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4
  • Food4
  • Service3.5
  • Value3.5
  • Ambiance3.5
  • Reviews73

Guu with Garlic

1698 Robson St
Vancouver, BC V6G1C7
Tel: (604) 685-8678
Neighbourhood: Central
  • Cuisine: Izakaya, Japanese, Tapas
  • Price: $$ ($15 - $30)
  • Meals: Lunch, Dinner
  • Hours: Mon - Wed: 11:30AM - 2:30PM, Thu: 11:30AM - 2:30PM & 5PM - 12AM, Fri - Sat: 5PM - 12:30AM, Sun: 5PM - 12AM
  • Guu serves homestyle Japanese food in a loud and electric atmostphere. Food is served from an open kitchen and the dishes are generally tapa sized.

Reviews

Displaying 41 - 60 of 73 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
I love this place
By nething4me of kerrisdale, vancouver (8 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, May 30, 2011 - 11:03am [Dine in]

I go to this restaurant usually on the weekends. It is always busy, but the wait is worth it. The cooks are super nice. They always greet me and sometimes they even give me free food. I love that. They are more concerned that the guest is happy than anything else. It is loud here, but it is part of the atmosphere. I love pretty much everything they put out. The one thing I love is that they come up with new drinks and dishes, they are asian infusion but still Japanese. I would deffinately refer this place to young couples who want to go out, have some drinks and Japanese tapas, and just have a good time.

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Loud and energetic
By mangoguava of downtown (8 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, September 14, 2009 - 2:51am [Dine in]

I like the look of the restaurant, the servers are full of energy and funny. It’s a good place to come with a big group and have drinks and share plates. The food is solid, although it’s not my favourite izakaya where food is concerned, but I have no complaints. I think the atmosphere is what sets it apart, you can just come in here and have fun, talk and laugh, and enjoy interesting dishes.

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yummy food mixed with great atmosphere
By leigh of Vancouver (20 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, July 14, 2009 - 4:02pm [Dine in]

my wife and I have been to this location several times. Most of the time, we arrive at 6pm so it's not as busy and you can find street parking easily. This place is loud and has a lively atmosphere. They have seating on the outside too, but the one time we sat outside, it was a tad cold. Try to get reservations if you go because there could be long wait times.

The food is solid and they have a good selection for their menu. The value is decent for the quality of food you are getting. The staff are nice and they do a great job clearing the dishes and taking orders without screwing up.

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Best of all the Guu's
By Mila2201 of Downtown, Vancouver (9 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, December 19, 2008 - 1:18pm [Dine in]

I really do think that this is the best yet least known of all the Guu restaurants. So this will work out in your favor as you can avoid the long lineups.
The food is great, i have never had a dish here that i didn't like. I was disappointed that they took the Mexican Harumaki off of the menu.
Their cocktails are unique and delicious (a little overpriced however for the small glass that you get).
9.5 times out of 10 i have had really great service and friendly waiters/waitresses. The only time i had a rude one here was on the phone when i tried to make a reservation ~ but i don't think he is working there anymore.
The ambiance is nice and relaxed ~ i would recommend this place to anyone who just wants to go somewhere nice for a drink and snack or even to go out on a date for a nice meal ~
Really great place ~ i don't think you'll be disappointed.

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Izakaya~ oh ya~
By daynight of Vancouver (3 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, November 9, 2008 - 9:49pm [Dine in]

Go here seldomly but loving every single visit.
Remember the first visit.... Was lost becuase of the confusing atmosphere of the place haha~
But, loving the energy in this place now!! JUST LOVE IT!
I haven't found an izakaya that is as good as Guu or is better.
I'm pretty sure love of Van people agree to this opinion. Even writing this commnet makes me want to go here again...
Well, what can i say..? I simply love this place.. love their food, love their atmoshpere! so much ENERGY!..

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One of my favourites!
By brunchlover of Kitsilano, Vancouver (4 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - 12:19am [Dine in]

I love the dishes here - they are so unique and a true delight to my taste buds. Some of my favourite dishes: the deep fried pumpkin ball. I know it sounds a little strange...but it is a sensation to the taste buds...next...I enjoy the pork with white steamed bun (very popular dish in shanghai cuisine). And of course the salmon sashimi/tataki with garlic chips sprinkled on top and ponzu sauce.

