I came here last week and my streak of picking awesome restaurants kept rolling. The Cafeteria is a new restaurant on Main Street replacing Ping's. We got there fairly early to avoid the main dining rush and there was only a few tables seated. The space is small and clean with large menus on both walls. I would have given the ambiance a 4 but unfortunately I was being blinded by the sun for most of the night. I overheard that blinds are on order so hopefully that gets fixed. Now on to the good stuff...
They have a pretty decent wine selection with many being offered by the glass. They will also open a bottle if you order two glasses of anything.
We started our dinner by sharing the scallop sashimi. It was a large portion of thinly sliced scallops with sesame seeds, avocado, a drizzle with sesame oil and a bit of heat. It was very tasty. I ordered the duo of beef and my dining companion had the veal. Both were very large portions and over the top in terms of flavour and quality of ingredients.
My duo of beef included a few slices of steak, I believe sirloin and braised beef cheek. The beef cheek was barely held together and literally melted in your mouth. At $18, this was one of the best dishes I have ever had which seems strange to say. I tried the veal scallopini and it was great: a large portion of veal loaded with mushrooms accompanied with a simple tagliatelle. We finished with the crumble which was tasty as well but at that point I was so full that I only had a small bite.
The service was outstanding the entire night; very attentive but not intrusive. I would assume with their price point and small space, they need to flip tables fairly quickly. We never felt like we were rushed and the place was packed shortly after our arrival.
Cafeteria is on my list of favourite restaurants in Vancouver. I hope they live up to my high expectations on subsequent visits which will be often.