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latelierSE VancouverSince March 11, 200569 Reviews
Average Rating
3 (3.1)
  • Food3 (2.9)
  • Service3 (3)
  • Value2.5 (2.3)
  • Ambiance3 (3)

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 20 of 69 Reviews Found
Acorn, The3995 Main Street, Vancouver
Vegetarian "Fine Dining" on Worth A Return Visit
Submitted Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 2:48pm [Dine in]

I had a nice meal at The Acorn last night.

Thumbs up for the beer-battered halloumi with mushy peas and zucchini cake. It really was a nice riff on what someone described as "vegetarian fish and chips with mushy peas". The dish was rich (there's a lots of dairy in the ingredients list), and satisfied my craving for something crispy, fried, and cheesy - the yogurt sauce brought it all together with its addictive tang and creaminess.

The Kale salad, unfortunately, was not what I had hoped for. Perhaps if there was a bit more of the nutty and delicious fried tempeh cubes to delight the carnivore inside me. I do, however, appreciate the generous amount of asiago cheese shavings in the salad.

Loved the giant ice cube in our bourbon to end the evening.

Service was attentive (seemed a bit cold at first with the lack of smiles or warmth), and our waters were topped regularly and at the right time. My friend, who arrived first, commented how he thought it was odd that, upon entry, a server told him he could sit anywhere he'd like. Of course, my friend chose the table closest to the window - and was then stopped by the server: "Oh, that table is saved for groups of 4 or more." Well, it may have helped if the server rephrased his instructions to sit anywhere but by the window! My friend was a bit annoyed; this is perhaps a training opportunity for the service staff. But besides that tiny misgiving, I felt the service was great.

The Acorn really does a great job in making itself stand out from the handful of vegetarian restaurants in the city by gunning for fine dining. If I'm not mistaken, the chef at this establishment did work at the prestigious Eleven Madison Park in NYC. The Acorn successfully stands alone in this category and proves that vegetarian cuisine can be hip without being hippy!

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Irashai Sushi2260 41st Ave, Vancouver
Yaki-Spaghetti, not Yaki-Soba
Submitted Friday, June 12, 2009 - 2:22am [Dine in]

We arrived here for dinner at around 8pm in the evening and the place was clearly busy with its local clientele. I'm not sure if it's because they don't recognize us as being one of the "regulars", but as a customer, I sure would like to acknowledged, if not greeted warmly, at the very least, and not left standing at the door like some hungry idiot begging for a table. When one of the parties finally left, we went over to seat ourselves, only be stopped momentarily by a stern server, who gave a short "Just wait..." as she wiped the tabletop off. OK, sure, whatever. At this point, I wasn't sure if I wanted to spend my hard-earned coin here - but perhaps the food will make up for it.

Then the food arrived. First off, salmon sashimi ($10). It looked like what appeared to be, and had the texture of, wild salmon - it was fresh and tasty. Next, the "Crispy California Roll" ($4.75) - which we discovered was no match for nearby Asa Sushi's "Crazy Boy Roll". Irashai's version was a tiny California roll rolled in Tempura bits (likely left over from their deep fryer). To our disappointment, the crispy roll was stuck to the chopped scallop roll ($5), one of our sushi favorites. This gave the scallop roll an unintended crispy texture and tempura flavor (thanks to the tempura bits) - which would effectively ruin the delicate flavor of any scallop. Even more laughable - there was perhaps a barely visible sliver of scallop and a disproportionately biggish piece of cucumber in each roll.

And when we discovered that spaghetti noodles were used in our Yaki-Soba, and informed the server about it - she simply replied "Oh, we use spaghetti in our Yaki-Soba - yes" in a matter-of-fact tone. It was ridiculous and the equivalent of saying "Yes, we use macaroni in our Spaghetti and Meatballs...what's the problem?". When she was advised by my gf that the menu should more accurately describe this dish, she gave us a "Uh-yeah, OK....".

This is definitely the last time I'm visiting Irashai. To be fair, I had two excellent experiences here before their brief shut-down (due to renovations I believe). We'll stick with Ajisai or Asa sushi the next time we're in Kerrisdale.

