Small Japanese owned and operated sushi bar.
I have been coming here for years and I can honestly say Ajisai has still got it. No other sushi place I have tried has come near in beating it. It's rolls and nigiri are one of the best I have ever had. However, I have to say the whole experience has dropped for me a little ever since it has started getting recognition. What used to be a great place to hang out and get good sushi at a reasonable price has now become a whole ceremony. It is a small restaurant, I understand, but part of its charm has been taken but it. I usually end up waiting over 30 minutes just to get inside, so I have started opting for simple take-out.
Went for lunch last Friday, based on reviews here. We expected it to be small, but MAN...is it EVER small!!
Got there early for lunch, and got seated. Service was great, prompt and friendly. We ordered miso soup, goma-ae and sashimi for two. Server came back to find out if "gaijin" understood that sashimi did not come with rice. Yep, we understood that.
Miso was good, goma-ae was fresh and tasty. Sashim was impeccable. NOTHING was "off" or "fishy"...it was all extremely fresh and good.
Green tea kept on coming, which is a nice change from having to ask for it.
Will be back for sure. Highly recommended!
For the moderate prices and the obviously fresh fish, it's definitely better than the other Kerrisdale sushi restaurants overall.
I find their toro, amongst other fish, is well above that which is offered by Irashai. And Irashai, in my opinion, is better than Asa & that take-out sushi restaurant next to the crepe place (yeah, I keep forgetting their name), and definitely well worth it over the formerly overpriced Shota Sushi 2 doors down from Starbucks on that side street behind Shopper's Drug Mart (they now have cheaper combo boxes & opened up in Richmond next to Shanghai River). The BBQ black cod is really tasty with nice crisp skin & tender juicy meat. The cut used for the beef sashimi is nice, bright, red & tasty. The uni is more than decent; the ikura fresh; the saba is alright. The mirugai is tasty & reasonably priced. Too bad they only have green tea ice cream listed for dessert, so I've just skipped finishing off the meal with that.
They're busy most meal hours & are closed in between lunch & dinner as well as Sunday & Monday (if I recall correctly). I've only been Saturday & weeknights minus Mondays.
The establishment seats few but still a good turnover and located in a nice semi-secluded area attached to the London Drugs building across from the drop-in Care Centre. It is run by very pleasant & friendly Japanese staff though majority of patrons are of other Asian origins and/or with a mix of Caucasians. I don't believe I've actually spotted many Japanese shoppers & diners in general in the Kerrisdale area...
Had dinner here on a saturday nigh with a friend. Had the seafood salad, which was good, but didn't feel it was anything special over other seafood salads I have had. I also had their salmon rolls, which seemed pretty fresh. Lastly there was a chirashi don, which was pretty standard, but the seafood seemed fresh.
I was greeted at the door promptly, and my order came in about 20 minutes. Had 1 tea refill and had no problems getting the bill.
Value wise, from what I ordered, it seemed like a not bad deal, but it wasn't cheap. Ambiance is fine, its plain and clean.
I probably would not be back here, as there are a few similar quality restaurants closer to me.
I have only had lunch here and it is a very popular place so you are lucky to get a seat in here. You are lucky when you do because everything I have had here (mostly raw) is fresh and tasty. Sushi is my first choice when dining out and this is the a conveniently located Japanese restaurant on the less busy side of the Boulevard. I would rate the sushi here as mid to high end (low end defined as all-you-can-eat and high end beautiful and expensive). For what you get in food and atmosphere, it is pretty good value.
Ajisai serves hands down the best sushi I have eaten outside of Japan. The ingredients are fresh and presentation is outstanding. They even manage to make the California rolls taste better than other sushi restaurants. The uni and hamachi are good, but what's really memorable - the otoro is out of this world. It's a must try, even at $7 per nigiri piece. I think it's listed as Blue Fin Tuna on the chef special menu and is only available occasionally. I do feel guilty for eating blue fin, but it's so good I just can't help myself...
The servers are very friendly. The place itself is very small and gives a cozy feel. If I had one complaint, I guess it would be that when they served cooked fish (such as grilled black cod), the fishy smell can instantly be smelled throughout the entire restaurant. But really, that doesn't stop this from being the best sushi restaurant in Vancouver.
The place is clean. The food is fresh enough but still not worth the price. They only have a few kinds of fish. It's fresh all right but doesn't taste that special. It doesn't taste that speical to make me want to come back. It's over priced and they give you small portion.
If you;re looking for one of the better Japanese restaurants this is it. Its more of a bistro style place that seats no more than 40 people. Sit by the sushi bar. They probably have the freshest sashimi around. Prices are moderate and expensive for the nicer slices of fish like Hamachi. They have fresh geoduck which is truly a delicacy that must be appreciated if you order it. Overall food value for 2 people around $60. Clean place with solid service. Thumbs Up !
Ajisai is a little hard to find, being tucked behind London Drugs, but journeying out to eat there is well worth it. It truly is a "sushi bar," in that they almost exclusively serve sushi and sashimi, and they do it very well.
My better half and I decided to split the Combination D, which included BC rolls, California rolls, tekka and kappa maki, and a selection of nigiri. The rolls were all delicious, with the BC rolls including a generous chunk of BBQ'd salmon inside, unlike most places that try to fill it up with lettuce. The quality of the fish was top-notch in the nigiri; even the surf-clam, which I usually find too chewy at most other Japanese restaurants, was tender and flavourful. The salmon and tuna were also notably tasty, and barely required soy sauce; the chef had put in just the right amount of wasabi to make the taste buds happy.
The servers seemed frazzled since the room was packed; though our teacups were filled it took a few minutes for someone to take our names down to wait for a seat. But it was "decent" and definitely not a deterrent from coming back.
