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KujiboWest VancouverSince March 11, 2007127 Reviews
Average Rating
3 (3)
  • Food3 (3)
  • Service3 (3)
  • Value3 (3.1)
  • Ambiance3 (3)

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 20 of 127 Reviews Found
Closed
Ya Ya's Oyster Bar6418 Bay Street, West Vancouver
Is good ya
Submitted Monday, June 28, 2010 - 12:06am [Dine in]

I saw a review for this place in the paper a ways back and wanted to give it a try if we were ever in the area, and we just happened to be recently so...

We ordered a beef burger and a thai salmon burger, one with seafood chowder. The burgers and fries were decent...I couldn't expect too much more for what they were in a seafood joint. The seafood chowder was good. Would have been more adventurous but we are trying to stay on a budget. I suspect there are tastier items on the menu.

The place is nice. The kind of place you like to spend time in. Nice open front to the patio is very pleasant on a sunny day. Would be a great place to relax and have a beer.

There was only one waitress working the entire place but she effortlessly did a great job of it while still being friendly and calm. She also looked very good doing it too.

Prices are not too cheap, but not exorbitant either. Quite fair for the experience. They have a take out window that seems to have different cheaper items. Might be interesting to try that.

Anyway if I was a local here this would probably be the place I spend most of my time in. Some of the other places in this area are overpriced tourist traps. A shame I won't be able to spend more time in here.

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Five Guys Burgers & Fries728 Main Street, #510, West Vancouver
Got excited for nothing
Submitted Sunday, June 27, 2010 - 11:27pm [Dine in]

I was very surprised to suddenly see this place open at Park Royal. I love a good burger so am always excited to see a new place I can try.

Place looks pretty nice, and the plentiful staff was cheerful and helpful. I'd give them higher marks but hey it's still self service, including your own drink.

We ordered their most supreme burger, some kind of double patty cheeseburger deal, and we got a large cajun fries as well. You get to pick from a wide a selection of toppings for free (the cheese is extra). I eagerly awaited its arrival - it must be good for $9 just for the burger alone!

Sadly I was very disappointed. It didn't click with me that the cheese was going to be processed cheese. I just kind of expected real cheese when I am ordering a $9 burger. Duh on me. Overall it wasn't particularly tasty, particularly because of the tasteless cheese. Sure it's fresh and all that, blah blah blah, but for me taste is everything and it was quite frankly a bit tasteless. I have no hankering to ever eat one again. The value here is what is really poor, I give it a 1/5 value.

The fries on the other hand were a good value. The bag is just filled with heaps of fries ... I think they were less than $5. The fries were also good and fresh. The cajun seasoning got quite sickening by the end though given the amount of fries. I think we will skip the cajun going forward and we'll be alright.

Didn't bother ordering a drink as they seemed a bit of a rip for a fast food joint. Never seen a more expensive drink. Again, poor value. If I had my burger, fries, and drink, I would have hit $16 + tax. That's crazy for fast food.

Anyway, I'd only ever order the fries from this place if I was ever to return.

All in all you can get a tastier cheaper burger at a number of full service restaurants so I can't justify every coming back for a burger here.

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Sushi Town1227 Marine Drive, North Vancouver
I lied
Submitted Sunday, November 1, 2009 - 12:45am [Dine in]

I reviewed this place previously and said I wouldn't be back soon. I lied. For some reason I tried it again a few days later, and I was much more impressed with the food. So I went back again, and again... and again... so I have a pretty good idea about this place now and need to correct my previous review.

The food on my first visit was an anomaly I think, with the weird tastes and smells. I think it was maybe just opening week jitters or something. Even the California roll tasted right on later visits. No more frozen sashimi. I really like how fresh all the food is, even the fried things like ebi gyoza. It's all presented quite well. I find it funny how they even seem to find giant prawns for ebi nigiri so that they match the size of all the other nigiri.

Service also improved, no long waits for bill, and its always cheerful, and even Japanese-like over-polite from one waitress. Could still be a bit better with the drink refills, but attitude is always the most important thing to me.

Value is the interesting part for me. If you haven't, order the dinner for 2. It's $22, and it is probably enough food for 4 normal people. Just try it if you haven't. I can't think of a better value for quality food out there. When you order other things off the menu, the value factor can change quite a bit. Their special rolls for example aren't a great value. So depending on what you order, value can change quite a bit.

