Small Japanese owned and operated sushi bar.
Took some guests here for dinner tonight, and the service was so poor I was embarrassed I suggested this place. We were completely passed over the entire night. After the waitress finally took our order (well after we were ready), she completely forgot to bring us the drinks we ordered. After 10–15 minutes we flagged her down and asked for them, when we really should have left at this point. The food was so unbelievably slow coming out; we had two dishes come out at about the 20 minute mark. (then had wait to eat the sashimi while we flagged down the waitress down for some soy sauce), then nothing for atleast half an hour. We didn't get a salad for 45 minutes! The service was so slow that every dish that finally came to our table was a disaapointment.
My first experience eating here was adequate, but this was so bad, I will not be back. The food is very good, but it does not offset the complete lack of basic restaurant service.
I used to live in kerrisdale area and only used to go to ajisai for sushi. To avoid line ups, always went there early. Small place but very fresh ingridients. Sometimes i wish they had warm broth (like udon) meal in their menu other than miso soup, but never disappointed for sushi. Like seafood salad and crunchness with use of corn flakes.
I'm a regular at this sushi bar. And it has always been consistently good. My one complaint is that they are always so packed with patrons, that I must wait for at least half an hour to be seated. But, this is one of the places I wait to be seated with a smile.
The seafood they serve is always so fresh! Always check out the little "Chef Recommended" Menu for the day's fresh picks. Their hirame, aji, uni, blue fin tuna, ankimo and toro are outstanding! Never forgot to order their seafood salad and mountain potato as appetizers.
Their service is always friendly, and usually with a smile.
Without a doubt, this is my favourite Japanese restaurant.
Aji Sai sushi in Kerrisdale is a diamond in the rough, or like a back alley, for those who've ever been. I've been going to Aji Sai since it first opened 7-8 yrs ago, and to be honest i have never been disappointed. The food is always of a high quality, and they always have a great selection of fish, some of which are not seen at most other Japanese restaurants. The other plus for this place is, it's actually owned and run by Japanese people, unlike the countless other Jap. restaurants in Vancouver. Aji-Sai always seems to have a line during peak times, no surprise, so i recommend showing up before 630 or after 8pm.
With regards to recommendations, some things i suggest trying are the Saba Shiso roll, and the mirugai ponzu. For those of you seeking more value, the roll combos are excellent, I had a West Coast combo or something the last time i was there. With regards to Sashimi, I recommend you take a look at the chef's recommendations, but i have never been disappointed with the freshness, and quality of their sashimi.
Yes, I do think this place is great, but there are some downers. I believe it's closed on Mondays, and only open for dinner on Sunday. The restaurant is quite small, so get their early, or be ready to wait. Another way to get around the wait is to order take out, but i'll be honest, fresh sushi doesn't travel far or for very long.
All in all, one of the best sushi bars in Vancouver. You get what you expect, this place is very authentic, and fortunately has no pretentious attitude, unlike some of Vancouver's other better Japanese establishments. Lastly, I think the cost is totally appropriate for the quality of the food, and the part of town the restaurant is in.
So everyone give it a go, bon appetit.
I have been eating at this little sushi joint for years now and avoid all the crowd/service issuses by usually going at just before close of lunch or at the start of dinner (~1:30/~5).
The sushi is always fresh, always satisfying, and you always leave feeling like you had a good meal. Servers and sushi chef very informative and are happy to make reccomendations if you are feeling indecisive.
Out of the regular menu, I reccomend the negi toro roll, seafood salad, nigri: saba, tuna, hamachi, toro and amaebi.
They have a menu of specialty items that change, I reccomend getting these when availible - spanish mackerel (not pickled saba), flounder, sweet prawn, katsuo (bonito!).
I usually will have a roll and will pick out an assortment of nigri, 6-10 pieces which leaves me with a bill around $20, well worth it.
This is the place to go for sushi in Kerrisdale because that's all it really is: a sushi bar. I love this place. Regardless of its cramped and drafty interior, quiet servers, I love their selection of fresh fish. Prices are a bit on the pricier side but for the selection and freshness, it is good value in my opinion. I usually like sitting at the counter as you get to see the chefs work and see what kind of fish selection they have for that day. I always order their seafood salad... it is recommended.
This place also does take-out and if you call your order 2 hours ahead of time, you'll get 5% off.
Authentic sushi. Always fresh and different varieties of fish available. Their seafood salad is one of their most popular dishes. Their menu is diverse and well thought out (for a sushi bar that is-- not that many cooked dishes). The sushi-chefs working in the tiny bar area are really masters of their craft. Prepare for long waits on weekends but every bit worth the wait.
One of the signature items at ajisai is probably the seafood salad; fresh greens, great variety of seafood and the perfect dressing. They also have great bento boxes at lunch for a pretty good price;however, one thing that i never like about the bento box is the daily side dish that comes with it;I always found it quite bland, but overall, this place has never disappointed me, consistently yummy.
Oh my gosh!! The food here is incredible. Though the place is quite small and seems a bit cramped when things get busier. I find you actually get better service if you take your food to go. We (my boyfriend and I) have only eaten in the restaurant once. The wait was actually longer and we found our server to be less pleasant when we were seated than when we just got take out.
The smell I get in my clothes everytime after going to Ajisai is unbearable; it totally stinks. The setting is cramped given it's small location and take-out style nature. The food is decent though. Ajisai is best as a take-out restaurant, it's just too small!!
ok so we had a party of 5 people going there on a Saturday night. arrived 7:15, didn't get seated til 8:45. the waitresses kept telling us 20 minutes more for 3 times. frustrated and ready to kill, we were all calmed down by the sake and the delicious, fresh sashimi. the assorted sashimi rice bowl, california roll, and house vegetable rolls are highly recommended and possibly the best I've tasted anywhere. the waitresses didn't apologize for the long wait, and the room was way too bright and small, but it was all worth it.
