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MrsMason-BrownKitsilanoSince May 1, 200910 Reviews
Average Rating
3 (2.9)
  • Food3 (3.1)
  • Service3 (2.9)
  • Value3 (3)
  • Ambiance2.5 (2.7)

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 10 of 10 Reviews Found
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Bin 942 Tapas Parlour1521 W. Broadway, Vancouver
First Anniversary Nibbles - Wink!
Submitted Friday, May 1, 2009 - 5:32pm [Dine in]

You know how big occasions seem to always call for a very expensive, very fancy meal? You know how you always get all gussied up, shave, etc. You always sit down and say things like "oooh this is VERY nice!" etc. You know how upon reading the prices associated with what you are eating you suddenly become a food critic. Knowing that you are paying $20.00 for two prawns and a single scallop served with a small pile of lemony leaves makes you acutely aware of how good you perceive everything to be. If it was White Spot, you couldn't care less if it even arrived warm, if it is nice it's just a pleasant surprise! So for our first anniversary, we decided that the last thing we wanted was to spend something akin to a first months rent in Yaletown on a "nice meal". I left this up to my husband to pick something romantic but unconfrontational. He decided on Bin 942, the West Broadway sister of Bin 941 on Davey. It is funkily romantic. This is not a place for a first date. This is definitely the one you save for the date when you finally think you're gonna get laid. The music is a little bit louder, but not so much that you can't hold a conversation, and the girl behind the bar was on top of this, monitoring it to make sure it never became nuisance . The ambiance is warm and red, people are dressed up, but in expensive jeans and the like. This is, I think, a very good first stop on the way to go clubbing.
The drinks menu is short and to the point, it doesn't waste time on anything uncool. The wines and beer are nicely selected. This is a Tapas place, so I was surprised to not find a Cava on the menu. Maybe that's a little camp of me to ask for. Maybe this is because we got engaged in Barcelona and I really wanted a bottle of Cava. So I had a glass of Prosecco instead. It sufficed.
This is Tapas, so we ordered 4 items. They were all in the $15 range, so we didn't feel too bad about this, so far. First up was Kobe beef carpachio, a plate full of little slices of gorgeously seared beef, with a little dab of balsamic reduction, and a cheeky bowl of garlic popcorn. Really nice, I felt the love in the little whispers of beef. Next came scallops wrapped in prawns topped with leek tempura. Again, lovely, nibbly, moreish. Mussels in garlic and white wine followed. Huge, fat mussel meat, nice little garlic toasts, served molten lava hot. There is no time wasted from kitchen to table here. Last up was a giant mound of matchstick pomme frites with a syrupy drizzle of balsamic reduction. (Balsamic reduction on two items, nah I'll let it pass). The only thing was that I wish I had known how big the pile of matchstick potatoes were. This was really something best shared between four people with drinks. After everything else we really didn’t need these. We had it packed up, and took it home. They kept fine, and were eaten as a late night snack later. Liked the candied fennel seeds that came with the bill. Have a bad feeling very soon anywhere that tries to emulate trendiness will have these coming with the bill very soon. But I felt they fit in this place, amongst the red light and young pre-clubbers in hair extensions and torn jeans.
I love Tapas, and I thought Bin 942 did a nice interpretation of the theme rather than being a slave to traditional Spanish food. Excellent food, prepared with love. So my husband was very successful with his restaurant selection and we had a great night. Later we ran out and grabbed a bottle of Cava to drink with the top tier of our cake. So i took care of that whole Cava craving. And I got pretty spiffy ring for my present. YAY!

Total for 4 items, two drinks and tip: $85
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Elwoods3145 West Broadway Ave., Vancouver
What do people want from their drinkin' eats?
Submitted Friday, May 1, 2009 - 5:28pm [Dine in]

I really like that Elwoods is thinking about more exciting things to serve. You can tell, it's coming through, good work guys.

The decor on the other hand is flipping criminal. The bathrooms are only slightly less scary than something in a downtown east side heavy metal bar. There have been efforts to clean up the actual kitchen area, but the dining room/bar area is pretty sad. What is the deal with the grey with dust and grease Santa, perched on a shelf, drunkenly leaning over? The chalkboard covered in personified sausages, featuring specials that no longer exist. The cracked faux undersea porthole decoration. It's not kitchy and interesting. It's pathetic, throw these things away. The tables are lovely, the staff is lovely, don't treat them like a redheaded step-child by making them have to make up for a place that looks this bad.