Anyway, this is my new go-to sushi place. I apologize to my previous go-to places as I won't be seeing them often.

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Ninkazu Japanese Restaurant4231 Hazelbridge Way, #205, Richmond
Short of expectations
Submitted Sunday, November 1, 2009 - 12:17am [Dine in]

My wife conned me into a trip to Aberdeen (even as a Richmond native, I've avoided it my whole life so far!), so I thought why not try a restaurant around there. I had recalled that Ninkazu was around there and had some glowing reviews.

We had the deluxe sushi. I have to say I was pretty disappointed with the food. Miso soup was tasteless. The tuna sashimi looked grey and tasted how it looked. Lobster sushi was tasteless. There was nothing that great about the rolls. Seemed a bit stale - how could it be that fresh when they come 2 pieces at a time. Did they make a roll of 2 just for us? We got there a bit before 6 when it was empty so that might have something to do with it. The only thing that I thought good was the tempura. Everything else was meh. There was nothing that interesting on the menu, ninkazu roll their only special item, and it just kind of looked like canned salmon. For the deluxe dinner menu, I just wasn't impressed. I think my rating of 3 is maybe even a bit generous. On a positive note, all orders came in very small orders. It was nice to have bite sized orders of sushi and sashimi. However, I think the fried food orders could have been larger. It wore me out just trying to order enough food to fill up.

Service was OK, but a bit utilitarian. Didn't start off well with first waitress blurting "regular/deluxe?" a second after we sit down and then abruptly running off with a bit of a disgusted look on her face when I said I dunno I just got here. But the manager seemed chipper and nice and our other waitress seemed decent. What irked me though was they didn't give us some of the nicer items in our sushi order, and it seemed perhaps intentional. I've gotten spoiled by places like I Love Sushi who have always given us everything, even when we screwed up and ordered 3x as much sashimi as we meant to. On a positive note they did seem to try to get soups, salad, and sashimi out before other foods, but on the other hand the motoyaki always seemed to take about 30 minutes.

For the deluxe dinner menu, I'd say the value wasn't great just because the food wasn't great. But it's all you can eat, so obviously there is some value there. I think you would do a lot better to stick to lunch or late night specials, then I think you would start to get some value.

The place basically looked and behaved like a Chinese restaurant, which never does too much for me ambiance wise. There was a very nice almost floor to ceiling glass window along one side of the restaurant, but we didn't get to sit there so couldn't really enjoy it. I noticed a fair bit of bird poop on the window, so I'm not that sad about missing out on it anyway. Restaurant and tables were pretty roomy, which was nice.

Maybe if I lived closer I might try lunch again, but no way I'd pay for the dinner again. I've been too spoiled by better AYCE and non-AYCE places.

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Closed
Red Hot Grill1393 Marine Drive, West Vancouver
Think different
Submitted Sunday, July 5, 2009 - 12:58am [Dine in]

I have been wanting to write a review for this place since I went about a year ago, but was too lazy to enter the restaurant description.

This is one of the most interesting places I have dined at. It is a Persian diner/bar/grill.

They have daily specials, and the prices of those are particularly low, and the regular menu was good value as well. The food is a hybrid of actual diner food and traditional Persian food. The wife had some kind of curry special that came with a big plate of rice for somewhere around 6 bucks. It was reasonably tasty. I had a "hamburger" and fries. The crinkle fries were so so. The "hamburger" was a surprise though, as it was actually a kebab burger. That was something different, and decent. They serve flat bread and a raw onion at the table, I guess that is Persian tradition. I can't say we enjoyed that, we left most of it on the table. There is no fountain pop here. They do have a selection of booze.

I liked the overall vibe of the ambiance, with its old fashioned dark wood and big booths along the wall. However, what really detracted from it was these big cheesy white vinyl tablecloths. It made the place feel quite cheap. If they simply got rid of these, ambiance would improve 100%.

We were served by a young Persian woman, who was somewhat distant, but got the job done. However, she was the most interesting part of the visit. She was goddess-like beautiful, but she was dressed up in 80s style garb akin to what Madonna would wear, complete with big earrings and big hair. This wasn't a bad thing, I thought it was totally awesome ... dude. It was just the icing on the cake of what made this place so totally interesting.

I really should go back and try it again. However the lack of fountain pop is a downer. The funky waitress was half the experience and I am not sure we will get the same interesting server again (I often peer in when passing by and don't see anyone funky). So I guess I don't go back because the visit probably won't be as interesting as the first.

