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skanemermaidKits, VancouverSince September 4, 20062 Reviews
Average Rating
2 (2)
  • Food3 (3)
  • Service1 (1)
  • Ambiance2.5 (2.5)


Displaying 1 - 2 of 2 Reviews Found
Dharma Kitchen3667 West Broadway St., Vancouver
Uninspired fabrications
Submitted Monday, September 4, 2006 - 6:50pm [Dine in]

If your idea of 'Asian cooking' involves bland tofu and pawn shop Buddhas, this is the place for you. Catering to the Western caricatures of the Orient, Dharma Kitchen provides a soothing atmosphere for armchair travellers. The tacky import shop next door completes this theme: you can buy a Prajna Smoothie and a sarong all on the same block! But in all seriousness, you will encounter a small, uncreative menu that is none the less fresh and healthy. Vegetables are usually abundant in flavour and pleasingly arranged on the plate. The fruit-juice cocktails are excessively priced and undersized, although the staff will usually offer a top-up from the blender's remains. This would serve as a casual dining place for trendy couples moving between the yoga studio and the Sylvia Browne hardcovers of Banyen Books, also in the vicinity. It's a non-threatening environment that delivers reasonable meals at reasonable prices. It lacks the woody charm and character of the Naam or the authenticity of the Cambodian Buddhist restaurants near Main Street. However, if you're in the mood for a rice bowl after getting a Shiva tattoo, this is the place for you. Don't expect to see many, if any, Asian patrons in the joint, however.

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Naam, The2724 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver
Time is taking its toll on a Vancouver institution
Submitted Monday, September 4, 2006 - 3:21pm [Dine in]

The Naam is rightfully proud for its status as a rainbow leftover from the 1970s hippie mania that swept W4th Ave. Gone now are the independent bookshops, hemp stores, and African knickknack importers . . . but the Naam remains, but it's showing some wear and tear.

First, the service is terrible. This goes without saying. It is an axiom of Vancouver life. If the restaurant is busy, you will queue in the claustraphobic foyer and hope to God someone eventually pays you some attnetion. If it's slow, you will be doing exactly the same thing . . . except your blood may boil because it's more obvious that you are being ignored. The rather potheaded staff will frequently mess up your order as well.
What can be said? The management are aware of the problem, but prefer to see it as a charming characteristic of their laid-back world view. If you're in a hurry, and like prompt, attentive service, then you are obviously an uptight CEO and not Naam patron material.

So people go for the food, which is plentiful in its possibilities -- many vegetarian dishes of rather ingenious design. But the much lauded staples -- miso french fries and such -- aren't up to what they used to be. The portions are bigger, but there is a distinct feeling of carelessness that seems to be increasing every year.

Menus are soothingly calligraphic, a mixture of tribal design and Celtic motifs . . . you may find this either twee and trite, or else artistic and folksy. The lovely woodsy desocr, the clomp clomp of hiking boots, the smoky endtable candles and sometimes a live Irish harp performance . . . you are in something of a fairy world. There's enough eye candy to keep the shroom heads happy.

Still a fun place for friends and dates . . . if you can cope with the service and the odd lunatic telling you the UFOs are busily re-engineering homo sapiens' kernal DNA . . .
beats lame-assed dharma kitchen.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Ambiance