The feel inside was quite intimate and cozy (though a little crowded). We sat at the sushi bar and enjoyed watching the sushi chefs make mouth-watering creations.
For two people, the bill came out to a little under $50 including tax, tips, and a beverage, and we were stuffed!
Will definitely come back to taste the myriad of nigiri options!
My husband and I are both sushi-addicts and rather particular ones at that. We have been coming here near-exclusively to get our fix for several years for good reason; Ajisai possibly serves the best sushi in the city (along with Tojo's).
This spot offers completely authentic, fresh, quality sushi at affordable prices. The staff are consistently pleasant, efficient and helpful. They offer some dishes not regularly offered by Japanese restaurants here; the Wakame Sunomono is especially delicious.
Line-ups are inevitable and worth it.
What a find! I've walked by a few times before and finally tried Ajisai - was I ever impressed.
The sushi is exquisite. Not too much rice and packed with flavour.
The only downside is not enough seats so expect to line up or best yet ... order take out in advance and get a 5% discount (I'll definitely be ordering take out next time).
The complimentary green tea is also the real thing.
I really like Ajisai Sushi Bar as their food is always fresh and the staff always treat you professionally.
My only suggestion would be to extent their bar as the space is very limited that there is always a long line up. It takes a long time to find a seat. It would be great if they can move to a larger place where more customers can be taken at the same time.
3 years and counting and Ajisai is still as near and dear to my heart as it was the first day I dined there.
The food is truly what sets this quaint little sushi restaurant apart from other locales. Everything is served extremely well-prepared and, most importantly, FRESH. Being a strictly sushi-oriented restaurant, you won't find anything deep fried (ie. tempura) or pan-fried or any of the like. So if you're a fan of fish, you're in for a wonderful surprise. I love this restaurant to pieces. It is a touch hard to find and even more difficult to secure a seat during prime-dining-times (it is rather tiny). Even so, I come back again and again with repeatedly excellent experiences.
Dishes to try:
Seafood salad (oh the dressing is to die for!)
Saba sushi/sashimi (simply the best... ANYWHERE)
california rolls (what? that's right i said it! they're different, i swear!)
and... oh that's right, anything with fish on the menu :P
The food was good when we finally got it. It took almost 2 hours to get a sashimi plate and a combo a plate. The waitresses did not seem to care about the customers. The ventillation system was either not working or was too small for the size of the place.
We will not go back.
My mom took me here for my birthday over the summer and I loved every bit of it.
Very small space and difficult to find if you don't know the nooks and crannies of Kerrisdale, but the best kept secret of Kerrisdale.
I love their pressed sushi, but everything there is worth trying (except for maybe natto, but that's just a preferential thing....)
They can do no wrong, except that they are closed on Mondays, I believe. Make sure you check their opening hours, I've often been disappointed to find that they are closed during lunch!
Price wise, it is definitely more expensive than something like Sushi King House and most other sushi joints around the Kerrisdale area. That being said, you can expect actual authentic, and delicious food here.
I hear great things about their seafood salad, and I'll be sure to try it out the next time I go.
This tops my rating simply because of the oshizushi. I went with 4 friends and decided to try the oshizushi with mackerel (considering that there's not a hot plate in the place, we figured they grilled it with a blow torch!). OH MY GOODNESS - it is the most delicious sushi I've ever had! The fish was so fresh, so tender and seasoned perfectly with just the right amount of black pepper and some kind of citrus soy sauce dressing. It was a good combination with rice... if only they made this en masse... The bill came to $50 and we were pretty full.
All the other sushi items seem standard. Nothing spectacular. A bit pricier than the usual sushi joint but worth it! The place is small so be prepared for a long wait. Not suitable for big party groups at all.
Above average. Very reasonable. Sometimes too innovative. Personally I didn't care much about the cornflake they used in Dynamite Roll - it didn't work with soy sauce. Also yama-imo they used in some rolls didn't enhance sushi flavour but rather distracted it. I'd like to try other rolls - the menu looks intriguing. Overall, I liked this tiny place - good sushi at good price. It will be a regualr hangout.
Ok, so I go here from time to time and I am always impressed with the quality of food.
They have outstanding Sashimi of all sorts, not to mention a variety of fish you dont see at typical sushi restaurants.
Keep in mind that the only hot food they have is miso soup, so dont go expecting any hot food.
Their menu may seem a bit extensive and intimidating, so i recommend that you sit at the bar and talk to the sushi chef about what you like and he will recommend dishes for you.
here is a list of suggestions, tuna/salmon sashimi, salmon don, smoke salmon nigiri, negitoro roll/cone, any of the fish specials, avacado salad, avao-q roll, i can go on, but i wont.
if you go for lunch go before noon, as it gets busy because its quite small, i have not been for dinner so i dont know the timing.
Okay, so I've been there several times, but I guess I will stop going there.
In general, their service is generally OKAY. One of the waitresses gives really bad service. I went in and the restaurant wasn't so busy. She was standing at the counter and facing inside of the bar, and did not even turn to me and ask what I'd like. Instead, I had to ask her myself. She gave me a really unfriendly look. I don't know what's gotten into her!
Their food is okay, but they seem to gradually decrease the portion of food per dish, and raise their price recently?
I got to mention one thing that they don't seem to wash their table cleaning cloth that often. I always see them wipe their tables with the same cloth over and over again. When they finish, they just place it right back on their counter table (without even washing it). Yuk! I don't know if anyone of you have noticed it, but we all know how dirty that is.
I liked this place. it was recommended by friends. Almost like sushi in Japan so i can say this is the most authentic.
It is only a sushi restaurant so you must know that you can only get sushi. Very small, but good for the money you will pay. It is hard to find but once you are there, you will go back.