Fresh westcoast cuisine and cocktails.
Went for a quick dinner on saturday night. The place was busy and we were seated promtly. The atmosphere is good but the place is too loud. I had the pesto shrimp pasta and my friend had the steak sandwich. Both were very good. I really liked my pesto pasta as there was lots of garlic and olive oil. Nice drinking place if you just want to relax but it is loud. The pizza looked good so i would get this next time. Prices were reasonable.
Every once in a while you stumble across a place you don't expect to find. Seattle for example is full of these little gems but not so much in Vancouver.
Eight 1/2 is tucked away basically at 8th & Main, a little difficult to find, beside a new condo development. Our waitress commented the building beside them had recently been torn down & they now had the evening sunset through their windows. Not for long.
We came on a Friday night, without resrvations, at about 7PM. Had we been 15 minutes later, we would have had a 45 minute wait or better. The restaurant is not large & they use pevery square foot to accomodate tables. There is a long bar running pretty much the length of the restaurant.
There was a good mix of people, but the majority I would say were in the 30 something bracket. A lot of regulars it seemed. The restaurant is narrow and very noisey. We were unfortunately seated right by the entrance.
The menu was a good selection of starters, small plates & entrees. Prices ranged from the $9 thru $20 range for most items. They also had a daily feature/fresh sheet.
Both of us being on yet another diet, we opted for salads. Ingredients were local, fresh, and the salads a good entree size, while still allowing a shared cheesecake for dessert. With a glass each of wine, the tab was $55. Service was prompt.
We will return but reserve in advance & ask for a table away from the door.
Wasn't sure what to expect based on other reviews but we were pleasantly surprised. The service was good and the service was just right. The price matched what you would expect in this city so all good here. We had the pizza and it was good fresh-I took the leftover home and very much enjoyed it for lunch the next day. Will go back at some point.
Food: We ordered the BBQ chicken pizza and the Steak Sandwich. The flavour for the pizza was just alright. Good amount of cheese, standard amount of chicken, but lack of any other toppings other than a couple slivers of red pepper. The center of the pizza was soggy while the outer ring was hard/crunchy. The steak sandwich was actually pretty good. We had the steak well done but it was still really moist and flavourful. It came with caramelized onions and mushrooms; that was delicious. It came with a large portion of mashed potato. It was tasty but lumpy at the same time.
Service: Nothing special, nothing bad. We were promptly seated when we waked in. Waiter came with menus and water. Took our order. Maybe checked on us once, which is good because I don't like naggy waiters. I would have given him a 4 for outstanding service but the food took a long time to arrive.
Value: $12:50 for the pizza and $13.50 for the sandwich. Pretty good value. They also have daily drink specials.
Ambiance: Pretty nice lounge atmosphere. The washroom is clean and decent. The sofas on the edge of the place is really low and pretty uncomfortable. I traded to sit on the regular chairs instead. The place is nice but it's so loud. I had to shout over the dinner table!
A few co-workers and I decided to try this restaurant, five minutes from where we work. I had the chicken and brie sandwich with the Hollywood salad - amazing! My friends had the soup of the day - seafood chowder - the best they've had - ever! We loved the decor; the service was great and we've found a new place to get together for lunch. We'll definitely be back!
I stopped in for a bite while my daughter was at ballet next door and really enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and great prices. My salad was a great size and so fresh. The wines are very well priced, I tried one called Joie upon recommendation and really enjoyed it. Nice relaxed dining room and very friendly staff. I'll be back for sure
We had reservations for 6 people at noon on a Wednesday.
There were very few clientelle in the restaurant.
I was half an hour late arriving and the 6th person was expected later so the 4 friends had already ordered. My order was taken as soon as I arrived.
All sandwiches came with choice of salad, soup, or chips with salsa. Some had salad, some had Thai Chicken soup. All were excellent!
I had the Black Forest Ham and Cheddar cheese sandwich with garlic butter... excellent!
No one had alcohol.
Our 6th friend joined us after we had all finished our lunches but we enjoyed our coffees while she had her lunch and dessert.
Coffee after lunch (some had decaf, some had caf) came in a coffee press... impressive! (however they only had 4 presses in house so one of us had a regular coffee)
I would definitely go again
Decided to come here for a coworker's birthday lunch. The online menu makes it sound really promising however... we showed up at 1:15 and it wasn't very busy... put in our order and over the next few minutes the waitress had to come back to us to say that the Diet Pepsi mix was running low, would we like a different drink? Then, they only had one more order of butternut squash soup left, who wants it? We also ran into another colleague who had been waiting for her lunch with her friend for over 30 minutes only to be told that the cooks forgot to make it... would she mind waiting? (She ended up taking it to go.)