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Renovation
Grub4328 Main Street, Vancouver
Impressed. A Keeper on South Main
Submitted Tuesday, July 29, 2008 - 2:15am [Dine in]

Had a nice dinner here a couple nights ago with my partner. We went for the very tempting main course items from their daily 'fresh sheet'. Osso Bucco with Saffron Risotto and Brussel Sprouts Au Gratin ($17) was stick-to-your-ribs good. Grilled Marlin, medium rare, with a Jalapeno crust, citrusy Three Bean Salad and BlueBerry and Pineapple salsa ($17) was intense in flavor and appropos for the summer season. Ingredients in all dishes were fresh and of high quality. Decor is whimsical and boutiquey - LOVE the yellow banquet seats. Locals that frequent the Locus and the Reef nearby should definitely check this place out

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Closed
Shanghai Palace8002 Granville Street, Vancouver
Foreign Objects in Food - Father's Day Disaster
Submitted Monday, June 16, 2008 - 1:04pm [Dine in]

Came here for a Father's Day dinner with my family last evening. Food and service was fine until the Beef Lettuce Wrap dish arrived. As the dish was going around on the lazy susan and everyone helped themselves, I noticed a glistening object buried near the surface of the beef mixture. Using a chopstick, I poked at what looked like a long piece of silver tinsle. To my horror, it turned out to be a curled up strand of metal-mesh scrub - which could've caused nasty consequences if swallowed or chewed. The rest of my family was appalled at my discovery, and my father immediately called for our server's attention. The server looked at it, and without saying a single word, walked back into the kitchen with the dish in her hands. From what we were able to see, the manager at the counter was notified by the server of the situation. Minutes passed, and not a single soul came by to explain and apologize. We were in disbelief. The rest of the dishes came, albeit one because our server had forgotten to put the order down. Still no explanation on what had happened to the dish that was sent back. Then the manager came by with the bill and made casual mention that one of the dishes was cancelled and not charged - as if she did a big favor for us. My dad, muting his anger, asked if she was going to give an additional explanation or apology. Nothing - not a single thing. If anything, I'd like to thank Shanghai Palace for ruining what was supposed to be a celebratory evening. I will not return.

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Closed
La Rocca Ristorante Italiano1565 Commercial, Vancouver
Decent Pasta
Submitted Tuesday, April 1, 2008 - 4:40pm [Dine in]

I'm going to have to agree with the reviewer below. I was here with my date for dinner last week for the first time. I liked the casual ambience, and the servers were just great. The menu reads very much like an Italian American restaurant. I can appreciate that they didn't attempt to offer pizzas, and their menu was limited but focused. I liked the pasta dish we ordered (Linguine with Clams, Mussels in a butter-white wine sauce). Very rich, and noodles were al-dente. And thankfully, fresh shellfish was used.

The main dishes were fine, but forgettable at the same time. The Chicken Parmesean tasted like a microwave was involved in its cooking. Nonetheless, I was impressed with their vegetable side dishes - sauteed young carrots were crisp and just warmed through, a nice alternative to the usual mashed spuds. My date complained of overseasoning - but I thought seasoning was OK for the most part. I would come back to this place to try their other pasta dishes.

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Closed
FigMint Restaurant & Lounge500 West 12th Ave, Vancouver
Solid DineOut Vancouver Experience
Submitted Monday, January 21, 2008 - 3:13am [Dine in]

Came here in a group of 6 for DOV 2008 on a Sunday evening. Restaurant interior design is definetely the work of Evoke International Design (David Nicolay). I love the modern minimalism and sleek lines presented in the huge space, the type of space that only hotel restaurants can normally afford. Service was courteous, attentive and a high point during our visit. Our server was polite and helpful, and made sure to come by to check on us after each course was served. Waters were filled promptly without us even asking. Food was solid. Beef tartare appy was creamy, meaty, and elegant; Duck Confit main was well done (Accompanying white bean cassoulet wrapped with lamb sausage in a ring-like mold was intriguing and surprising to say the least). Pear Tart with lemon sorbet rounded off the meal really well - not too sweet and satisfying. I've always wanted to try this place out, and am glad to get the opportunity through DOV this year. I would like to try their $32 set menu in the future.