The food here is very good though. The new Salmon and Chips is very good, prepared with real skill that is apparent. The Salt and Pepper fries are a little bit genius. And the Tuna Bites, rare salt and pepper seared tuna with wasabi mayo, is a revelation when you have had a few. Keep on doing what your doing, sexy kitchen boys!

Total for Salmon and Chip, 4 double rum and cokes, 2 shots tequila, another beverage...don't remember, will have to search through debit receipts. Who cares, had good night.
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Roxy Burger910 Granville Street, Vancouver
Mmmm Roxy Burger
Submitted Friday, May 1, 2009 - 5:26pm [Dine in]

Got a very regular burger, very, very good. Actually ate all the fries. Was a little ashamed of myself, but would like to think my gluttony was a compliment to the chef. Not much more to say about a burger in a place mainly set up to serve club-goers stomach lining before they go to Caprice. The waitress was adorable, and was very quick on the pop-glass-uptake. Unfortunately, when drying my hands in the ladies room, the force of getting a towel out of the dispenser caused something to unpop, and the front cover, positioned perfectly at forehead level, fell open, hitting me directly on the head. Not that this is the fault of Roxy burger. I think my own innate awkwardness in toilets always cause these things to happen.
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I Sushi2568 Arbutus Street, Vancouver
iSushi - Good Food Bad Music?
Submitted Friday, May 1, 2009 - 5:24pm [Dine in]

Was looking for something for dinner, and after much driving around and cursing, stopped into iSushi on Arbutus. It's a pretty little place, obviously had a lot of money poured into it when it first opened. There looks like it may have been a bit ignored since, but still ok. The bedroom-style lamps by the tables I found the most amusing, as you can dim them with the knob on the cord in plain view on your table. So you are in charge of your own lighting at iSushi, how romantic.

We both ordered the dinner boxes. This is not dinky little sushi. Lots of salad, and real salad, like mixed greens in vinaigrette. Big portion of Teriaki, although this was my least favorite item, tasted a little weird, but couldn't really pin down what it was. Which isn't something you want to think when eating beef. "Hmmm, this tastes bad, and bad in a way I wasn't previously familiar with. Let's ponder this for a minute...". The California roll was excellent however and there were lovely big fat pieces of tuna and salmon, so they didn't let me down on the really important stuff. Hubby and I were FULL OF SUSHI which is a little bit of a contradiction in terms, I know.

When you go up to the sushi bar, there are pictures of vivid, brightly coloured rolls, with hilarious names like Salsa Roll and Latin Lover. All are beautiful to look at, and made me wish I had tried a few of them instead of being lazy and ordering the bento box. I would almost be inclined to come back and try them all if it wasn't for....

The Music. This is maybe the strangest complaint for a restaurant I can think of but this killed this place for me. The place is called iSushi, like an iPod, yeah? We ate under a never ending stream of some of the worst Japanese-influenced-elevator-synth-jazz I have ever been exposed to. The kind of music that makes you think your on hold with HSBC Bank, or at a party for the launch of a new brand of mobile phone, or that some random bink with a love of slap bass and the kind of music you hear in Spas decided to combine his loves just for the better enjoyment of fat cut tuna sashimi.

Music is so important to the better enjoyment of food. Restaurants, please remember this. Don't treat it like an afterthought Remember, in 2004, Mario Batali was one point away from winning The New York Times highest possible rating for his rustic eatery, Babbo. What did he lose it on. Music.

However if they get the whole neuvo-lobotomy music taken care of, not bad really. Good portions, pretty decor, and an interesting menu. Will have to try again on another day.
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Foundation, The2301 Main Street, Vancouver
Pretentious Vegetarianism
Submitted Friday, May 1, 2009 - 5:22pm [Dine in]

I thought "Wouldn't it be nice if this was a really great place to have brunch, we could come here every Sunday!". Well first up against it, it's Vegetarian, which in and of itself isn't a big deal, as I was a Vegetarian for a year. It just wasn't what I thought it was. So we sat down and looked at the menu. And immediately wished we had checked out the menu outside the door before committing to The Foundation by means of sitting down. "Do you want to go somewhere else?" I asked Hubby. "No this will be fine!" He replied, returning to his menu with a slight frown. It's not that I don't understand Vegetarian food, I don't understand how they are trying to explain it on the menu. Everything had this air of "Food descriptions in normal menus are so Bourgois! Roll with this crimpin' home slice!". It was like beat poetry instillation art menu descriptions. Just tell me what it is. Is it a curry? Is it a burger? What? Is my deciphering of the menu my first step in proving I'm hip enough to eat here?

