A funky Japanese Restaurant that strays from the ordinary.
On the request of a friend we came here for a late evening dinner. It was my first visit here but I knew what to expect before walking in.
The decor is a mash of Andy Warhol with some strange and loud new wave music in the background all the while a visual art video discretely looping on the tv screen. Complete that ambiance with beat up furniture and you have a classic Kitsilano flavour through and through.
We shared a sushi platter called the Last Samurai, a mix of various rolls with over the top names like Viva Las Vegas and Drunken Monkey. If you've ever had westernized rolls with the smoked salmon and cream cheese, these would be it. Though tasty, there is little distinction between these and what you can get elsewhere. The nori wasn't chewy though I found the rice to be bland, perhaps by design. Complimented with a draft sake and we were good to go.
The waitresses and service resembled more of a pub/bar style aura but fitting for a place like this. Our server was quite friendly though we probably caught her off guard when we asked for menu recommendations.
Like most casual Kitsilano restaurants there is equal (if not over the top) emphasis on being hip, and putting it on a little thick for my taste. Luckily, the food is good is up to par.
Once you walk into this place, it feels like you've walked into a hallucination of some sort. Very ecclectic mix of toys (Astroboy!!), paper mache monsters, light fixtures and other things that kind of throw you off into thinking this is a hip place with sub-par food but the eatery showed me! Their rolls are amazing! I highly recommend the salmon crunch and dynomite rolls! They were gone off the plate in no time. Chicken teriyaki was also very good but needed more sauce. The only thing that bothered me a lot was the miso soup and gyoza that came to us luke warm. These items should be served piping hot so they must've been sitting on some hot plate before they were served to us.
The wait was about 20 min on a Friday night so it wasn't too bad. Once we were seated however, the server forgot to give us menus so we had to track her down to get some menus. "The Zebra" (aka our waitress) was quite nice and came to check on us every so often and was pretty good despite forgotten waters.
The music volume was nice when we first stepped in and sat down but for some reason they turned it up even louder and after that, no conversation could be had without saying, "what did u say? huh?". We sat by the window which was actually a little dirty so I was careful not to touch anything and they need to clean their candleholders cuz the wax started dripping over onto the table and window ledge. Lighting was nice - not too light, not too dark. I would highly recommend to any of my friends but this is def. not a joint parents would enjoy.
The sushi is... okay......... the sushi rolls have refridgerated-cold-semi-hardened rice. Better to order any of the other selections. Lots of food to choose from on the menu! Fun, lively room though most of the seatings are a little too close together giving it a more crowded feeling.
Avoid the banana ice cream desserts! Both of them (a Malay-type and the banana split variety)! Little banana, and lots of melted (not melting) whipped cream and, well, some okay ice cream. So I guess it is possible to go wrong with bananas & ice cream in desserts.
Someone told me about this place so I decided to check it out. You won't be able to tell that this place serves Jap food cuz of the decor (mostly from the cartoon character Astroboy) and it's very dark inside (with candles). Went here at 9pm and the place was packed. There is a huge selection on the menu and it's hard to decide what to order. We had miso soup and some rolls. The server spilled some miso soup on the table and floor but didn't make me another bowl. I was a lil disappointed by that cuz I love miso soup and I don't like to have any less of it. The rolls were average, not a wow factor. I find the place too dark and loud for comfort.
Overall, it wasn't the greatest but it was a nice one time experience. I wouldn't go again though.
Food: I had the chirashi bowl, which came with an sunomono salad and miso soup. ($15)
Sunomono- I have had better in AYCE restaurants. The tomato slice (since when do sunomonos have tomato slices on there?) tasted funny and looked unfresh. That, and two cucumber slices, where the only garnishes to this poorly composed sunomono salad.
Miso soup- typical
Dessert- 3 SMALL (it was listed as 3 BIG scoops..) of ice cream for $5??? WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?
Chirashi bowl- 3 slices of tuna, 3 slices of salmon, tamago, scallops, unagi, as well as imitation crab meat. Decent. The sashimi was very fresh.
Service: Despite having a reservation for six, we watched as the waitresses poorly tried to pry open the foldable table...very unorganized. We arrived quite early, so food delivery was quite quick, but slowed down very soon towards the end of the meal (dessert).