I highly recommend trying this place at least once though.

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Sushi Day333 Brooksbank, #150, North Vancouver
The invisible sushi place
Submitted Sunday, May 17, 2009 - 8:30pm [Dine in]

My daughter and I were headed to white spot but it was packed even before the dinner rush - probably because there is hardly anywhere to eat around this part of town. I knew there was a sushi place nearby that for whatever reason I was never interested in trying to date - it just seemed to small. Normally I am all over trying sushi places. So without options we tried it.

It is a very small place with 4 3 seater tables and a counter. You order up front, and it is all pretty much self serve (get your own tea, etc). Yet they bring the food on nice dishes. It's one of those strange places where you don't really know if it is a real restaurant our take out or what - and thus you don't even know if you should leave a tip or what. Myself I don't really enjoy these ambiguous experiences where I question what the protocols are. I'd probably give the service more a 2.5 since you don't actually get much, but it was at least cheerful.

Anyway what service you do get was cheerful, and it does seem like a mom and pop kind of run place. The food took surprisingly longer that you might think given how many customers and that it is sushi (but not actually long), but you realize it is because there is probably just the two of them and each dish is prepared when ordered.

I don't even know what I ordered as I was a bit rushed and I just saw a picture for a couple of seconds and went for the combo. I ended up getting a veggie roll wrapped in smoked salmon, a chicken teryiaki roll, and a salmon roll - that was $10. The veggie roll was fairly fancy and well made and tasted fresh. Miso soup was pretty good. Other stuff was just average. I'd give the food a 3.5 actually - it is better than what you might expect from just eyeballing the place. Food is certainly the strong point. Value is good for quality of food, but not for lack of service so I'd call it average.

I probably wouldn't make this a destination spot, but if in a bind like I was the other night, I might try it again.

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Closed
Aristos Greek Taverna1238 Ross Road, North Vancouver
Go for the food
Submitted Monday, April 6, 2009 - 12:16am [Dine in]

Wife and I gave this place a shot tonight based on the reviews. I have to also agree with the majority of reviews below.

The server lady who I am sure is the person described as below indeed does seem rather cold. I asked for a subsititution of a cheaper item on a platter for two and she seemed fairly put off by it and had to go ask if they could do it or would I be OK if they charged more. So things didn't start off great. But over the night she seemed to warm up a bit, and I can't fault the service itself as it was quick and attentitive. As others say, I'm sure it's just the way she is. I actually found it kind of charming.

I didn't think too much of the ambience, but that was mostly because I was there Sunday at peak dinner time and there were no more than 3 tables in there at a time, so it was pretty dead. Nice enough though. One good thing is the parking wasn't a problem all as mentioned by others, the lot was empty.

The food was really the only reason I would ever come back here. Our platter was quite large. We ate all of it except a small bit of rice - we just couldn't finish it, we just couldn't do another bite. I can't tell you how rare it is my wife and I can't finish our meals. It's 5 hours later and I am still stuffed.

While the food was generally not spectacular, it was generally quite good. There wasn't anything served that wasn't tasty. I typically don't care for lamb and I was thinking of asking to get it substituted as well, but I am glad I didn't. This was the best lamb I have ever had, and I actually enjoyed eating it for once. It was well seasoned and so tender. It was also a huge slab, especially because my wife refuses to eat cute little baby sheep so I had it all to myself. To me the lamb would be their specialty - I read the other glowing reviews of the lamb below after so there must be something to it. I have to say I worked in a greek restaurant for a year and ate it every day so I still like the place I worked at better for food, but I am maybe just biased because I a basically grew up on it.

Value is a bit tough to measure. Yes, it's a ton of food, and pretty tasty. At the end of the night it was still about $60 after tip though so I am not sure it is a super duper value, but it is more than fair. If the service and ambience were better I would be inclined to give higher marks.

While we were there I saw more people getting take out than dining in, which is a bit strange for a restaurant. That might say something about the quality and value of the food compared to the experience of dining in. I'd also say it wouldn't be the kind of experience you want to bring a first date to.

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Pisces Fish & Chips1425 Marine Drive, #205, West Vancouver
It's Alright
Submitted Saturday, March 14, 2009 - 8:02pm [Dine in]

The family stopped in and tried this place last summer. It is pretty far out of the way in the middle of a quiet plaza. I actually had no idea the place was even here for a few years of walking past it.