Despite this we stayed (as we had also already put in our order)... took us about 30 minutes to get our food. All grilled sandwiches that came out... cold. The bread was a loaf I could have bought at Safeway myself. Overall not impressed.
I don't mind spending $12 for a soup/sandwich once in a while but I'd like it to be hot please. There are places that serve it hotter, faster, and have better value (ahem, Argo's...) And I don't like to see the kitchen staff walking into the dining area with a smoke in hand ready to go on their break while we are still waiting for our lunch to be served. It felt like the waitress was being hung out to dry because she had to go to every table and apologize for the lack of food/mixups that were going on.
The restaurant opens at 12. The soup that is on their regular lunch AND dinner menu ALL THE TIME is already run out by 1:30? Come on.
Came here for brunch on Sunday.
I'm just going to keep this short, the food was just awesome. I got the smoked salmon pizza and my other half got a roast beef sub w/ salad.
I can't remember a time a restaurant had such delicious food.
The only bad thing to say is that the restaurant's tables are not well spaced out. I can see that it would get really loud here on a Friday / sat night.
We dined here as a large party for a friend's birthday. While the wine list and food did not stand out, the ambiance was good and we had a great time. It is tucked away off Main and 8th; the atmosphere was fun and the value for the evening was great. Next time I will return with friends who like beer, it seems like their beer list was much better than their winelist!
I wonder if they use fresh fruits in their fruit salad. the grape in my fruit salad (part of the breakfast) was rotten with molds. I mean the grey fuzzy types...yikes..unfortunately I ate most of my fruit before I saw the grape....
The service was slow...my food took an hour from order to delivery...what incompetent kitchen takes that long to make sausage eggs and toast and moldy fruit salad?
we tried 8 1/2 for breakfast and it was amazing! We really like trying out all kinds of breakfast places in Vancouver and we're generally disappointed with something. This morning the coffee came and arrived on a nice tray, coffee was well above average. We're extremely fussy coffee geeks and even though its drip coffee it was really good. the only downfall was the cream is those pathetic little creamers from dairyland. when my eggs benny arrived it was hot and perfect, the bearnaise sauce was spot on, the eggs were perfect. I havent had eggs benny just right anywhere in vancouver. This is starting to sound like a spam owner review pumping their own biz but it was really outstanding. We even commented while we were there that something must go wrong. I hate potatoe chunks for breakfast as they're usually to greasy or to doughy and undercooked or generally gross but these I actually ate and liked them. I hate potatoes.
We're definitely going back but it was so good we're expecting that the chef will be drunk or something will be bad we just havent had a cheap good breakfast for a long time. the only downfall was that its a bar in the evening and for the breaky crowd you can expect some morning drunkies talking really loud with the scratchy voice from yelling all night and still trying to impress the girls. oh well the food was great. service was ok but not bad at all.
I've heard the mac and cheese here is spectacular.
So, when my boyfriend and I bought a Groupon, we were exciting to give this place a try.
Thank god we had a groupon...or else the entire experience would have been horrible. The famous mac and cheese was watery, and when my boyfriend ordered the steak sandwich, the waitress brought out a steak. What? And for a restaurant that advertises having "no microwaves or deep fryers" the steak sandwich (we suspect they just cut up the steak from the slip-up and put it on a bun) came out in minutes.
The service was horrendous. The waitress was dressed inappropriately and kept knocking things over, and was either annoyingly in our face or ignored us. When the bill came we were charged for the steak and had to bother her to change it.
I'm not trying to be mean---I used to be a waitress. But a restaurant with 8 people inside is manageable. Also, I really wanted to try one of their pizzas, but when we ordered, let me repeat, when we were actually decided, the waitress told us that they were out of all pizzas and of 2 other dishes. Shouldn't we be informed of that before we order drinks and sit down?
Maybe if we had sat at the bar, we would've gotten better service. The food wasn't bad but the service ruined the experience.
Myself and three friends went here for lunch over the weekend. We were all really hungry and looking forward to some delicious grub.
We sat down and got our menus .. ordered and then waited a while.
Once our food came out it didn't exactly look amazing but we began munching away ..
and then they came .. like extra seasoning flying around our plates ... dreaded fruit flies !
To be honest I ate my food feeling a little nauseous that I was accidentally going to chomp down on one.
The food was OK but with the fruit flies flying around everywhere it was extremely off putting.
I never write these reviews .. but I felt pretty strongly about this so needed to write.
Don't think i will be returning .. unless I turn into a spider.