Ambiance: Unique setting, very 'sexified'. Great for a casual date, but the tables are rather close together. The lights were very dim and it hurt to read the menus.
MAY return ONLY for the fresh sashimi.
I've been going to the Eatery for a dozen years. Every time I go the staff is different, except for the host, Randy. He's an Asian Elvis, ageless and always hip. They have some truly creative sushi that you just can't get anywhere else. Like the Andy Warhol. Try the dragon sauce! Besides sushi, they have noodles, curry, tempura and lots of other tasty tidbits. The desert menu includes wicked fried banana and ice cream. Beer specials vary.
A great place to feast with your friends. Not a good place for a quiet dinner, and prepare for a lineup at peak times. Funkalicious!
When you go downtown for Sushi, this place isn't the norm. It's a hip, edgy location without coming off pretentious that presents itself is a trendy, casual japanese joint. The servers and the inspiration for the food comes from all backgrounds which is nice, you'll get a mix of east-meets-west with many rolls and dishes, while still maintaining the obvious classics (IE california rolls, miso soup, tempura)
For my visit, I got the Volcano and Green Hornet rolls (both excellent), some honey chicken (not too bad) and a curried indian chicabacka-something. The service was a bit slow but very friendly and inviting, and the price came to under $30 for two.
As for ambiance, you'll either hate it or love it. Very dark, a lot of oranges and reds in the lights and a whole lot of Astroboy. There's a level of humour and fun that comes with the place (neon signs that say Miso Horny) and an overall casual attitude from both the servers and the customers. If this sounds your bag, and you like trying somewhat experimental sushi, this place'll probably entertain you well.
Came here for the first time to try something different from the usual. We were a group of 4 and we ordered tempura, a volcano roll, a paper crane roll, a jalapeno roll, an italian stallion and order of a dozen salt and pepper chicken wings. The paper crane roll was okay. Tasted a bit bland, but the rest tasted really good. The jalapeno roll was really spicy as we didn't expect to have such a large piece of the pepper in the roll itself. The volcano roll was amazing in presentation. The wings were okay. The oil that was used to fry it was old so the wings came to our table really turned out to be really dark chicken wings. Hostess forgot to come back to our table with the menu. The regular sushi is a bit overpriced, but we didn't order any of those rolls. Only thing we didn't like was that the seats were stained and dirty. My friend was sitting on a seat that was wet that she had to move closer to me so that she can sit on a dry spot. Overall, great place to try some different rolls that you wouldn't normally get elsewhere.
The first time we tried to go to the eatery, we stood around in the front area for a few minutes without being greeted by anyone. Several servers went by and totally ignored us. We ended up leaving, upset. Who likes to be ignored?
Apparently, we do, because almost a year later, we tried again. This time only a few employees ignored us before someone took care of us. The decor is very funky and with the music and live video displays it really feels like a cool rave/club type of atmosphere. The menu is very large, overall my assessment was "interesting items, kinda overpriced" we ordered drinks and sushi. The sushi was very inventive but it was overpriced and the roll I ordered did not have flavors that melded well together. Overall, we spent $50 for a sushi dinner for two with a couple drinks, a lot of money for not a lot of food that wasn't anything special. I felt like we were mostly paying for "cool factor" here.
You dont have to be kewl to eat here. The food is unpretentious. Kitchen serves better than most pub/mall/fast food places. They also got some very interesting and unique menu items. Like deep fried Mars bar with ice cream, deep friend avocadoes and unique japanese rolls with mango, cream cheese etcc etc .. It's funky eating! The service is not super attentive but they do try. So the effort is there. There is sometimes a line up to get in here. And the guest are mainly early 20's Uni student types.
Their Miso soup is one of the worst I've ever had. And some itmes are hit and miss. I love butter chicken but they deep fry the chicken then pour sauce on top. Not for me personally. Though they dont call it butter chicken. Try some of the maki rolls. Bet it wont take long for you to find one would like. Also the ribs(similar to korean Galbi) are pretty tasty albeit grissly. Besides the df mars bar. there is also the deep fried banana ice cream. though there are many other palces that do the df banana much much better. It's a unique eating spot. For the hip and the square.
