to let that ruin a good night out!

Food took about 15-20mins in between each course to come out, which was not a problem and to be expected during DOV. My friends appetizer salads were nothing special but I thought my duck liver parfait was pretty tasty, extremely rich and satisfying. All 3 of of us got the Sirloin for entree, which we were told could only be served Medium Rare or Medium Well - they could not do anything far and wide outside of that (which I guess meant things were not cooked to order in the kitchen!). The meat was delicately pre-sliced but tough and lacking any real flavour, it was served on top of some bland and over-peppered root vegetables. For such a high-end restaurant, dessert was not much better and one of our orders got mixed up too. There seemed to be some confusion amongst servers that night too as we were approached several times by other servers confused about the orders they were bringing out.

The real kicker was what happened at the end of night. We got separate bills between the three of us and told our waiter about the amount we wanted to put on each card, which included a $20 tip in that amount. This is not rocket science, and customers do this all the time especially when in large groups. Our waiter however, came to find us after we had finished (we were now in the bar side as we met up with other friends) and explained that because we wanted to include the tip in the amount, that he couldn't give himself the tip in the end when he closed off the bill. This shouldn't be the case with ANY restaurant operating systems, but of course we felt bad and gave him $20 cash. My friend later discovered on her credit card that the tip was in fact charged to her card and we had given him double what he deserved. She is in the process of getting her money back but wow, what an unpleasant ordeal! Don't think I will be returning back anytime soon based on this experience, there are many other high-end restaurants in downtown Vancouver that can live up to expectations even on a Dine Out night.

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Bella Gelateria1001 West Cordova Street, Vancouver
Gracious owner and fantastic food
Submitted Monday, December 5, 2011 - 1:31am [Dine in]

I've honestly never heard of this place until I was stuck on the corner of West Cordova and Burrard watching the Santa Clause Parade. Nice day but really cold so that calls for hot chocolate, pronto. This place was right on the corner and the atmosphere was open and inviting. Ice cream display on the left was a little strange, kind of looked like they were in soup pots but the interesting labels like "thai coconut" and "gewurztraminer" caught my interest even though it's not really walk-around-with-an-icecream weather these days. All of their hot chocolates are made with real high quality chocolates and milk. My boyfriend and I tried the hot chocolate (made with milk chocolate but you can have dark or white) and the hazelnut hot chocolate, and there is also the option to have your drink made with regular or Avalon chocolate milk (good stuff). While waiting for our drinks the owner (I know this because there are framed newspaper clip outs of his face on the wall) engaged in some conversation with us and offered us samples of the ice cream. I thought one sample was enough and whereas most places would be annoyed at people sampling he actually asked if we wanted to try some more flavours which was very nice. The beverages themselves were phenomenal, the hot chocolate was sooo delicious, just the right amount of sweetness, and the hazelnut drink had real hazelnuts and was super rich and creamy. The only bad thing is now I don't think I can have regular hot chocolate anymore, it's just going to make whatever I have next taste pathetic compared to this stuff!

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La Bretagne Creperie795 Jervis Street, Vancouver
Way better than Cafe Crepe
Submitted Monday, December 5, 2011 - 1:08am [Dine in]

So I was a little skeptical at first after reading some ambiguous reviews about this place, but I had bought a SocialShopper voucher which expired soon and figured today was a good day to use them (after catching the Santa Clause Parade). My boyfriend and I walked in around 3pm the place was surprisingly packed but we were lucky enough to get a table right away as the others who came in after us had a bit of a wait. Ventilation is clearly an issue there - though the atmosphere is nice and cozy it was way too muggy. They periodically opened/closed the door to let the steam out which made things hot and cold, not the most pleasant experience for diners and the table next to us actually complained.