So we figured our something to eat from the expressionistic menu, got our cokes (regular, no diet available, which is nice for a laugh) and waited. For half an hour.

You see, there are ways patrons measure how long they have been waiting for their food. One is what level their drink is at. When you start getting to the bottom of your coke, you haven't been offered a refill, and your food is no wherein sight, you start to panic. You start thinking this was a terrible mistake. My husband the chef was sitting there, watching the kitchen, which is in plain view, and as had no food, had plenty of time to analyze their kitchen structure, movements, skill, and cleanliness and was forced to come back with "What the fuck are they doing back there?". We are making sandwiches and soup, guys. There is no meat to cook. What is taking so long. We can see you and you look like you are taking your sweet time back there.

Arriving, our food was...ok. My BLTish sandwich had a nice toasty crust and the guac in it was nice, however the fake bacon was a shade of screaming fake fuchsia and the tomato was cooked and piping hot resulting in wilted lettuce and a soggy interior. Hubbys Bean burger was overcooked, which is taking the piss when it's taken so long. How about use a little less enthusiasm with the salamander, it's veggie for gods sake. I mean the cheese was crispy like when you put nachos in the oven for to long. The accompanying salads were some very lonely spring mix with nothing of interest added, and a dressing that was so comically orange and lolly-pop Mandarin orange tasting we could not really believe it. I ate up to get my greens in, Hubby didn't bother as he felt he got the point.

All in all it was very cheap for lunch, $19 before tip. But would not go back. This is just food for people who like to give themselves an enormous congratulatory pat on the back whenever they open their walets. And the taken out of context eco-guerrilla comments on all the walls are a big hint on what the real agenda here is, and it's not feeding you good food or hoping you have a nice day. That would be just cool enough for school.
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Crave3941 Main St., Vancouver
Fois Gras Mayo?
Submitted Friday, May 1, 2009 - 5:20pm [Dine in]

If you want to know what the food buzz word for 2009 will be it will be Comfort Food. There is no coincidence that my most hit on page is "Apple pie and toad-in-the-hole". We are entering uncertain economic times, whether real or imagined. Winter is coming on a lot of levels. The last thing in the world I want is cold, unnatural, Uber arty food on 15" plates. I want braised meats, stew, poutine, mac and cheese, spaghetti bolonaise, pie. Hell, I could have given my left nut for a Figgy Pudding with Brandy Butter two days ago. Hot, dense, spicy, warming. That's what I want. and I'll bet the advertising budget for Campbell's Soups that you do too.

Crave fits this bill perfectly. Modern interpretations of comfort food with an inherently French Canadian influence. We ate smoked black cod niçoise, big fat burgers with fries, and mine, poutine of truffle Parmesan fries with shortrib jus and a side Fois Gras mayo. It was astonishingly good. And utterly comforting. Even if the other features of the place weren't so comforting.

One, no booking. Which I get, it's a tiny place, if a table doesn't show up, it's big money lost. And they do have a nice call back system, where you show up, register, and they will call you when your table is ready. Fine, we had a few drinks down the road. But also the tables are SO close together. Again, I get it, it's small. But just fair warning. If your meal is to discuss your impending break-up, sex life, side effects of cancer treatment, or finances, this is not the right time and place. You are right beside the next table. This is best for the kind of group we were. Young, loud, and not too worried about what strangers thought of our conversation.

Our service was so unobtrusive as to be forgettable. I couldn't even tell you if it was male or female actually. Everything showed up and that was good, and was neither rude or doing that irritating best-bud waiter shtick. Maybe this is just Vancouver though. You almost never get an server that's tying too hard. I hate when they think I will tip more if they crouch down by the table, get on a first name basis, or other wise act like they learned to sling food from the TGIF Friday's School of Service.

I'm going to go back to Crave, maybe just not on a Saturday with a load of people. And I am also going to check out Burgoo as comparison to get a fuller picture of this whole comfort food thing. In the meantime, go. I recommend it as a great easy place for a weekday. And the prices are WELL reasonable for the quality they are serving up. This is *VALUE FOR MONEY (*note other buzzword for 2009).
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Cafe Crepe796 Granville Street, Vancouver
Cafe Crepe is so bad.. How bad is it?!
Submitted Friday, May 1, 2009 - 5:19pm [Dine in]