Ajisai is a great place for sushi. Excellent quality, at a price that won't make you broke. ($30-35 will give you a great meal) All the other sushi places in Kerrisdale is really nothing compared to Ajisai. I was shocked to see other reviewers compare Ajisai to the likes of Shota or Irashai. Honestly, I think this is the only place in Vancouver, other than Tojo, Yoshi, En, and Blue Water Cafe, where I would consider the sushi to be actually good quality. All the other places offer Mcdonald quality sushi.
Only problem with Ajisai is size, as they only sit like 20-25 people. Can be very long waits. Wish they would expand.
The sushi here is very good. The mackeral battera and tuna tataki are my favorites. I don't like the dynamite roll it doesn't use actual shrimp tempura as they don't have a license to have a deep-fryer. Instead they roll the shrimp in corn flakes. The menu is mostly sushi with very little "warm" foods. The place is very small, probably seats 20 people cozily. They have one large table but it's likely you may have to sit with strangers if you get seated there. The service is usually good, but not that consistent, but the food outweighs the inconsistencies. The prices are reasonable, but not cheap. The staff is all Japanese.
I don't really like the ambiance because while you're eating you feel a lot of eyes on you from the waiting customers wanting you to hurry up and get the heck out of there so they can have your table.
I was looking forward to revisiting Ajisai's after a delicious lunch there awhile back. Boy were we disappointed. We ordered two roll combos and the sushi rice was all mushy and the rolls were falling apart with not that much in them. We all looked at each other and pretty much said we couldn't eat anymore after a few pieces. I got up and told the waitress and sushi chef that it wasn't really edible. They seemed totally surprised. They asked if they could make it again for us so I agreed. Although the rolls looked a bit more presentable the taste was not there and the rolls were still falling apart. We are spoiled by Maguro's in Ladner and Nikko's in Langley and I now appreciate those places so much more. I brought my husband a few leftover pieces and after a couple of bites threw it in the garbage. A cute little place but we won't be back.
I am a sushi tsu(snob) and I am proud of it. I will not eat at the horrible restaurants that serve all you can eat. I will not eat at places that serve the wrong kind of tea. I will not eat at restaurants that have cold rice or plate the dishes wrongly.
I bristle if the chef is using some mass produced knife, I scream bloody murder if the plates do not match the food that is put on it.
Ajisai is one of the best Sushi places in Vancouver. The head chef Hide knows his stuff. He does not do stupid things like put wasabi under his unagi. He does not serve cold sushi rice and if you have the money, tell him Omakase and let him make a meal you won't soon forget.
Food: We go to this place when we want good sushi and sashimi and are willing to pay more for it. Sashimi, sushi and rolls and always very fresh and well made. The wild salmon and hamachi are great.
Service: Okay.. the staff are efficient but not overly friendly.
Value: Decent value, you pay more than your standard sushi place but the quality is excellent so I would say it's definitely worth it.
Ambiance: Not bad ambiance overall. The weird shape and size of the place makes several strange seating arrangements that are not always comfortable. We keep going back for the quality of food and wide selection.
Went with a friend and got in just as they opened for dinner (I think it was 5:30pm). Took my time to look through the menu. Quite extensive list of dishes! Everything looked delicious.
Finally decided on a ..hm can't remember what the name of it was, but it's basically a bed of rice in a bowl, covered with thinly shredded eggs, then covered with my favourite! Half sea urchin, half salmon roe. I knew I would love the sea urchin/ uni, as I always do! Salmon roe I was afraid would be too salty. At this place, it wasn't! It bursts with flavour and heaven!!! Uni was sooo delicious, creamy, aromatic, with just the right amount and flavour of rice. Not too much. This place doesn't try to fill you up with rice! Perfect amount of ingredients vs. rice. Uni and salmon roe were more than I imagined. For $17 and tax included I think? Tips on top of that. I left so pleased and satisfied...
Mind you, though, I have only gone once.. so I don't know how consistent they are. But, previous reviewers seem to have loved it as well.
Ajisai is my absolute favourite sushi bar in Vancouver. Although the service is slightly on the slow side, I would endure the long wait for the best sushi. The dynamite roll is amazing with a special Ajisai mayo. The seafood salad is also delicious. This sushi bar is definitely authentic.
For $45 my 2 people can stuff themselves. I'm not a light eater or a pig.... I'd say the prices are well worth it. It is purely a sushi bar, so do not expect to get any of the "safe" hot food dishes. It is definitely not a place for you if your idea of Japanese food consists of tempura, teriyaki or udon dishes as these items are not available. Why I love this place?
1. They make the best sushi rice. Most places cannot seem to get the right mixture of vinegar and spices in their rice, but Ajisai does a great job of it.
2. They have a small but fresh selection of seafood.
3. Their chef's are Japanese (a rarity nowadays).
Favourites....chop scallop cone/nigiri, unagi tomago cone, house roll, assorted sashimi, hokigai & tako sashimi, wakame sunomono, seafood salad, dynamite roll, eel & scallop roll.
Before you, do expect a wait unless you are the first ones through the door, they are always busy and do not take reservations. Plus the place is small. The sushi is worth the wait.
Call for a Pick up meal, 45 minutes will be ready, the lady in the another side of the phone said. Ok, I will be there.....
Food not as expected.
In kerrisdale are about 9 sushi restaurant, the only good to try out is Irashai Sushi. on W41st. they now about good food.