I have been to this joint 3 times in the last couple of months and even though the decor is pleasant enough and the food is ok (pizza, wings and salad are pretty good) the staff seem to treat the place like it's their own living room. We come straight from work so usually they are just starting to get ramped up for the evening, but you know what? - who cares, you are still open for business. There is an insufferable waitress who sits at a booth and drones on about her obvious favorite subject: herself. She yammers away to the other bartender, she blathers on to the chef guy and she yaks on her cel phone at the top of her voice. Its a total buzz-kill. Three of us came in after work for a glass of wine a few weeks ago and had the misfortune of having to hear her describe an outfit she was going to wear in excruciating detail and volume. The staff don't seem to know the difference between their jobs and a sorority meeting. Sorry I can't provide more details about the menu but I think it bears knowing that the wine pours are skimpy and I was served an inadequately chilled white. We now go to Wallflower or Tempest after work, the wait staff at these spots are more interested in us than themselves. I know, meow. But god eight 1/2 girl, STFU already.
So we decided to try this place out last minute and we were pleasantly surprised. We shared the tuna tataki and it was perfectly cooked -- tender and pink on the outside and lightly seared the way it should be. The presentation was beautiful. The tuna slices were alternated with thick chunky slices of ripe avocado. We also ordered a mushroom risotto and it was surprisingly good. Nicely flavoured and cooked al dente. I would definitely order it again. We also ordered their pizza with the capicoli and banana peppers. No complaints here. It was very tasty. Service was very good and the prices are reasonable. Decor is very nice, yet casual. I would definitely like to come back and try some of their other dishes.
Have been twice since early fall with different experiences. The location is nice and the decor is warm and cosy.
First visit - attentive service, great food, though very noisy once the hockey game started (or just the table beside us who felt the need to shout every play).
Second visit - we sat at the bar for 15 mins waiting for someone to just acknowledge us until I got up and got us menus. Then took another 10 mins for one of the bar staff to say hi and ask if we wanted anything.
Food both visits were ready in a reasonable amount of time. We had pizza (good)and drinks the first visit with appies (beet salad - delish!) and drinks, second visit - baked brie (too sweet) and risotto (ok) with drinks.
Prices are very reasonable. I'm willing to give it another try but their staff need to learn to acknowledge customers with a 'hi - be right with you'.
I pretty much flipped my entertainment book and landed on this place. All I can say is, yum!
-Steak bites: Yum. They were seasoned and cooked (medium rare) perfectly. It came with a small garden salad that was oddly the best garden salad I've ever had.
-Tuna tataki: Not the best tuna tataki I've had but good. Kind of a strange dish to have at this lounge/pub but it was still good.
-Mac & Cheese: Great. No complaints.
-Chicken & Brie Sandwich w/ Caesar Salad: Even better than expected and the caesar salad was fresh, crisp and not drenched in sauce, which is how I like it.
I would come back. I knew they would do this but they took off the least expensive dish with out entertainment coupon but whatever, what's a couple bucks? I didn't want to make it a big deal. The server was nice and cleared our dishes promptly but nothing special. No complaints since it's more of a pub so I don't expect 5 star service.
We went at around 4pm so it wasn't busy at all.
Probably not the review title you were expecting for someplace that's not a pizza joint or even Italian! I ordered the Mediterranean (roasted vegetables) but with regular mozarella instead of goat cheese, and it really was the best pizza I've ever had - thin, crispy, beautifully seasoned (fresh shredded basil) - I'll go back there in a second!
My friend ordered the butternut squash soup, and I tried a taste of it - also outstanding. The rest of the menu looked good - I'll definitely go back to try more (although it will be hard NOT to order that pizza!)
This is a nice, cozy little neighbourhood restaurant. Very pleasant esthetically, good ambiance, and the service was great.
My only criticism is that it was NOISY. I wish Vancouver restaurant designers would learn about a thing called sound reflection - and acoustic treatment! I was sitting 2 feet across from my friend but had a sore throat by the end of the night from having to talk so loud (all reflected background noise, not the music!)
I guess I have 1 other minor nitpick, which is that it would be really nice to for once go to a Vancouver restaurant that does NOT have a TV. There was a day when TVs were only for sports bars, and I miss those days. It's such an ambiance-killer. But I know I'm not going to win that battle...
I read some other reviews that criticized the service -- either we were very lucky, or this restaurant has made a serious effort to improve the service because it was great.
Overall, I would highly recommend this place.
Loved it as Soma. Now, not so much. The wine pours were skimpy. I ordered the beet salad (without the blueberry dressing) and it was room temperature and mealy because of the overcooked potatoes.Disgusting and my friend agreed. Sent it back (no one asked how the food was) and got the roasted veg. pizza instead. Better, but a bit greasy for thin crust, but the flavours were good. Always had to ask a server when we wanted more drinks, not the other way around. The atmosphere was good-busy, nicely lit, but there was no hot water in the ladies room!!! Isn't that a health code violation? Won't be back.