The Naam is rightfully proud for its status as a rainbow leftover from the 1970s hippie mania that swept W4th Ave. Gone now are the independent bookshops, hemp stores, and African knickknack importers . . . but the Naam remains, but it's showing some wear and tear.
First, the service is terrible. This goes without saying. It is an axiom of Vancouver life. If the restaurant is busy, you will queue in the claustraphobic foyer and hope to God someone eventually pays you some attnetion. If it's slow, you will be doing exactly the same thing . . . except your blood may boil because it's more obvious that you are being ignored. The rather potheaded staff will frequently mess up your order as well.
What can be said? The management are aware of the problem, but prefer to see it as a charming characteristic of their laid-back world view. If you're in a hurry, and like prompt, attentive service, then you are obviously an uptight CEO and not Naam patron material.
So people go for the food, which is plentiful in its possibilities -- many vegetarian dishes of rather ingenious design. But the much lauded staples -- miso french fries and such -- aren't up to what they used to be. The portions are bigger, but there is a distinct feeling of carelessness that seems to be increasing every year.
Menus are soothingly calligraphic, a mixture of tribal design and Celtic motifs . . . you may find this either twee and trite, or else artistic and folksy. The lovely woodsy desocr, the clomp clomp of hiking boots, the smoky endtable candles and sometimes a live Irish harp performance . . . you are in something of a fairy world. There's enough eye candy to keep the shroom heads happy.
Still a fun place for friends and dates . . . if you can cope with the service and the odd lunatic telling you the UFOs are busily re-engineering homo sapiens' kernal DNA . . .
beats lame-assed dharma kitchen.