About $35 for two people and you leave full, satisfied and looking forward to the next time you go back. It's always packed though...so getting a table is not easy.

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Worth the wait!
By dineoutexpert of Surrey (2 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, July 30, 2008 - 11:33am [Dine in]

The long line ups is the only reason I didn't try the place sooner, but after all, it was worth the wait!
To start off, I love the Oden, especially the tamago and daikon it's cook to the right softness & flavor. The Okonomi-Yaki was my fav too, bring back the memory of eating this on the street of Tokyo years ago. Ebi-Mayo and Soba-Grill are excellent too, if you are a seafood fan! Beef-Carpaccio and Tuna-Tataki goes perfect with a bottle of cold sake in the hot summer days! Not to mention the professional chef preparing our food right in front of my eyes! It was wonderful!

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Yum!
By FoodFiend of Downtown, Vancouver (3 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 10:32pm [Dine in]

In terms of food Guu takes the crown hands down! If I'm seriously craving some tapas I think no further than Guu! The atmosphere, well I can tell why a lot of the japanese crowd enjoy it so much! It probably feels like home, but it's not my style, way too noisy, from the other customers, and the servers, and the chefs. Crazy screaming everywhere! The drinks are original and refreshing! The snow crab is amazing also bonita sashimi is tasty! The beef sashimi I had last time was a bit on the cold side but maybe I'm just finicky. They have a daily special sheet on a loose leaf paper, most if not all those dishes are a must-try! The seats start to hurt your behind if your there for too long and the seats up top are pretty uncomfortable if your not used to the traditional way of how the Japanese sit (legs tucked under your bum) Japanese female servers there are very cheerful and it's sort of contagious! Great place to stop in for dinner further down Robson!

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Yummy food
By imiake of Vancouver (4 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, March 18, 2007 - 3:45pm [Dine in]

One of my favorite places in Downtown. Excellent food and service like always. Down side of Guu is that there is usually a 10-20 min line up and sometimes the seats aren't that great. I haven't gone to Guu for about a year due to traveling and soon as I got back I went to Guu and most of the food was still pretty good except for a couple things for example the gyu shabu salad and salmon carpacio where not as good as before which is sad because they were my favorites. Otherwise everything else was excellent and yummy... I still highly recommend this place to my friends

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more food please
By joelsta1berk of kitsilano, vancouver (6 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, December 27, 2006 - 12:20am [Dine in]

if you come hungry, you will leave hungry. perhaps if you emaciated or anorexic you may be mildy satiated. overall, tasty food, in fact, in comparison to other restaurants is much better. However, the substantial factor is quantity. the quality/quantity factor here is a serious drawback. the miniscule portions, though tasty, are far too small to justify the price. And in no way think that I am the type who likes the heaping portions at all-you-can eats. Personally, not worth it.

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Everything Amazing except the Beef Carpaccio
By mixed90 of Vancouver (20 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, November 30, 2006 - 3:16pm [Dine in]

I visited one of my favorite restaurants in Vancouver again with 3 friends to pay off a bet and once again I loved the experience, food, service and ambiance.

The only 1 drawback was the Beef Carpaccio dish. I've always thought that the beef was too chewy because of the quality and cut of the meat. I will not order this dish again however it does not take away from my experience. I would also suggest not ordering the Tuna Jerky as it is not a flavor that many would expect.

I tried the new drink 'Hot Honey Aloe'. You can order it with 1 or 2 shots of Vodka depending on what state you want to be in afterwards. It's a great drink when the weather is cold like it has been the past few weeks.

My favorite dishes in order are: Takoyaki (Octopus battered balls), Ebi-mayo (Deep fried prawns with Mayo sauce), Salmon Carpaccio, Gyusyabu Salad (Boiled Beef salad with Miso dressing and Garlic Chips), Yellow Tail Sashimi and Chili Prawn Pizza.

