"New Concept" Japanese dining. Izakaya style plates and sushi. Bistro Sakana "is a place to have a good time, a place to enjoy your meal; eat and drink until you are satisfied!".
A couple of friends invited me along to their favorite sushi place, Bistro Sakana. To be honest I had never heard of this place before. It is not huge, looks like it seats maybe 50 or so. It is definitely not your typical Japanese eatery. It was cool, sophisticated, and felt like it belonged in L.A. or N.Y.C. It is great to see this kind of establishment in Vancouver.
The food: Very fresh, creative, and beautifully presented. I definitely enjoyed the fusion dishes most. Some dishes were illuminated with small lanterns made from paper thin carrot and radish. The flavors were amazing and there was a lot to choose from on the menu.
The Service: Remarkably attentive on a busy Friday night. Language was a slight problem with one of the servers. They all seemed to be from Japan. At least one of them spoke fluent English and they were all quite helpful, friendly and welcoming. I noticed that one of the sushi chefs was female, That's kind of neat, I've never seen that in a Japanese restaurant before.
Value: Not your cheapest Japanese restaurant, but as I mentioned not typical either. I felt that we received fairly good value for our hard earned money. The quality was certainly there. We drank some very good cold sake, they had a great selection, but it wasn't cheap!
Ambiance: This was an area that really impressed me. The music was contemporary jazz, the lighting was intimate, and I loved the black and white samurai movie projected on the wall. Again, the place had a very big city sophistication about it.
I will definitely be back.
When I drive in from the valley for a night on the town, I expect it to be worth my while, and this place is. I've eaten here several times and never been disappointed by the quality of the food--it's superb. Some of my favouites: the filo rolls, the prosciutto roll, and of course the yam fries. The recent renovations give it a sleek, stylish, very "Yaletown" feel. The only drawback--service can be a bit slow if it is very busy. Try it on a weeknight, or be sure to make reservations.
Another girl's night out and a good time indeed. Our first stop, Bistro Sakana, a long time favorite with a great patio. The food here never disappoints (but more specials would be nice). We had our usual prosciutto roll, crispy lobster roll, Malibu roll, teppan roll, etc. All top notch and extremely fresh. The service was great as usual. The hostess always remembers our names, which is nice. The ambiance was even better than usual since the members of one of my favorite bands, Radiohead, were sitting right beside the entrance to the patio. My friends had to restrain me. I was so close to walking over and giving Thom Yorke a big kiss on the cheek! What a thrill. I still think I should have! Nice work Bistro Sakana, see you next time.
Considering there are dozens of Izakaya hotspots and Japanese restaurants in general, this is nothing spectacular but a good experience nonetheless. They definitely has some of the freshest oysters i've tasted, very sweet and juicy. The sushi rolls are somewhat innovative, at least the crispy ones were. The Salmon Carpaccio was my favourite and the Halibut Cheeks were good as well, though the cheeks were a touch overcooked.
But a good place to get japanese food on a weekly occassion specially with the price point. Not extremely expensive for a Yaletown spot.
Good job Sakana, things are only looking up.
I went to Bistro Sakana expecting fresh, good sushi, and inventive Japanese tapas, and my expectations were met. I was pleased with the fresh scallops and wild salmon. They had brown rice sushi, where were a delight for the health conscious eater. However, the brown rice used were the short grain kind - I would have preferred something a little more toasted or wheaty tasting. I was disappointed with the tiny portions. Each roll only had 4 pieces - and at $5-10 / roll, the bill sky rocketed. We each spent $34 per person - including tax, tips, but no alcohol was ordered.
Honestly, I have had sushi that is just as fresh and just as delicious (maybe minus the pretty presentation) for much cheaper. Gyoza (not the best I've had, although quite good) ran me 6.50, at least a couple dollars more than most places, while the ebi suonomono was a joke at 4.50, with 3 small prawns, and 3 chopstick's full of noodles, at most. Also, the brine the noodles were in was very unapatizing, and WAY too salty. I've been here before, and their rolls and sashimi are very good,so stick to the those items---all in all, food-wise, Bistro Sakana is good, but not good enough to warrant the prices.
I've been a lurker on this site for quite a while now, and this is the first time that I've been compelled to write a review. We used to love Bistro Sakana for it's great sushi, but lately things have changed. The sushi is the same great sushi, but they have changed their music to a faster tempo playlist...some kind of contemporary electronic crap like Moby...and it's LOUD! I am a fan of the old school jazz that they used to play softly in the background, but now it's so loud that one cannot hold a decent conversation without shouting at your partner. My friends have also commented on the loud music as did the two tables seated beside us. I will gladly order take-out, but I doubt I will ever eat in there again unless things change.