It's more of a take out place but has a few tables to eat in at, and kind of half service - you go up to pay but they brought our food and drinks to our table. I think there is a pretty strong Korean influence with Korean papers to read/etc and it likely caters to to a lot of customers from the Korean community.

We ordered some kind of seafood platter. The chips if I remember were not your typical fries, they were more like thick potato chips. The breading on the fish was not your typical thick batter, it was a very light crusting instead. I am sure many will appreciate the light batter and perhaps love it, but myself I like my fish prepared in the style of dripping batter heart attack special. Everything tasted fine though.

For I think about $20 for the platter it was decent value. Service was friendly and nice enough for what the place was.

I probably won't return just because its not my kind of batter. I'll take some greasy C-Lovers over this, but that's just me.

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Yanaki1449 Marine Drive, West Vancouver
Not my favourite option
Submitted Monday, March 2, 2009 - 8:59pm [Dine in]

I've walked by this place for years but never tried it mostly because it looked too cramped inside. We had some time to kill today and our usual haunt, Ichiban (a few doors down) is closed on Mondays, so we gave it a shot.

My miso soup was OK. I had a tuna sashimi. First impression is presentation was poor. It was just thick fillet of tuna cut perpendicularly - the pieces basically ended up in large cubes. I could have cut it like this myself in 3 seconds. This is just not how I like my sashimi, I want it cut thinly and with some artistry. On the other hand, the chunks were quite large so the value was good for $11. So a bit torn between presentation and value. If they had cut the 9 pieces into 18 or 27 thin pieces it would have been perfect. Taste was fine.

My wife has a chirashi-don. It seemed pretty small, not even much rice. My tuna sashimi appetizer was more food. The food was alright, though for $18 I might have hoped for sockeye salmon given its size. It seemed like poor value for what you got.

The main issue I have with this place is how small and cramped it is. I just don't enjoy dining and trying to have my own conversation when the next table is only a foot away from me. That's just me though, I'm sure others might not mind. Otherwise it was reasonably clean and decent.

The best part of the meal was the service by our waitress, "You Rim". =)

All in all I thought the value wasn't that great for the dining experience. The menu seemed generally a bit pricy for such a hole in the wall (this is West Van though I guess). While not a bad experience, I won't return, given that I think a place like Ichiban a few doors down is more enjoyable. There are also a number of other places on the north shore that are much better value and/or have better food.

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Flying Wedge Pizza Co.140 Brooksbank Ave, #333, North Vancouver
Not good for the price
Submitted Tuesday, February 24, 2009 - 12:17am [Dine in]

A ways back I sampled some flying wedge pizza that somebody else ordered in for a party. I thought it was terrible actually. Tasted like dry cardboard.

I had walked by this location many times and thought I'd never try their pizza because I would see the prices and they were ridiculous. However, I noticed they did have an all you can eat dine in deal on Sundays for $10.95 including refillable pop so the wife and I recently gave it a shot.

Anyway, the pizza was better this time than my previous experience with it. Still not that great though. Tried about 5 varieties, most were just OK, and a couple were fairly gross. Pizza was still too dry, and just not that tasty. I am not saying it is cheaply made pizza, because in fact the ingredients and crust would look to be of higher quality than typical. That doesn't mean it tastes great - it doesn't. Pizza is more of an art than ingredients alone.

Service wasn't bad, except you have to keep going up and asking for a slice at a time, and then they have to reheat it, so it is a bit of a hassle. The guy was busy making a pizza at the time too so just told me to go behind the counter to refill my drink - no big deal but a bit weird.

Really it is the prices they charge for not so tasty pizza that is my biggest gripe. They are charging $5 a slice for some varieties of pizza. That works out to $40 for a large (8 slice) pizza by the slice. Granted the slices are pretty filling, I could only eat 4 of them. And yes, you can get cheaper ordering a whole pizza, but not by much. I can get a large pizza by the slice at Fresh Slice for $10. And Fresh Slice tastes WAY better to me. Each slice is not quite as filling but it is still WAY cheaper. So if it wasn't for the all you can eat that is only available dine-in with two small tables to eat at only on Sunday's this place would be a total waste. Even for all you can eat I would go to the pizza hut buffet which is again cheaper and tastier.

Will not return.

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Ika Sushi965 Marine Drive, North Vancouver
Great value for good sushi
Submitted Sunday, January 11, 2009 - 3:04pm [Dine in]

I pretty much echo the review directly below. For lunch for two we had two 5.95 3 roll and miso specials, an order of tuna sashimi, and a pop, for 20.44.