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Closed
Paesano's Fine Italian Cuisine4800 No. 3 Road, #133, Richmond
A Tucked Away Italian Eatery - Short from being a Gem
Submitted Monday, January 14, 2008 - 3:55pm [Dine in]

I too, like the others, decided to try this place due to the coupon found in the Entertainment book. This place is definitely not the easiest to find - completely tucked away in a corner of a small plaza near Lansdowne and No.3 Rd. The ambience definitely has a New 'Yawk' - Italian kitschiness, complete with red checkered tablecloths and rubber fruit bowls. The female waitstaff were friendly and accomondating for the most part. I did get annoyed when I saw the 'chef' step out to schmooze with what looked like a table of regulars. Sure, he has the right to a break, but to stand there for 20-30 minutes chatting while the other watching customers are hungrily waiting for their food? Come on now.

Food was pretty uninspiring. The tomato and bocconcini salad, which was on 'special', looked and tastsed like a deconstructed hamburger without the meat and bun: Slices of beefsteak tomatoes, red onions, sliced cucumbers, lettuce, and the only thing interesting about the salad - store bought baby bocconcini. My girlfriend ordered the Seafood risotto with 'tomato ragu'. Though it more or less resembled seafood and tomato fried rice on the plate, it was fairly satisfying in a making us full kind of way. It could do without the mixture of frozen Kiwi mussels on the half-shell and baby mussels - I like my mussels to be consistent in size and fresh if possible. The baked meat lasagna that I had, however, was decent. Then again, I've never really had a bad lasagna at any Italian restaurant.

I can see this place surviving from serving local Richmond residents who feel like having Italian food now and then. I'm just glad I came to this place with my trusty Entertainment book.

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La Buca4025 MacDonald Street, Vancouver
Does Semplice real well
Submitted Thursday, August 16, 2007 - 1:37am [Dine in]

La Buca does simplicity real well. Tonight, me and my gf sat down at this quaint and charming little Point Grey trattoria to have some good pasta - Pasta that invokes memories of our trip to Italy not too long ago. Starting with a special of the night, Heirloom tomato salad ($13) with Buffalo mozzarella dressed with basil oil (essentially a Caprese salad)- so many restaurants get this wrong with crappy and bland tomatoes btw - we were immediately impressed. Tomatoes were definitely in season this time around, and to have the tender sweetness of heirlooms tickle our palates made it that much more pleasurable. Lastly, for our main event, the entree-sized pastas (and yes, half-orders are possible if you plan for a multi course meal). The tagliatelle ($16), carefully handmade from scratch, laden with a meaty bolognese ragu and sprinkled with a bit of parsley and parmigianno reggiano, was excellent and satisfying - a perfect example of Italian soul food. Even more savoury and luxurious, was the open-faced lasagna ($17.50), made with generous amounts of morels and chantrelles - along with thick cuts of parma ham, spinach, and cheese, sitting in a shallow pool of defiantly rich red-wine cream sauce.

Be prepared to sit in slightly cramped quarters as this is truly a smallish 32-seater establishment. Zero air conditioning during our visit, but they did have a portable fan running from the front of the room. Service is fairly attentive and helpful. Ample parking in the neighborhood. Will come back for sure to try other dishes. Highly Recommended!

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Closed
Vita Bella Ristorante4544 Hastings Street, Burnaby
Bitter Lobster Bisque
Submitted Monday, February 19, 2007 - 12:59pm [Dine in]

Was here on Valentine's Day for a nice evening out with my girlfriend. Presented before us, courtesy of the owner/hostess, was a mandatory 50.00 per person 3 course "Valentine's Day" menu. I looked around the place, sighed deeply in my mind, and said to myself, OK - they food better be good as the reviews here have claimed.

After we recieved our first courses, my girlfriend and I noticed a very unpleasant bitter aftertaste in the lobster bisque, which looked unappetizing to start with (so much for eating with your eyes). With the prices we were paying, I naturally asked for the attention of our server, who looked at me as if I didn't know what I was talking about - "That's the way lobster bisque is supposed to be actually...you've never had lobster bisque before?".
Motor-oil is bitter too, so what his point was I'm not so sure. Bisque, or any kind of edible soup, is NOT supposed to be bitter.
Anyhow, he exchanged the soup for a Calabrese salad without any hesitation, which turned out to be fine. Still, as a customer who is paying 50 dollars per head, I shouldn't have to deal with that. So a real disappointing start to the meal.