I guess it must've been an extremely busy day for them because they were out of SO many ingredients (ie: no chicken, no spinach or asparagus, no salmon, no shrimp) so basically I wasn't left with many choices. I got the savoury ham, swiss cheese and egg crepe while my healthy boyfriend got the sweet strawberry crepe with nutella and icecream add-ons. I thought that service was swift and attentive considering the volume and the fact that it was really only one girl working the floor and cash. Anyway, my first bite into the crepe and I was blown away by how tasty it was, I mean after all it's just ham and eggs on a super buttery/cheesy crepe but boy that was probably one of the best crepes I've ever had and I've been to Paris too! My usually picky bf was ecstatic about his crepe and basically inhaled it. Portions were HUGE! I desperately wanted to finish mine but just couldn't and didn't want to take it to-go cause it just wouldn't be the same so next time I'll know to go there on an empty stomach first. Two crepes with a small OJ (which is just Tropicana and not "freshly squeezed") came to around $27, a little steeper than usual but with the voucher it was fantastic value. I hope this is a place with consistency rather than just good/bad days like so many small restaurants because I'd love to go back and try some other flavours next time I'm in the area.

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Timmy Kitchen3791 Bayview St, #100, Richmond
Not impressed at all
Submitted Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - 11:29pm [Dine in]

I was wanting some Chinese food to take-out for a function, and as a Steveston resident I was thought it would be a great opportunity to try out the food from Timmy's Kitchen as I haven't been since it changed over from Fisherman's Village. I can't believe people think this place is good, sure it's more "authentic" than your alternatives around Steveston (none) but quality and taste-wise it's not worth what you're paying, especially when just a 15min car ride away can get you some great Chinese food around 3rd or Alexandra Road at a much better value.

Even though my experience was only for take-out it was bad enough to not want to return. First, I wanted 12 chicken wings ($7.99 for 12pcs) but asked if it was possible for them to make it half spicy and half honey garlic (many places will do this at no extra charge). She said no problem, but I discovered later that she charged me separately for each flavour ($4.99/6pcs) which actually made it a total of $9.98 for 12pcs. Ok, not a huge deal but kind of annoyed that she didn't inform me of this because I wouldn't have opted for the half-half then. The real kicker though was the deep-fried egg tofu with bai-ling mushrooms - there is an option to get that dish with two different types of mushrooms, which the lady on the phone asked me if I wanted but I said no, just the bai-ling was fine. Then, I discovered she charged me for two types of mushroom but only gave me one, AND IT WAS CANNED BUTTON MUSHROOMS, not bai-ling mushrooms as advertised. It sat on a bed of boiled lettuce instead of the usual sauteed broccoli too, just straight up cheap and nasty.

Guess what I'm trying to say is always check your receipts for this place as clearly they're a money gauging business, sort of explains all the old empty seats in the restaurant. The place didn't even have music playing when I walked in, just the eerie humming of electrical bright lights. Stay away...

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Tandoori Kona11700 Cambie Road, #170, Richmond
Excellent Indian Food
Submitted Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - 11:05pm [Dine in]

I've been to this place probably over 10 times by now for both lunch and dinner, and I can confidently say that their food is solid - always tasty and always fresh. Best butter chicken I've ever had, I can't even eat butter chicken from anywhere else! Naan is super fresh, and it's included along with rice and pappadam with most lunch/dinner sets for a good value. Recently tried their goat curry since they say it's one of their recommended items and I thought it was above average but not amazing, way too many bones and oil in it for my liking.

Service wise, I wouldn't say it's the best - I've only ever seen 3 different people work there, a tall guy who works as slow as a snail, a bigger fellow who mans the cash and is usually quite jolly, and a younger kid who is extremely polite and hardworking. The place definitely needs more servers when it's busy as it can take over 15mins just to place an order in. Ordering take-out is also a pain as they have gotten my order wrong a few times, and the price points are different than from the dine-in menu so be careful of that (ie: butter chicken takeout does not include rice/naan). Don't really like the ambiance in there as the place looks boring and old, no real colour or decor and the glasses/cutlery are usually dirty too.

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Closed
Sanafir1026 Granville Street, Vancouver
Great ambiance, service hit or miss
Submitted Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - 2:01am [Dine in]

I've been to Sanafir twice now, the first experience was memorable but the second one not so much. For the first time, I sat at the bar on a busy Tuesday night and received excellent service nonetheless from our attentive bartenders. They have 50% off their food menu on Tuesdays apparently which is a huge bonus for value considering much of their food is tapas. I've tried about 8 items off their menu and for the most part they have been solid but I would not consider it above average or outstanding. Standouts for me include the fried squid in blackpepper/lime and balgarbi ribs, and disappointments include the duck prosciutto and the lamb koftas. I decided to go with a friend again to Sanafir this week and the experience was not so good thanks to our grouchy server Shannon, she was blunt and rude, she made zero effort to connect with us and in fact barely made eye contact or said a please or thank you. My friend was wanting dessert but we opted to leave and go somewhere else for that so we wouldn't have to deal with our server any longer! Ambiance for this place is great though, love the high ceilings and warm moody feel of the place. Seats are a bit uncomfortable as most are stools do not have backs to lean on. I would love to return again for their Tuesday night deals, maybe just not in her section!

