Local, fresh and unpretentious pretty much sums it up. I love this place. Although the price point makes this pretty much a special occasion-only destination, it is tops on my list.
First - the service. Delightful, friendly and inobtrusive. Very often, John Bishop himself will come over to ask you how things are or help serve the food. They always have little extras that absolutely make the meal - freshly baked bread, amuse bouche, a little liqueur. The service is not rushed at all, but at the same time you do not ever wonder if they have forgotten about you. There is also not an ounce of pretention. It doesn't matter who you are, what you drive or who you know - at this restaurant, all of the staff dote on you.
Ambiance - simple, unassuming and delightfully West Coast. This is the epitomy of the local dining experience in Vancouver - there is local art on the walls, candles and lots of fresh flowers. No loud music, no annoying lights.
And last, the food. Wonderful. The ingredients are local, the flavours are simple, but delicious. The salads are inventive and delicious, and the mains (I usually have the fish) are good sized portions. The desserts, however, are fabulous. I had a peanut butter-chocolate mousse that was absolutely incredible.