The rest of the meal turned out fine, the lamb rack and venison were tender and quite tasty. However, with that bitter bisque at the back of my mind, I can't help but feel I grossly overpaid for a very non-Italian meal due to the restaurant's Valentine's Day marketing scheme. Will I be back? I'm not so sure since I didn't get a chance to look at their regular menu.

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Closed
Lucy Mae Brown862 Richards Street, Vancouver
Birthday Party for 10 a Success
Submitted Friday, December 22, 2006 - 1:04pm [Dine in]

Contrary to the review below, me and a group of approximately 10 friends celebrated a good buddy's birthday with conviviality on a Friday night back in June 2006. The restaurant was definietely smallish, but the atmosphere was real classy and steakhouse-cum-bistro like.

Upon our arrival, the servers had 3-4 tables joined together to form one long table at the banquet seating area. Me and my girlfriend even brought a sizeable custom birthday cake from a bakery, and they had no problems making room and storing it in their fridge for us.

We were pleasantly surprised with how accomodating they were with the party and birthday cake. They brought it out with a couple lit candles at the end of the meal, and gave us the necessary utensils: cake knife, dessert plates, and forks. No extra charge for the birthday cake service.

Food was good. At the time, they had the option of split portions - which was great for small-eaters. I had the Fraser Valley Duck with Flageolets and seared Foie Gras - very tasty and delectable. Some of my friends had their salmon and beef dishes - again, all well received. Their Tarte Flambe was apparently very good too.

I do recall that our group had to pay a mandatory service charge too - but given the occasion, I didn't bother us too much. What was most important was that our buddy had an excellent time.

My only complaint is the so-called "dance floor" in the Opium Room downstairs - it was dinky and almost non-existent. One of their bartenders also need a lesson in manners. Otherwise, a cool concept and nice place to have after-dinner drinks.

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Closed
Taisho Japanese Restaurant4700 Kingsway, 15E, Burnaby
Crap-sho
Submitted Wednesday, December 20, 2006 - 3:15pm [Dine in]

Waitress I dealt with in my last visit was insulting - an awkward and unpleasant experience. Food was sub-par as well - think factory sushi with a hard skin on top.
They should do away with the conveyor belt if they're not going to have any variety. If Sui Sha Ya (Metrotown Centre) is their direct competition, which ain't much of a benchmark - which can easily explain the overall feel of this establishment.

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Closed
Bogart's Chophouse & Bar1619 West Broadway St., Vancouver
Food took forever to come out, but results were outstanding.
Submitted Monday, December 11, 2006 - 10:45pm [Dine in]

Was here for a buddy's bday dinner. Cool and Casual "Old Boys" atmosphere . Live Jazz performance put me in the mood for a nice cut of steak and a glass of phat red wine.
The problem? We waited too long for our food - almost 45 minutes. But for 23 dollars, the JUICIEST medium rare ribeye steak I've had in a long time. Will go back for a fair priced Juicy steak.

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Kingyo871 Denman Street, Vancouver
A High End Izakaya
Submitted Monday, December 11, 2006 - 10:29pm [Dine in]

Significantly more grown-up in feel than its Guu counterparts, Kingyo makes a powerful impression for a izakaya. Its faux concrete finishes, use of Japanese tile and natural dark woods, plus a bamboo "forest" focal point at the communal table all contribute to the minimalist tranquil beauty that the Japanese are known for.

Food was great and it was clearly a busy Saturday night. Me and my girlfriend ordered a Wasabi-Octobpus appetizer, Daily sashimi special (3 kinds of sashimi), Grilled Mackerel with Tomatoes, and onion-soy sauce, Chicken Karaage, and finally, Eel rice in stone bowl. Stand out was the scallop sashimi from the pricey sashimi special (15 dollars for 3 slivers each of ahi tuna, scallop, and snapper - lovely presentation). The best raw piece of scallop I ever had - sweet and succulent. The Chicken Karaage was also excellent - the lightest and most pillowy fried nuggets available, with 3 kinds of salts to dip with plus mayo sauce. The only bad dish I could recall was the mackerel - as the previous reviewer noted - excessively salty.