Miso soup was average. Tuna sashimi was a bit too chilled for my liking, but not bad. The sushi I had was excellent. They have a fairly big selection of rolls for the 5.95 deal. I had a california, dynamite, and a tuna tempura roll, which is something I've never seen, and was quite tasty. All the tempura in the rolls was fresh, not the typical stale been prepared long ahead of time you get at budget places. My rolls were quite tasty. My wife ordered some other stuff and she wasn't as impressed with hers, but it was still not bad at all. My 4 for the food may be a bit high given some of the stuff was average, but I really liked my own meal and will give them the benefit of the doubt given the prices.

Service was good for these prices.

So the main thing about this place is the value. They had a bunch of lunch boxes from $6 and up too. This place is similar to other places in the area like yuko maki, but the food quality here is WAY better for what is about the same price. You are getting a pretty darn good lunch for cheaper than your typical mcdonalds combo.

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C-Lovers Fish & Chips1660 Pemberton Ave, North Vancouver
To Infishity and beyond
Submitted Friday, January 9, 2009 - 8:11pm [Dine in]

I've had my eye on this place for years because they have an all you can eat fish and chips deal but somehow I never managed to try it yet, or it was busy when I did want to try. I am a sucker for the all you can eat deals, knowing that I will never leave feeling ripped off by a small portion.

So obviously I tried the all you can eat fish and chips. It is $10, and includes bottomless pop, and is available until 3:30 every day (and all day some other days). Fish and chips isn't the most exciting food in the world to me, so I'm probably not every going to give it some amazing rating. It was good enough, and hit the spot for a nice big craving of deep fried food. The only thing that really sketched me out was that the tartar sauce is in bottles just sitting at the tables. I wouldn't think the sauce would keep that long so it made me a bit nervous. I guess it's ok though as I didn't die and they still seem to be in business.

Service is casual but friendly and adequate. Subsequent orders of fish and chips came quickly.

To me this place is all about the value. All you can eat and drink for $10, can't get much better than that. I think I ate about 10 pieces of fish. Obviously prices aren't nearly as good for regular menu items but I'm not there for that.

The place was pretty casual, you seat yourself. It's clean and nice enough for what it is. My only real complaint was it was a bit of a windy cold day and every time the door opened we got a good chill.

After I ate there I said I'd probably only return once a year, but it's been about a week or two now and I already feel like going back for some more.

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Hachi Hana1426 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver
Food the strong point
Submitted Friday, January 9, 2009 - 7:28pm [Dine in]

Wife and I ordered a boat, our daughter an udon. The boat was great. The sushi was good sized, presented well, and seemed fresh and high quality. It was certainly some of the better sushi I have ever had. One thing that surprised me a bit was the amount of wasabi they put in the sushi. Most (at least lower end) places don't put any wasabi any more, so this was more authentic. I had already loaded up my soy sauce with wasabi so it made for too spicy a meal. I would say they could probably put a bit less in. My daughters udon was just OK.

The place was full when we went, so the two servers were running around trying to keep up. I might expect service would be a bit better if it was not as busy. The sushi chefs seemed friendly.

Our boat for two was $40 and filled us right up. Pretty good value for the quality of the food, but not the cheapest prices around.

The ambience would have been my least favourite part. The restaurant was a bit too cramped for my liking. It was full when we got there, but we were the only next customer. Waiting for a table is uncomfortable as there isn't a waiting area, you are just kind of stuck in the middle of the restaurant and in the way. On a cold day when the door opens it lets in a lot of cold air. Other than that it was clean and well kept enough but nothing special.

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Fleuri845 Burrard St, Vancouver
$52 for a bland buffet
Submitted Monday, December 29, 2008 - 1:15am [Dine in]

I'll say right away I kind of got dragged along to this sunday brunch buffet. I didn't really want to take the family to a $52 buffet as I figured it probably wouldn't be worth it. Gets expensive real fast when you have to pay for a few people. I had a look at the menu online and nothing much really stood out. Maybe I was biased coming in...