Ah Cafe Crepe, what a really good idea. A series of comfortable sit down restaurants located in prime downtown locations, serving reasonable priced beer, coffee and crepes. Perfect, just what the downtown core needs. Should be lovely. Well it's not. I had the wholly unfortunate experience of going there on a whim on my birthday this year after a day of shopping, fully intending just to get a beer and go home. here's the problem. A family member that was with us used to work at cafe crepe, so has a particular view of it being "pretty good!" "improving" etc. Well on this birthday experience a while back, the waiter didn't actually offer us anything for a good 20 minutes, with a beer begrudgingly coming along a good while later. Then about the time we were thinking of maybe eating, we saw our waiter, in jacket and backpack, casually stroll towards the exit. We had to stop him and ask him who our new waiter was. When confronted with such a question ("Huh?" was his actual response) he motioned to someone just getting their apron on for their shift something sort of to the allusion that they should not take over. They obviously didn't get the message and it was then a good while even later before we saw menus. We should never had bothered. Stale burger buns with a plain cold burger patty obviously deep fried too long ago. A cheese pizza not even given the courtesy of getting to go into the oven, riddled with little circular microwave cheese bubbles. The skinny fries were good, but in no way worth the hassle and other bad food required to get them. Folks, even if you are drunk it's just not worth it. It's just so criminally bad. Were it not for the fact that they are located where tourists can fall on them, all Cafe Crepe location would have been gone long ago. Although from checking out the toilets in the Granville location yesterday, cracked and full of graffiti, just the thing to off-put tourists, the end could be soon. The amazing amount of drugs being consumed by staff and management is another indicator of the obscene lack of quality about to confront you at a Cafe Crepe. In previously stated dirty graffiti littered bathroom, I barged in on two young female staff doing a line on the bathroom counter at the fashionable hour of 4pm. No wonder the food and service is shit, the entire establishment is off their tits on Charlie.

Did I mention it's just not busy either? Certainly not busy enough to require a coffee to arrive 20 minutes after my dining companions beers have arrived, and then arrive grainy and cold. certainly not enough to forget water. That's just really, really bad waiters.
So in essence, you have a flop-house dirty, dingy, cracked, sad hole of a restaurant full of diabolically bad waiters, kitchen staff, and managers, passing themselves off as a European cafe experience in downtown Vancouver. What a horrible shame. Pull up your socks Cafe Crap.
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Burgoo3096 Main Street, Vancouver
The Triumphant Return of Comfort Food
Submitted Friday, May 1, 2009 - 5:17pm [Dine in]

After some initial kerfuffle over parking (basically, there isn't any), we got a table no problem and settled in for cocktails. Our drinks requests, me for gin and tonic with cucumber, and my mother for a "Lola" was met with unflustered "no problem"s and my mother says that they got get Lola "bang on" which apparently never happens. So kudos to that bartender, good job.
What I love about Burgoo is that they do food you would love to make if only could stay at home and cook and clean exclusively. Lots of slow cooked soups and stews, curry, big sandwiches, and much to my mothers delight, fondue. I think people went a little overboard on fondue in the late 70's and early 80's, and that's a shame because it's fabulous. Burgoo does theirs in little individual candle heated pots served with genius things like grapes and nuts. Bread and cheese for dinner is sometimes just so perfect, and they do this absolute justice. Simple, delicious, and eschewing the usual kitsch factor normally associated with foods from a bygone era. They have somehow managed to make things like French onion soup, a club sandwich, fondue - not conspicuously modern, but fresh and desirable and right on the money. You won't know what you need exactly, but when you get there and look at that menu, you will know what you have been missing out on all this time.
This is a big, big recommend to everyone, go to Burgoo and enjoy.
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Transylvania Flavour2120 West Broadway, Vancouver
No plastic vampire fangs here
Submitted Friday, May 1, 2009 - 5:15pm [Dine in]

I had wanted to go to Transylvania Flavor on West Broadway for quite some time as it had been recommended to me by a friend ages ago. I got the chance last night when we went with a large group of family visiting from out of town. First off, I was a little scared that there would be problems with a big group showing up on a Saturday without a reservation. No problem. Some tables were put together in a flash and there was not a hint of a worry or a scowl from our server. Happiness at having a large group eat at your restaurant? There's something refreshing.

There's a really nice selection of organic wines, which I think shows that even though they are serving traditional food, they are still keeping a finger on the pulse of what Kitsilano is looking for. I ordered a martini from their interesting martini menu, with items with names like "vampires kiss", etc. Could have come off as naf, but I thought it was cute. I got a "eternal life", Goldshlanger and apple which was beautiful and tasted like chilled Cinnamon apples. Also, you can't beat being presented with your drink and being told "I bring you eternal life". I love it.

