West has enjoyed accolades for some time, consistently ranked amongst the top restaurants in Vancouver. I have been one of those who have joined the gourmand crowd in singing its praises and have often made it the first port of call for guests when they are in town. But of late, there have been rumblings that it has fallen from its secure five-star perch. A recent visit confirmed – at least in my mind - just why.
Overpriced and pretentious first course selections, nestled in over-sized plates, lacked substance, quantity and distinctive creativity. A fish tartar comprised of negligible amounts of fish failed to impress. A miniscule bowl of cold zucchini soup was bland and uninspiring. A main course of Tuna, was comprised of three tiny pieces of tuna, one overcooked, on a bed of Asian greens with a piece of turnip: this, all for the unbelievable price of $39. A special-of-the-day bouillabaisse was lauded by the waiter as being out of this world, and overflowing with luscious seafood. In the end, a few pieces of seafood, punctuated with a disconnected bouillabaisse-style sauce was tasty but far from out of this world. For dessert, a custard crepe which sounded like an impressive creation, ended up being a gummy pancake with mango strips that are typically used to adorn mango cakes.
To say that our experience was a disappointment would be an understatement. Service was, arguably, solid but everything else points to a restaurant that is riding on its reputation, quietly bilking its patrons, and destined for a crash unless someone steps in to reclaim it previous grandeur. As my guests and I left, we were not just unhappy, but angry for having paid for overpriced and insignificant food that left us still hungry.