Went here earlier this year, and remember really enjoying it, so decided to check it out again. Got a nice table towards the back- love the atmosphere of this place. The server pretty much forgot about us, so didn't come around to take our order for at least 15 minutes. I ordered the Andy Warhol and salmon crunch rolls. The Andy Warhol wasn't that great- a few of the pieces were mostly rice and the rice was kind of packed- tasted like it had been pre-made. The salmon crunch roll, however, was amazing and the pieces were presented like they were petals of a flower. Didn't find it spicy though, like it was supposedly to be. I'd check this place out again- they have so many different and creative rolls to choose from, I'd never have to order the same thing twice. Also, I'd like to try their avocado salad.
I find it funny how a lot of people go into The Eatery expecting amazing Japanese food. Don't get me wrong I've eaten here a bunch of times but not once have I ever expected authentic rolls, bowls, teryaki etc.
Last night was a perfect example: we ordered a bunch of food, including donburi, teryaki bowl, a variety of rolls, miso soups, green salads, sunumono etc... everything was below average. The rice was hard and I'm pretty sure it was basmati; the green salads came with ranch dressing not the traditional dressing, the rolls were bland, the soup was the luke warm.. etc etc...
Overall the food tasted good but that's what I know what I'm going to get. For the diners that go in hoping that a place with a sign that says "miso hungry" and Astro Boy hanging from the ceiling will serve incredible sushi, don't get your hopes up. The servers are really nice, as helpful as possible and as organized as they can be, the room is cool; dark,a bunch of kitchy crap to look at. It kind of reminds me of Nevermind.
Overall a decent place to eat but not for japanese food.
Wanted to try something different for my bf's b-day, so we headed out to The Eatery after someone mentioned that it was in the neighbourhood. Even though it was a busy Saturday night, we got a seat in less than 2 minutes. The tables were definately close together, and there was definately a LOT of people in the restaurant, but we lucked out and got a corner table. We got a few different things off of their menu (some wings, donburi, tempura) and enjoyed some drinks. The style of food there is definately jap/fusion inspired food and well worth the money. I would definately recommend this restaurant to someone who just wants to try something a little different :)
There are just dozens and dozens of sushi restaurants on Broadway. You cannot walk three blocks without finding one. This place offers a break from the monotony of the usual menu we all live off of. They have rolls that are interesting (yes I know they are not the first to put mango in sushi but they are not the last either).
I think their menu is too big but they seem to pull it off (some of it looks like b/s to me really but I haven't tried it). They seem to want to please the whole world.
ORDER THE TUNA TEMPURA IT IS A RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE. anything 'spicy' there is just lazy because they just dump siracha on it and thats it (bleh).
Some of their rolls are a disappointment and are expensive (6-7) for what they are. I still always love going there.
A re-review from my first review (first on page :) )... Went back for my second time.. two years later. and found it to be pretty terrible. None of the "innovative" rolls did anything for me... we ordered 4 different ones.. and they were all constructed the same way and tasted indistinguishable. In a city filled with so many Japanese restaurants, they have to do a bit better than that if they want to be different yet good at the same time. Overall was pretty disappointed.
Went here with a group of friends just to hang out and have some food.
When you look at the menu you'll notice that the prices are quite a bit higher than your average sushi place. That is if you can actually read the menu being there are no lights in the restaurant other than a few candles. We had to read using flashlights for crying out loud.
The service was bad to say the least. The waitresses don't do what you requested at all. They always say they'll be right back when you ask for something but they never did. Oh and they can't seem to get the orders right. They brought us wrong food and being it's so dark in there, you can't tell what you got until you took a bit at it. Also asked them to pack our food with the dipping sauces that come with it, got home and no sauce to be found.
The food is only worth half the price they charge. The rolls all fall apart when you try to pick them up. Doesn't matter if it's big roll or small basic roll, they just can't roll them tight enough for it to stay in one piece!
Although located in the heart of Kits, this funky and interesting looking restaurant wasn't all so impressive. I thought it was a bit too dark inside. It was a nice sunny but it was still quite dark inside even though we had a table by the window.