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Deer Garden Signatures8580 Alexandra Road, #2015, Richmond
Don't think I can go back after this...
Submitted Sunday, October 23, 2011 - 1:00pm [Dine in]

This review is meant for the newly opened Deer Garden in Continental Plaza (on Cambie Rd). Having tried the one on Alexandra with a good experience (but nothing special), I was excited about them having another location.

Upon arrival, not acknowledged for a few minutes (it was around 3pm so not really lunch rush either), then someone looks as us and points to a table without saying a word. I ordered the original fish soup and chose beef brisket and pork rinds as my two toppings, and my friend ordered the baked porkchop on rice. The baked porkchop was really bland, none of that nice tomato-ey taste with crispy pork, it was just very "blah". When I got my soup they had mixed something up because it had beef balls and beef tendon in there instead. After a while I got the server's attention and asked where the brisket and rinds was and she said it was in there then walked away. I was fairly certain that there wasn't any so I asked her again and she looked at the order sheet we had filled out and realized she had brought the wrong order. Moments later she brought out a separate bowl later packed with the original toppings (at least they don't skimp out on portions!). As I was consuming the broth I notice a weird larva-shaped thing in it, little larger than a grain of rice with a fat body, and sure enough it was some freaking maggot-type insect complete with the gross little legs!! Ugh I can't get that image out of my head. I immediately lost my appetite and I didn't want to make a scene again plus we were in a rush, so we immediately asked for the bill and got the heck out of there. I know not all Chinese restaurants can be perfectly clean and sanitary but this was my first time ever seeing an insect in my food. Don't think I will be returning anytime soon.

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Pierside Deli3800 Bayview Street, #115, Richmond
A new level of bad
Submitted Friday, August 26, 2011 - 10:53am [Dine in]

As a Steveston local I've always walked by this little shop but never felt the urge to pop in before. But alas my friend was in the mood for some curly fries and chicken strips (he's very healthy) and yes they have curly fries so we went in to grab a bite. I ordered the tuna panini which came with chips. Huge mistake.

The chicken strips was actually a very small breaded chicken breast sliced up - it was bland and dry. Fries were more oily than they were crispy but at least the pre-packaged seasoning was good. Now for tuna paninis you'd usually expect the mixture to be with some sort of mayo, green onions, salt/pepper etc...but I kid you not this panini was literally tuna straight from a can still in large chunks with NOTHING else at all added to it, then topped with some funky mozzarella cheese and grilled. Can you imagine paying almost $8 to eat hot tuna from a can? It was accompanied by some stale chips. I barely touched it and the lady didn't even ask why.

This place is really small, one lady running the place from the cash to the cooking (somewhat worrying). You can see right into the "kitchen" aka a freezer and fridge where she pulled out all the stuff to throw into the fryer. The decor itself is not bad, has the quaint deli shop feel right and it's right on the wharf so at least the scenery is nice!

On a related note, the other day friend told me (without me even mentioning my thoughts on this place) that she had ordered a breakfast sandwich from Pierside and they had served her RAW bacon with a stale egg and cheese whiz. I am not surprised! This place needs to use some better ingredients if it wants to boost business.

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Marble Slab Creamery11720 Steveston Hwy, #155, Richmond
Great icecream, Bad owner
Submitted Sunday, April 24, 2011 - 9:40pm [Dine in]

What can I say, the concept of Marble Slab isn't very new by now but it's still a fun process. There's a great variety of toppings/sauces/cones to choose from and the quality of ice cream is top notch. I find that the dipped cones are pretty overrated and overpriced though, as often they taste old and stale from being left out too long. I love their whitechocolate raspberry cheesecake icecream, and the blackcherry one is SO delicious too. Their greentea flavour is too much on the sugary side I find, though.