I would go again, and will probably recommend it for small parties of 6 or less people. Somewhat more expensive but Kingyo's attention to detail makes it worthwhile.

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Hapa Izakaya1479 Robson St, Vancouver
Hapa Meal
Submitted Sunday, October 15, 2006 - 8:13pm [Dine in]

I am writing this review in lieu of the preview poor review of the service from the previous Dinehere.ca member. I was here a couple weeks ago with a group of 5 on a Friday Night, for an After-VIFF-Movie beverage and snack. Upon our arrival, we were greeted warmly by who I assume is Justin, the owner of this smooth looking izakaya. He assured us that the wait shouldn't be long and politely escorted us to the bar area for a more comfortable wait. I was very impressed with the overall design of the izakaya and from what I observed at the time, Hapa attracted a clientelle it was intended for - the young, hip, and good looking. The serving staff didn't make exception and interestingly enough, many of them are Eurasian - just like Justin himself (who is apparently half Japanese and half caucasian). The female servers brought more attention to their gifts of cleavage than any steaming pair of pork buns at your typical Dim Sum excursion. Honestly and truthfully though, I kept my keen attention on the mackerel when our kind female server delicately torched it.
Like the experience of the previous reviewer, however, we had a problem with one of the orders.

A girl in our group never got her yaki-udon dish and we were told to wait, wait, and wait. Quietly frustrated, she had a similar experience before at Hapa and finally got fed up and told our server to cancel the order completely when everyone else finished their food at our table. If this is the bucking trend, I'm going to tend to stay away from Hapa for large groups and I certainly wouldn't want to get in a bitch-fest when things go awry.

Anyhow, the food was good and the atmosphere a bit pretentious - but still sexy and sleek.

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Closed
Kintaro Ramen8291 Westminster Hwy, #110, Richmond
Not my Noodle, Nope!
Submitted Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - 9:23pm [Dine in]

I am a self-professed occasional instant ramen eater and have always been curious as to how real "authentic" ramen tasted. First off, this place basically served nothin but ramen, which was a good sign. At almost eight dollars per bowl, I wasn't impressed. The shoyu-pork bone broth was weak and bland, and the lean bbq pork (all 3 thin slices of it), which tries so hard to be different from the Chinese BBQ pork I'm used to, ends up tasting that way too with a severe lack of "porky" character. The fatty pork may have been a different story, but after reading prior reviews on this site, I thought that it would be best to avoid it.

Despite the new experience which I'm always up for, I think I'll stick to my packaged instant ramen. Sure, each serving might contain a little MSG, or just shy of 100% of my recommended daily sodium intake - but hot damn, at least its tasty.

And if I want to go out for a tasty bowl of noodles, I'll stick to the venerable wonton or the fantastic pho.

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Presto Cucina1746 Marine Drive, West Vancouver
Very Casual and Comfortable Italian
Submitted Tuesday, July 11, 2006 - 1:25am [Dine in]

I made a dinner visit here with my lady on the way back from a light excursion in the woods and rocky shores of Lighthouse Park in West Van. Famished and tired, we walked by the restaurant and decided to try it out. I've read some solid reviews of the Kits location so I thought this was well worth a try. The idea of walking up to the counter to make your order, pick up a cold alcoholic beverage from their attractive and glowing display filled with ice was pretty novel considering the varied Italian menu they had - well, not really if any of you remember visiting Mrs. Vanelli's at your local shopping mall to order that suspicious and drab looking slice of pepperoni pizza bathing under the heat lamp...oh, that wouldn't be a fair comparison would it now....

Anyhow, my Spaghetti & Meatballs for 9.99 (Dinner size) was a good deal. It came with two 4-bite garlic toasts and was generously sauced in the Italian-American tradition. Meatballs could have benefitted from being larger and more moist - noodles suffered a little from the lack of Al-Dente-ness. In spite of the shortcomings, I was happy to eat it nonetheless. My lady's Spinach-ricotta canneloni received a similar subduedfanfare -it tasted like it should in a good-enough way.

The restaurant looked very clean, very brightly lit and I loved the use of cherry wood, red brick, and yellow mustard walls. The only thing that was really lacking was the white and red checkered vinyl tablecloths. Window side seats were excellent, especially with the windows completely open, letting in the Dundarve airiness of the warm summer evening.