Went with my oldest for a special celebration. He had heard of the restaurant and was keen to try it out as I was. Had green tea and our teapot leaked. Waitress never wiped it up and probably didn't because she couldn't see it in the dark. She was most helpful and very pleasant.
We tried to order as an appy with ebi and was told that they didn't have any. We were there at about 5:30 pm so it was disappointing. We ordered the pepperjack chicken and it was pretty good. Then we had a small toro sashimi and the fish was nice and fresh. It wasn't served with daikon though. We ordered the Loveboat which was highly recommended. It came with a marinated tuna. It was swimming in sauce and it came with 2 asparagus tips and had a generous amount of mayo. Nothing special and if anything overdone.
Perhaps I was expecting Japanese instead of a more Japanese fusion. The combos in the rolls were interesting. There was one called the Bob Marley which contained avocado and mango.
I guess the best parts of this experience was the funky looking restaurant, the cool names for all the various rolls, the variety and the uniqueness of the rolls. I can't say I was all that impressed with the flavours though as I thought a lot of it was over mayod. It would have been nice if you could taste the different flavours but I felt it just blurred together. The sushi was nicely made and the rice was right but it wasn't anything that would be exciting.
If I did return I would try the curry as that part of the menu does intrigue me. Not enough Japanese restaurant serve the Japanese curry.
We did spring for dessert and ordered the Malaysian bananas. This was excellent. Banana was cooked perfectly in the tempura batter. It was crisp and hot and nicely offset with the ice cream, whipped cream and chocolate sauce.
I've been here on a weeknight and a weekend evening. Like most places the busier it gets the slower your food comes. With that aside it's funky place to have some funky food. My personal favourite is the 'Viva Las Vegas' roll. It practically melts in your mouth! The nigiri sushi was quite delicious too. Ordering from the menu was a bit overwhelming because of all the types of sushi rolls and other dishes.
As for the ambience, it was very different somewhat bizarre; music maybe a tad bit loud. Be prepared to shout across the table to your dinner companion(s). Waitresses were very friendly. Overall a very good experience. Definitely will go back.
Visited the Eatery twice and was seated quite quickly despite it being rather crowded. Packed full of Astroboy relics, Andy Warhol paintings, and students looking for a funkadelic time.
Firstly food: their "large" california rolls are humongous, 6 of those can easily comprise most if not all of a meal [and at a very good price too]. My dining partner had an unagi don - bbq eel on rice...very tasty and lots of unagi, unlike most places that give quite a bit less. And probably the highlight and the reason why i would return: the andy warhol roll!!! yuuummmmm :)
Service was okay given that the restaurant was pretty much packed, but yes a little hit and miss. Ambience: unique! love the paper mache [and the miso hungry/horny sign], and the paintings are awesome too. Can be a bit dark though, but other than pretty good :)
Heard a lot of great things about this place from friends out at UBC so I decided to give it a try on a very special day (My birthday) so I was expecting mediocre food at the very least.
Anyways, arrived and was promptly seated by our waitress. The menu came, unfortunately it was lathered in a sticky residue, presumably from left over food! nasty and icky.
Then a quick glance into the kitchen and about half the staff inside did not wear hair nets/hats etc. Oh well, not my concern, i'll leave this for the health inspectors. I just want food!
Along comes my Okonomiyaki - Chicken version about $12.50. . . it was just completely inedible. I expected this to taste much like a flattened version of Tako Yaki balls and not like an actual western style pancake from Denny's. I took one bite and spat it out. The battered crust was burnt. Imagine a salty pancake with boiled chicken bits in it and random strands of noodles. Not only that, the Okonomiyaki sauce looked very unappetizing. the consistency was grainy and thick. And the Japanese mayo was regular miracle whip... served in a big glob on a side dish. Please note that, I've had better okonomiyaki from Hapa on Robson for cheaper and approximately the same size... served on a teppen hotplate.
Secondly, the sushi was just bad. Ordered the Tataki attack. Aesthetically unappealing. The rolls were cut to different shapes and sizes. Imagine a california roll with a random scallop (singular) in each piece topped with a miniscule piece of tuna shashimi and a blob of mayo.
Overall, I was not happy with the food, I expected much more.. and would've been happy eatting at the "Honour Roll" inside the UBC SUB food court area... not to mention at half price!