This location is rather small compared to the Denman location and unfortunately is inefficiently managed by a really bad owner it seems. Theres usually only one staff on at a time which can lead to long unnecessary waits - one time I had to wait about 25mins to even get recognized because the young girl working seemed to take her sweet time with everything. Often it is only the owner who is working and he is a really stingey when people try to use their 2-for-1 promotional coupons. Two icecreams on their own costed $14 but when I presented the coupon he changed it to add on EVERY little modification from both icecreams so that even with the coupon it was $11 total. This is atrocious value, even for supposedly one icecream with a discount. A find a DQ blizzard is just as good for satisfying my icecream cravings without the unpleasant experiences from this location.

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Closed
Cobre52 Powell Street, Vancouver
Still dreaming about the food
Submitted Tuesday, July 6, 2010 - 2:40am [Dine in]

Was hungry walking around Gastown with a friend, wanted to try something new and literally stumbled into this place not really knowing what to expect. The restaurant is beautifully designed, nice open kitchen and great ambiance - mirror on the wall plays a bit of a trick to make it look larger than it really is because most of the tables in the top section where we were sat are really close together leaving little personal room but that's ok you can make friends I guess.

Our server had a prompt but laidback attitude, somewhat humorless (kinda looked like he's been doing this job for a long time and was tired of it all). The overall service was good but standard for a restaurant of this calibre. The items on the menu all sounded very creative and exotic (I'm also however fairly unexperienced with what would be considered American-Latino cuisine) - had a hard time deciding but decided on the fish and steak tacos, then the pan-seared scallops and duck. Fish was very fresh but a wee bit heavy on the batter and could be more flavourful - the steak one however was AMAZING and I love the corn tortillas, reminds me of when I was in the outskirts of Mexico building houses a long time ago and I couldn't get over how good the steak tacos were down there. Scallops were nicely done, great presentation but what I loved most was the palm hearts and the sauce that came with it - the duck was also really beautifully done and was on a bed of risotto with crispy duck skin underneath it which was on the mushy side and packed a bit too much garlic but overall really tasty. Prices are slightly steeper for the portions but alas it is tapas. Only problem was wine was served in a rock glass which was unusual I thought, really who wants their wine in a rock glass!!

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Red Robin803 Thurlow Street, Vancouver
Nice alternative to those Triple Os
Submitted Tuesday, July 6, 2010 - 2:19am [Dine in]

Strange but I've never been to a Red Robins and was pleasantly surprised - nice day out on their patio and perfect for a burger and fries. The view from atop isn't really much, but the place seems to be really family friendly with a good mix of customers. I didn't expect much from a menu that looked like Dennys but their burger (forgot which one) was amaaazingly delicious, love the little fried onions and giant potato fries that come with it too. I want to try that mountain-high dessert next time!!

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Closed
Beatty Street Bar & Grill755 Beatty Street, Vancouver
Bleh...
Submitted Tuesday, July 6, 2010 - 1:26am [Dine in]

Came here for a quick bite...typical empty hotel-restaurant on a weekend night. Really overstaffed but that made for very attentive service. Menu is limited and somewhat unappealing - the chicken was disgusting and looks like something similar to the quality of the suspicious chicken breasts you get at Subway or something.

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Starry Night Restaurant9231 Beckwith Road, Richmond
Disappointed to say the least...
Submitted Sunday, March 14, 2010 - 4:30pm [Dine in]

Alright ladies and gentleman...having read these fantastic reviews my bf and I decided to go to Starry Night for our anniversary and unfortunately we were extremely disappointed by our bad experience.

At 6:30 we walk into an empty restaurant and are promptly greeted by the hosts. Yes the location is definitely a turn-off but the place looks unique in it's own right from the outside, kind of like a spiritual ambiance to it and the inside is quite nice, designed to make you feel at-ease even though apparently this is fine-dining (I'll get to this later). Didn't make reservations because we didn't think it would be too busy but they said they could only offer us a tiny seat in the corner by the cold window or at the "VIP" section (but nobody ever wants to sit there because it's awkwardly secluded from the rest of the restaurant) so we sat at the tiny table for two overlooking an empty restaurant which didn't even get busy until much later. The wine menus placed on the table was so bulky and tipped over, knocking the glass of water all over my bf which is not a great start but the hostesses were quick to help out. With the lengthy suggestion of our server who used words like "pretty" to describe the menu items we decided on the wok-fried squid to start and the $33 coffee-crusted ribeye and seafood linguini for dinner.