In terms of the bill we had ordered 14 dishes for 4 of us and 2 rounds of the Aloe drink (1 shot). The bill came to $135 and with tip we gave $160 so it worked out to $40/person.

Guu remains one of my favorite restaurants in Vancouver!!

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not your typical Japanese restaurant
By mellowfloyd of Downtown, Vancouver (3 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, September 8, 2006 - 10:47pm [Dine in]

As its says at their door, Guu is goooood. The Japanese tapas here are unbelievable. Besides having a set menu, they also have daily specials that are sure to tantalize your taste buds. I've been here a couple of times and each time, they haven't failed to impress. The servers are all really friendly, and they even yell out your order in Japanese from your table. The prices are decent for each dish, but keep in mind that they're tapas and are fairly small. This is a great place to eat if you've had a late lunch or you're looking to just nibble and chat with friends. Make sure you come early, as there's a always a line at the door!

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Excellent Food
By karma2323 of Vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Friday, August 4, 2006 - 1:08am [Dine in]

i thought the food was amazing there..definitely not your typical japanese restaurant..we had the salmon and tuna carpaccio which was excellent..we loved the garlic chips! we even asked the waitress to give us a extra bowl of them..haha..they were so good..the seafood pancake was pretty good as well. the squid was ok..wasn't that impressed with that..it was pretty bland..it came with a garlic mayo dip..a little noisy in there and super busy. we could there at 5:30 right when it opened and when we left there was a long lineup outside..the only thing was the waitress forgot one of our orders which took a long time..but other than that..the food came pretty fast. definitely a great place to try.

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Great food on a budget
By jamesb of Downtown, Vancouver (3 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, July 25, 2006 - 9:01am [Dine in]

I tried this place last night with my girlfriend. On a Monday evening at gone 9pm the place was still packed, but we only waited 5 minutes for a seat at the counter.

The atmosphere is similar to Guu on Denman but maybe even louder. Sitting at the counter is entertainment in itself, as you can watch some of the dishes being put together. Everything we saw leave the kitchen looked great, but we had to make choices :)

We plumped for the vegetables and seafood pancake, pork belly, saba grill (mackerel) and one of the specials - tar-tar chicken thighs. The pancake arrived first, and was delicious. The flavours of the pancake were subtle and worked very nicely with the tangy sauce. The pork belly was fantastic - the pork beautifully tender and coated in a sweet barbeque sauce that I couldn't get enough of. My favourite dish I think.

The mackerel was an unusual dish, combined with onions and slices of lemon to give it a bitter citrus flavour. To be honest it didn't quite do it for me, but my girlfriend liked it a lot. The last dish was the only slight disappointment - the tar-tar sauce was a little too rich and reminder me of cheese, mayo and salad cream mixed together. The pieces of chicken were cooked perfectly though.

Service was fine, but that might have been partly because we were at the counter and got most of our food handed to us by the chefs :) With a couple of portions of rice, the whole meal came to $28 for the two of us (no drinks), and we were stuffed. An absolute bargain! It's hard to fault this place when you look at the quality of the food and what it costs. Highly recommended!

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How can anyone not like this place?
By buffysummers of East Vancouver (18 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, September 19, 2009 - 1:26am [Dine in]

I always have great food here. I love their tuna tataki, duck salad, mashed potato fritters, yaki udon, and the list goes on. I didn't like their drinks, as they are sort of weak and tend to be sweet, but the food there is just yummy. I do wish they had more specials, as I've eaten almost all of their dishes many times over, but I'll gladly keep on eating the same thing if it's always htis tasty. I love the fact that a dinnerf or two with a big beer comes under $40. My favourite dish is their salmon on rice in broth. Mmmmm ... brings a warm glow to my heart.

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Best Guu! IT's sooo GUUUUUD!
By foody604 of vancouver (19 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, February 6, 2009 - 2:42am [Dine in]

I've been going to this place for years now...and hands down the best izakaya ever!! All of the dishes are yummy...ALL!! and their drinks yummmmmy! especially their strawberry milk. You have to try it! My two most fave dishes are the yakiudon and the chicken cartilage...mmMMm. Usually long waits during peak times, but definately worth it. Loud, but always fun...staff are upbeat and friendly. Great place to enjoy great food and cool drinks!