The biggest problem I had was the food. It wasn't terrible, but there wasn't a single dish that really tickled my tasted buds. Lets see, we have ... pancakes ... bacon ... sausages ... etc ... most of the stuff you would find at a $10 buffet. There were some slightly more interesting things too, seafood, chicken, a few dim sum things, turkey, roast beef, etc. The only things I was really looking forward to were the prawns and smoked salmon. The prawns were bland and limp. The smoked salmon seemed on the bland and mushy side, I was dissapointed. My second plate of turkey and roast beef was soured by what I thought to be some pretty bland and too think gravies. The desserts I probably enjoyed the most, though most were to rich for my liking, would have been nice if there were some pies or something. Honestly for the price I'd give the food a 1 or 2, but if the buffet was $20 I would say a 3.

The only reason the meal had any value at all was the service. The waiters were great. Polite and attentive. I would have given 5 stars but the hosting was a bit of a gong show. Pretty big lineups for everyone with reservations in place and took 15 minutes to get it all sorted out.

So value is where this buffet totally falls apart for me. Taste to money ratio is terrible. I think the food at the Crystal Grille (Metrotown Hilton) buffet is much tastier. And it's half the price, and less headaches for parking if you aren't living downtown.

Ambience was allright, reasonably classy, and I would have liked the jazz piano and guitar if I could hear it from the back room we were in. Almost all the orange juice glasses sitting on the table were dirty though, a pet peeve of mine. For $52 they better be sparkling clean.

Certainly will never return.

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Karasu Sushi House1207 W. 16th St., North Vancouver
Qualifies as a hidden gem
Submitted Sunday, November 23, 2008 - 11:57pm [Dine in]

After I saw Chasiubow's review I was eager to give this place a try and finally got around to it.

This is pretty much a takeout place with 3 2 seater tables to accomodate a small amount of people who might want to eat their food there. It seems as if it is just Chef Karasu running this place all by himself, the hours are something like 11:30 to 7:30 every day, and it is open 7 days a week. I'd describe him more as a sushi vendor than a sushi restaurant. Chef Karasu is certainly japanese too. So this isn't quite a full service restaurant.

The menu is pretty much all sushi. Miso soup is I think the only non sushi item. When my Japanese (yet somewhat cheap) wife saw the prices on the menu her eyes kind of bulged out and she started getting all excited. This is what sticks out most to me about this place, the prices are very cheap, especially considering the place is authentic Japanese. Most nigiri was $1.00 a piece. Tuna or Salmon rolls are $1.95. A 46 piece party tray of rolls was $20. A can of pop is $1.00. And so on. Basically everything is pretty darn cheap. In fact I think Chef probably messed up a bit and set prices too low, when my wife wanted to get some Ikura and Masago he said he didn't have any because it cost him $100 a pound so he would just be losing money I guess.

Anyway, we ordered some miso soup and the biggest party tray he sells. The miso was very good. The sushi was good. It's certainly not the best I've had in both taste and in how well it is made but it is still quite good, no complaints about any of it. The rolls are also pretty decent in size (not stupidly big) so there is good value there. My Japanese wife was very happy with the food.

At the end when we went to pay he doesn't even have a place to put a tip in on the mastercard slip. Almost had to argue with him to give him a tip - so very Japanese (no tipping in Japan).

Myself I wouldn't say I am dying to return to dine in - I really prefer very full service restaurants. I will probably come back for the unique experience from time to time though. The wife on the other hand would love to come back. If I ever need takeout on the north shore, this is 100% where I would come to get it, and I heartily recommend everyone else does too. I'm not sure how much business he has being in such a nondescript location (one other customer got a small order when we were there for an hour). I might imagine weekday lunch would be busier as this would be a great place to grab some takeout for a work lunch.

This place in my mind qualifies as a hidden gem. Without Chasiubow's review I would have hardly noticed it or ever tried it. I have noticed some sushi restraurant there before I think, but never tried it because it is just so nondescript. So I'm just writing this here and asking anyone who wants some sushi takeout on the north shore to give this a try lest he be so hidden away he goes under.

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Bino's Restaurants3312 Kingsway, Vancouver
Get me outta here ASAP
Submitted Saturday, November 22, 2008 - 12:10am [Dine in]

I had read the generally positive reviews here and always wondered what it would be like going to Binos again. My last visit was almost 20 years ago and I did have some fond nostalgic memories of coming here as a child long before that. Wife and I were driving home trying to think what to eat and happened to pass by and I thought what the hell (she wasn't too keen on the idea). From the street driving fast it actually looked decent.

Anyway, we walk in, and it is absolutely dead on a friday night, it is basically the waitress, us, and some customer who sounds like he is there all the time. Not a great sign...