Service was very non-chalant at the counter from a young Italian-looking manager who seemed to be looking forward to getting off from his shift to enjoy the rest of his Saturday night.

I would be interested in visiting the Kitsilano location for a similar if not slightly better experience.

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X-Site Grill and Bistro4625 Hastings St., Burnaby
X Marks the Spot for Value
Submitted Wednesday, May 10, 2006 - 9:19pm [Dine in]

When I was informed of the 4.95 daily special entrees, I was highly skeptical in my expectations. Not only was my blackened salmon grilled nicely - it was a generous portion for the price, along with the mound of green salad and boiled potatoes and sour cream - all for 4.95. Too sweet of a deal compared to say, a Salmon entree costing over 20 bucks at the trendier Vancouver places. Unfortunately, I would be hard pressed to travel to North Burnaby to find a bargain as the money I'd save would be cancelled by the ridiculous fuel prices at the pump.

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Closed
Wah Wing Seafood Restaurant3779 Sexsmith Road, #1298, Richmond
Great Quality
Submitted Tuesday, May 2, 2006 - 3:27pm [Dine in]

Had a lovely dim sum lunch here on Sunday. Highlight of the meal: Braised Oxtail with Rice Noodle Rolls. Fall off the bone Oxtail meat in a rich and savory Supreme Soy and anise sauce - like the Italian Paparadelle with Ragu. Great attention to detail in the food - fried calamari consisted of the tentacle tips where the flavor of the squid is most succulent and sweet. Huge dining area...with an understated sense of opulence. Kitchen must be slammed left and right - but we didn't notice a problem with the service. The downside: The menus are written exclusively in Chinese - might be a challenge for people who can't read Chinese!

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Himalaya Restaurant6587 Main St., Vancouver
Quick Curry-Buffet Fix for Lunch
Submitted Monday, April 3, 2006 - 4:32pm [Dine in]

Was here last week after being recommended by a friend. Vegetarian Buffet for under 8 bucks, with Meat, under 10 bucks (before taxes). I chose the Vegetarian option and was a bit disappointed with the selection available when I first lined up to get my food - this was no extravagant brunch buffet at the Hyatt. But then I realized, after sitting down and eating my food, for the money, this wasn't too bad at all - the focus is on curry, and lots of it. You can also load up on Basmati Rice and peas, and slightly greasy naan bread - as well as some chutneys and chopped veggies from their limited salad bar.

The service and ambience is what it is - cafeteria style buffet - with old brass chandeliers hailing from the 70s. Walk into the eatery, walk to the buffet, grab a plate, and start scooping. Then find a seat, sit down, eat. A server may come back to offer you a jug of ice water - they probably have an alla cart menu too, but I haven't checked it out yet.

I will come back for the convienence of the location, and the good pricing.

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Closed
Da Pasta Bar Retsaurant1234 Robson St., Vancouver
Tasty Pasta That fills you right up !
Submitted Sunday, March 19, 2006 - 5:33pm [Dine in]

Lovely little restaurant that specializes in, as the name of the restaurant so obviously implies, pasta of the Italian variety. Contemporary, clean, and simple decor. There is a welcoming warmth that grabs hold of you the moment you walk into the restaurant where the pasta bar, alla open kitchen, becomes the focal point of the operation. The smell of garlic and marinara sauce lures you further in as the server guides you and your friends to your table.

The pasta dishes, I felt, were really good for the price - they filled me right up no problem. The creaminess of my Basil Pesto Chicken Fettuccine was to die for. My gf had the spaghetti and Meatballs - very satisfying as well - like how my Italian grandma may have made it if I was Italian, and if my grandma knew how to make proper pasta.

The service was good, straight to the point without any frills or gimmicks. I was kinda shocked to see that the bottle of white wine they had in the mini fridge was uncorked - I figured they should have kept the cork or a rubber stopper to prevent outside contaminants or odours from entering the wine. If they're going to do that, they should at least make sure its outta sight. Big deal? Maybe not. Concerning for some poor schmuck paying 7-8 per glass? Sure!

Overall, I would return to this place for casual Italian food if I happened to be in the Robson area.

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