This review is applicable to any Cactus Club in the lower mainland... I've been to about 6 of them and I will give them this... the chain is very consistent, but that's not necessarily a compliment.
Over the last several years I've been back to the various CC locations because when entertaining clients it's an easily recognizable meeting place and is "posh" enough to entertain clients and most locations are nicely accessible. Those are the positives.
One of my few non-business related visits to CC in West Vancouver I ordered fish tacos, touted as a Rob Feenie creation. Well, Rob Feenie has become more of a public relations addict than a chef but I still wanted to believe that there would be some magic in this dish. After all, fish & Mexican... 2 of my favourite things in life, how could it go wrong? Well, first, the dish was cold... but not supposed to be. The fish was dry and tasteless, oh... it's too painful to go on. It's one of those dishes that returns to haunt you in your mind for years and years everytime you think about ordering something similar in another restaurant. If I were a "Chef" and they put my name to this dish I would crawl under a rock for at least a month. Poor Rob, did he ever taste this dish? But he sure got paid for it, no doubt.
Onto other visits... I order the Rocket Salad usually because it's a salad and a safe bet. It's very big, very mediocre and very soul-less. Onto the service... I can't help but notice that all the waitresses look exactly the same and they all dress in exactly the same tight style of black clothing with slilettos which is oddly uncomfortable looking. They are all trained to be pleasant but many times they forget things and you just smile and repeat yourself whenever you need to. Nobody really seems to be there to work hard, they all look like they're looking to pick somebody up. If I was there with my date, I might be tempted to peak at the cheque to see if the waitress wrote a cute little note with her phone number on it (but I'm sure that's forbidden in the employee handbook).
Unfortunately, this chain is a sad indication of where our society is headed. This is upscale fast food chain where everybody looks good and doesn't know anything about truly good food & service. The decore is exceptional and it lulls the average customer to buy in that the food must be special too.
I feel like like a fraud everytime I go there because we make Hollandaise from scratch at home for our eggs benny and we drink wine from crystal goblets on a Wednesday night in our sweat pants if we feel like it.
I don't like these places because I think they cater to the tasteful but tasteless crowd, like people with gourmet kitchens who never cook. But Cactus club is probably here to stay and I will probably still go there whether I like it or not.