The decor doesn't seem as nice as some of the recent reviews let on. Laminated and vinyl everything, lots of scuffs and holes in stuff. Other than that the general theme/space isn't completely terrible. Sat at a window seat, which in my mind is the only good thing about the ambience, watching the street scene outside. What pushed me towards a one star for ambience is how dead the place was (feel awkward talking when you are the only ones there), and half way through our meal crackhead guy comes in and he REALLY needs to use the washroom. No public washroom but the guy won't go away. He's in there forever, the lone customer goes in to check on him. Don't think I'll ever be visiting the washroom here. I'm really feeling sorry for the waitress having to deal with this too.

The waitress was good, about the only good thing about our visit. Bill never came, had to go get it, but maybe that is how it works there. Extra frustrating since I just wanted to bolt ASAP. One not so nice thing is that when I did take one quick glance toward the kitchen, I see the chef back there cooking our food and he is rubbing his nose with his hand. I look away quickly and mentally pretend I didn't just see that so that I can try to enjoy my food. I'm sure cooks at all sorts of restaurants do all sorts of things I don't want to see, I just happened to see it with my luck.

The main problem with this place for me was the food. We had a teriyaki burger, 5 pancakes, and a diet coke. I take one sip of the diet coke and that was it. It didn't taste like any diet coke or coke I've ever had, it was postively weird and repulsive. The burger and fries were not great at all, but at least didn't taste too weird. The pancakes not great either. The syrup was really just kind of disgusting and weird. In summary the food sucked worse than any other food I can remember.

Yes the prices are cheap. I didn't notice the 3.95 all day breakfast special until after I ordered. That is pretty crazy value. However, I think I am being generous with 4 stars. Yes its cheap but the food is also pretty bad. Bill was $14 for everything.

Really the wife and I just wanted to eat and get the hell out of here as fast as possible all the while touching as little as possible (we wouldn't even dare to use the salt for our fries). Maybe I am just a big snob now and this place is too low brow for me, see for yourself if you dare ...

Will not return, ever ... sorry wife ...

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Capilano Sushi1240 Marine Drive, North Vancouver
Crapilano sushi, decent everything else
Submitted Friday, September 12, 2008 - 11:44pm [Dine in]

Noticed this place when passing by and decided to try it at a later date after seeing the below positive reviews. Otherwise I might never have tried it as it looked a bit too much hole in the wall for my tastes.

Food started off very well, the miso soup was actually the tastiest I've had in years. I'm a miso soup fiend so this made me very happy. Next the sunomono and this is where things started to go a bit weird. The shrimp while generous tasted weird - took me a bit to realize that I think it is just canned shrimp thrown straight on top without being washed or anything, resulting in salty shrimp which just made for a weird tasting dish. Tempura and chicken karaage were ok. The rest of the food not so good. The california roll was the worst I have ever had, it even looked pathetic. While I don't know for sure, it tastes to me like much of the maki and possibly nigiri is prepared well ahead of time. The sushi rice is stale and going hard. Wife agreed it was terrible. I can't stand sushi that isn't made fresh. The sushi itself gets a 1 star rating.

ChaisuBow's review made me think this place might be somewhat authentic given the mention of the japanese chef but I saw no sign of anyone remotely japanese working in there - not that I care, just relating what I saw.

While the prices on the surface appear cheap and there are probably some good deals (bentos for 5.95), the bill at the end for a decent but modest order of food ended up costing a fair bit more than say lunch would cost at I Love Sushi, and the food is WAY better there. So I can't give too high a value.

Service while starting off a bit shakey with a mumbling server turned out reasonably decent when another better server took care of everything else.

There was nothing but gaijin in there which makes me think most people coming here don't really know how bad the sushi really is.

Repeat: No.

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Closed
Church's Chicken1210 Marine Drive, Unit 210, North Vancouver
I'll try again in 10 years
Submitted Sunday, September 7, 2008 - 9:27pm [Dine in]

Similar experience to below review. Staff nice but it's like 6 pm and it will be an 8 minute wait if I want this, 6 minutes if I want that, etc. Have to serve your own pop and it is crazy fizzy so that takes 8 minutes to fill anyway. They forget part of our order after all that.