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Great Japanese Pub Food!
By Actorboy of Richmond (12 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, November 8, 2007 - 3:41pm [Dine in]

This place has turned me into a regular. My g/f and I have been going to Guu every 2 weeks for about 3 months now and enjoying it more and more. We usually bring different friends with us each time and are slowly turning them all into a Guu army. The atmosphere is that of a Japanese pub. Loud in an entertaining way, enjoyable, great food, friendly service and oh my the drinks! I highly recommend the Aloe Vera and shochu it's to die for. This place reminds me of Japan and if you're stuck thinking that japanese food is only sushi, chicken teriyaki, miso soup and rice then try being a little adventurous and try out this izakaya. The place is small and always busy but it's a great thing because if it were any bigger it would lose its great feel and as for lining up, it's totally worth the wait. So if you're in the mood for peace and quiet with a boring ambiance do not visit Guu, everyone who wants to play with their adventurous side, we will probably see you there!

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Interesting dishes, but service can be a tough one
By genux of Vancouver (16 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, July 15, 2007 - 1:56am [Dine in]

I came on a Friday night, and as expected, the place was packed and with a long wait list. Even if you're by yourself or in a small group (2-3 people), expect to wait. The menus change frequently, so leaving a one-time review for "food" is a bit unfair. Sampled different dishes, and one thing I have to say is they're definitely different -- a lot of creative style and effort goes into each dish, which is a good thing.

The more traditional dishes (e.g. karaage) will leave you unimpressed, since they're ... traditional. The serving size is small, which allows you to order more dishes to try more things. Price is pretty reasonable.

The one thing that can sour the experience with Guu is directly proportional to the crowd you're dealing with. As friendly as their servers are, there's no helping it if they're overworked and have to deal with a full house. If you happen to be placed in corner tables or hard-to-see places, order a lot and hope that your food is delivered right away (or at least all of them in bulk). You won't want to be flagging the waiters down frequently...

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An Outstanding 4* overall.
By winnie_epooh of West End, Vancouver (10 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, March 3, 2007 - 12:53am [Dine in]

When people raved about this restaurant, they were NOT exaggerating.

We went there for dinner tonight. Arrived there at 1745 and the only seats available were at the 'bar'. (Note: they do take reservations). At 1815, a line had already formed.

We haven't been to the other Guu locations, so we have nothing to compare with, but as far as service is concerned, we thought they were efficient, friendly and always available, be it for water refills, ordering more food etc..... In fact, the servers were asking how we were doing, and very often, with our mouths filled, we just had to show 'thumbs up'.

Ambiance wise, it reminded us of our visit to Japan. I guess Japanese restaurants can get quite rowdy. If you are expecting to go to a quiet place, this isn't quite the place. But it's all part of the Japanese Izakaya experience, wouldn't you say? Want a quiet place, then go else where.

Based on the quality of food, their pricing is very reasonable. We have visited other tapas-style restaurants serving less exciting food at higher prices. We had 8 dishes, 1 cocktail, 1 dessert and the bill came to CAD61 excluding tips, and boy were we stuffed.

Had we more room, we would have loveddddddddd to try out more food. Needless to say, we look forward to the next visit.
Since we live just down the street from this Guu location, we hope that visit will be soon :)

I can't rave enough about this place. You just got to take my word and try it out. You won't regret it......

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decent but pricey
By goatcheese of kitsilano, vancouver (16 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, December 27, 2006 - 12:13am [Dine in]

guu on garlic has decent food- some of the dish are downright awesome while others are overpriced and overcooked- such as the grilled squid. i ordered it and waited 30 minutes for my squid. then it arrived and tasted fairly plain but had the consistency of bubblegum, chewy and nasty, like a fishy flavoured rubber. considering the wait and the price i would have expected more. the sashmini portions were small and left you wanting lots more. the miso was cheap but again, mini portions. if you want a fulfilling meal plan on spending a pretty penny- at least 30 buck a pop.

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