For dinner I had perogies and a side of Veg, which was really nice and I really enjoyed it, but of course being the vegetarian in a group of people ordering at a Transylvanian restaurant, I was not going to have the most interesting plate. Two of our group decided to split the Knights Platter, which was Kielbasa sausage & fresh vegetables kebab, Chicken breast & fresh vegetables kebab, Roasted vegetables kebab, Mititei – Transylvanian sausages, Cabbage rolls, Perogies, Fries, Mamaliga – Feta cheese & polenta balls, House mixed greens salad, and Olives. Phew. As they were two strapping young lads, there was no problems polishing all this off, and a lot of happy comments like "I don't know what I'm eating but I like it". I love meals like that.

Here's the most impressive bit for me. I don't usually order dessert in restaurants because it is always such an oversight. It's always a piece of frozen cheesecake covered in bottled sauce, or something else that inevitable has a soggy bottom and a twang of freezer burn. Not here at all. The cheesecake was served in very generous slabs and if it had been frozen, there was no way of telling. I ordered a custard tart, which reminded me of a Greek version I eaten before, a think custard between sheets of pastry, but this was much nicer. flavorful custard and crisp filo. No disappointment here.

We had a great night. Really good food, awesome service, and not a wild bill at the end of it all. We will be back.
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Eatery, The3431 W Broadway, Vancouver
The Eatery Does Not Disappoint
Submitted Friday, May 1, 2009 - 5:12pm [Dine in]

Culture Shock is a curious thing. And it's odd that white North Americans seems to be particularly susceptible to it. Case in point, I even got Culture Shock going to England. Pathetic, I know. Going to places like Asia after living in Canada your whole life must absolutely blow your mind.

The most simplistic description of the difference between Asian and North American cultures is in the term "Hot and Noisy". This is used to describe that sort of hypercolour energy, flashing lights and noise in places such as Hong Kong. Just think of something like the flashing signs and buzz of Tokyo. But while we might find something "hot and noisy" unpleasant and downright uncomfortable, Asian cultures consider this ideal for something like a shopping plaza, party (calling a party hot and noisy is a compliment to the host in some instances), and even the layout of a website. I'm over simplifying this whole concept of course, but that the gist of what I find a very interesting difference between there and here.

If there is one perfect description of The Eatery (3431 West Broadway), it is that it is fantastically hot and noisy. Decorated like the interior of an arcade, full of giant cartoon characters, modern art and black light. Pumped full of music you would normally place more in a night club than a restaurant. Full of trendy college kids and twenty-somethings laughing, hugging, having a great time. It's sort of like if Chuck -e-Cheese grew up and started raving. I was there with some family for my Mother-in-laws birthday. We were a mix of ages, but I think it worked as both by parents in law are downright cool, and love a good time. Maybe don't bring your Grandmother who can't stand noise.

The waitresses are very relaxed yet energetic and full of good recommendations. The menu is huge, full of funky titles like Fat Elvis, Andy Warhol, Love Boat, etc. It can get a little overwhelming so ask for help. Muddle through this giant menu and you could be there all night. The highly recommended Tuna Tempura was amazing; soft, delicate tuna wrapped in light crisp batter drizzled in a little sauce and a smattering of green onion. This is fish fingers in the Land of Perfect. If you eat nothing else here, eat one of these.

We went a little crazy on the ordering (I won't mention what the bill was!). I have to say though that I was expecting some sort of crazy presentation or something to go with the general decor and feel of the place. It was really presented in a pretty traditional Japanese manner, which is always nice. I had thought from the build-up that it would be suspended from the ceiling on a trapeze or something, but it was just your traditional Vancouver style sushi, with a few taste twists.

My final impression was that I had wished that our server had wrapped us up a little faster. We found that we were waiting for our bill for a few minutes longer than we would have liked. Also, for such a fun place, I was really surprised that they didn't do anything with the Birthday that was happening at our table. When I booked, I mentioned that it was for a birthday, and there were obviously presents and stuff being opened. There wasn't even a "happy birthday" from the waitress, or a little free thing, or anything. I don't think you book a restaurant for a birthday expecting free stuff or anything, all I'm saying is that sometimes it's nice when they make a little bit of a fuss over the birthday boy or girl.

I think that The Eatery would be a great place to start out someone who has never eaten sushi or thinks it's not for because it's too stuffy. It really liked the atmosphere for a young crowd, or a party. Not for a sombre occasion or a romantic meal perhaps, although I'm considering holding my wake there if it's still open at the time of my eventual and unfortunate demise. I rather like the idea of my final send off being attended by a giant paper Astro Boy.
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