Chicken tender things were disgustingly pale and weird looking (nothing like the picture), and tasted similar to how they looked (bland). My daughter wouldn't eat them because they were too weird looking. Fries are bland with no seasoning. Need to go get 5 tiny packets of salt and salt them up. My spicy chicken sandwich was pretty tasty, and regular chicken pretty good.

A small area to dine in but it was pretty clean for a fast food place.

The prices are pretty cheap but the quality of the ingredients and portions reflect the price.

In summary it was just way too much wait and work for some questionable food.

I usually think I should like Church's based on their ads but am always dissapointed, which is why I only come back every 10 years for a sanity check. If I did happen to go back I would only get standard chicken and avoid everything else.

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Closed
East Grill1227 Marine Drive, North Vancouver
A dream is realized
Submitted Sunday, July 13, 2008 - 1:55am [Dine in]

This is a newly opened restaurant that I noticed and finally had a chance to give it a try. I didn't quite know what to expect.

The decor is very similar to say a Cactus Club or Milestones. The servers are presented similar to what you might find in a Cactus Club. The menu however is actually asian (chow mein, pad thai, shanghai noodles, smoked salmon rolls, yellow curry, etc. so there is a little bit of many asian cultures). So what you have is something like Chinese food served by a Cactus Club.

We ordered a bunch of share plates to get an idea of the food. I thought it was all pretty good. Fresh tasting and interesting. The items were presented very well with nice touches (Wonton soup in a mini pot with a lid, etc.). You might expect the food would actually be asian "fusion" but it really is mostly just purely asian food. It is perhaps just presented in a western fashion and I would say it actually tasted better than most asian restaurants I have eaten in. They certainly seem to take more care in preparing the dishes than you get in some asian restaurants that just treat their food like slop. It's basically Earl's food principles applied to asian food.

I rarely give 5 stars for service but I couldn't find any fault with it this visit so have to give 5 for now. Of course the restaurant was a bit quiet and I think we were the server's only table. I might expect lower service when business picks up.

Our meal for two came out to $36 and it was too much food. The prices here I would say are a cheaper than Earls, Milestones, Cactus, etc, but you are getting similar quality. Pop is refillable, something you rarely see in a restaurant serving asian food. It's good value given the all around quality.

Ambience is similar to Earls/Milestones/Cactus. It's fairly dark. There is a nice lounge/bar area and TVs. The one strange thing is it shares a building with McDonalds (the same hallway in some areas), a bit strange to park in the McDonalds parking lot then go to this place. I hope this doesn't put people off in any way.

As we were eating our meal, things just seemed to get better and better. I realized a long time desire of mine was being fulfilled. I'm a pretty open minded person and I dine at different types of restaurants, but I have pretty much sworn off Chinese or Vietnamese restaurants, not because I don't like the food, but because I don't like the service, which is often terrible. I also don't like how asian Restaurants never have refillable pop. So I had always thought, "it sure would be awesome if there was a Chinese restaurant that had great service, nice ambience, and refillable pop, then I would go!". Well here it is! Hats off to the owner!

If this sounds like the kind of place you might like to try, go for it. Business looks a bit slow as they just opened, selfishly I want them to do well just so I can continue to enjoy this unique restaurant!

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Asakusa Sushi4729 Kingsway, Burnaby
Utilitarian but decent
Submitted Saturday, July 12, 2008 - 5:45pm [Dine in]

Food was pretty solid. The tempura tasted more like fish and chips than japanese tempura. Offputting but not actually bad tasting.

Service not great but I was generally happy until the end when they cleared the table and we waited forever for them to ask us how it was or if we wanted anything else, or we wondered when we might get the bill. Nothing every happened, we figured out I guess you have to pay up front. A mark off for that, and while it may be a small thing, I'll probably never come back because I don't like to have to line up like a sheep to pay for my meal when there are so many other places where I don't have to do that. I'm sure this is fine for more people though.

I'd almost give it 5 stars for value as the meals are decent, cheap, and portions large. We couldn't even quite finish our basic lunches. I would have given 5 stars if the service was better.

Ambiance isn't much, pretty simple hole in the wall, biggest issue is it's just a bunch of tables crammed together in a room.

It's not all bad though, it's just a simple basic place to get a good meal for cheap. Can't really fault it for what it is, just not my favourite type of place to go to. I certainly would rather go here than Sushi Garden, which is a gong show and served me bad food. For me I'll not eat Sushi anywhere near metrotown though as I think most of the sushi restaurants in this area are not very good for one reason or another. I would have found this one decent if service was just a bit better.

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