The squid was pretty decent, great quality and giant rings of it but the batter was really soggy and could use a bit more taste. By now the restaurant was starting to fill up and I'm not sure if she just straight-up forgot about us but we were sitting finished with our appetizer for a long time before our server noticed. Then we waited for honestly what felt like half an hour for the our entrees and within this time period I was so cold by the window that I asked for a cup of hot water just to warm up my hands to which they said was a $1.50 charge which, understandably some restaurants do this but seriously when your customer is COLD why would you make them pay for something like hot water? The server then said she would check with her manager who then explained that the hot water would be "on the house" ... oookay thanks? Kind of offended it's not like we're too cheap to pay for water it's the principles of good customer service! Anyway after waiting a long time again for our entrees I noticed that every table had bread to start except us and I seriously wondered if bread was something like an appetizer the had to pay for too. We asked about this to the hostess who said that of course it's free but we never got any so she said she'd check with our server who upon finally delivering our food did not mention anything about the bread - no big deal though but still kind of irked.

Now about the food - my linguini had a pretty standard cream sauce and the seafood in it was very fresh but it wasn't anything to rave about. Their famous coffee-crusted ribeye is actually a really unique fusion for my taste buds and the deep-fried onion slivers that come with it are really good but I was sick of it after the second bite - the crust is very strong and almost has an indian aroma to it which overpowered the steak in my opinion. Anyway, after finishing our server still had not come around ONCE for a quality check, I was interested in dessert but after waiting for ages (I literally had to start stacking plates and pushing it off to the side to make her notice) we just asked for the bill to which she replied "oh you should try our desserts" - well thanks, but I lost my appetite a long time ago for some reason. Don't think we'll be returning anytime soon!

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Italian Tomato8380 Bridgeport Road, Richmond
If you want quantity over quality then come here
Submitted Tuesday, January 5, 2010 - 11:48pm [Dine in]

There aren't too many solid casual italian restaurants here in Richmond so whenever I'm in the mood for pasta (often) my boyfriend and I always somehow end up at the Italian Tomato even though we swear each time we'll never go back. Yes, their portions are gigantic but there is a serious issue with quality when it comes to this place, from ingredients, food preparation, and even service which can be a hit or miss. This place also requires a minimum of $17 (or something along those lines) per head so it's not like you can share a dish which means this place must be racking up those take-out expenses!

The bread they offer is always stale and cold, not room-temperature but literally refrigerator-cold and so is the butter. Food comes out fairly quickly and is usually pretty tasty, I especially enjoy the Funghi pasta which is just all mushrooms but it's so so good. I like their meat lasagna too but they are totally starting to skimp out on the ingredients, I mean cmon for $20 you would expect there to be some freaking NOODLES in the lasagna but it's really just all sauce and cheese, there is nothing to cut into because's just a hot pile of delicious mushy cheese-covered meat sauce, yum.

As for ambiance, I personally find the restaurant cold and awkwardly spaced, the floors are rickety and it's located in a tricky area. Not a big fan of the elementary-school faded brown color schematics, its not a place where I'd want to spend an evening it's more of a in-and-out dining area. Well with that said I'll probably still return every once in a while when I'm craving leftover pasta for the next few days!

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Closed
Tenku Bakudanyaki8740 Charles St, Richmond
Mmmm takoyaki...
Submitted Monday, December 14, 2009 - 2:22am [Dine in]

For such a strange idea this business has really made a lot of changes and improvements since it first opened. I swear the parking-lot looks different every time I go, they are trying to expand it to make it more accommodating for people waiting and for people to sit-down and eat. Recently I went during sub-zero weather and the lady told us we could wait in the "heated" waiting area which was actually a wooden shed with no heat (maybe it wasn't working properly) so we waited out in the car. The poor girl was searching for us in the shed and actually delivered it to us in our cars when we waved, now THAT's service!

Their sauce and texture and taste and overall everything in that giant ball of goodness is just SO delicious but I really can't eat more than one because then it just gets sickening. Love the quail egg it really adds to it. My favourite is the wasabi mayo one...actually that's about as adventuress as I've gone so far, maybe I'll try pizza next time mmm....

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