Ajisai – Vancouver, BC


Ajisai Sushi Bar
2081 W 42nd Ave
Vancouver, BC
(604) 266-1428

Consistency of quality is an aspect of restaurants that I hold in high regard. When it comes to serving raw food, this perhaps becomes even more relevant and all the more important. Case in point, my somewhat regular routine of having sushi perhaps a few times a month. I suppose I have a couple of standbys that I patronize most often now in the greater Vancouver area.

However among them, Ajisai in the Kerrisdale neighborhood remains tops when it comes to plating things in a very predictable manner – by that I mean the quality of the ingredients, the quality of the knife work, and maybe most importantly, the quality of the rice – all come through as exactly the same as the previous times I’ve eaten here.

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Aoki Sushi – Vancouver, BC


Aoki Sushi
1888 W Broadway
Vancouver, BC
(604) 731-5577

I think it was Vancouver Slop that first wrote about and caught my attention about this little business on West Broadway, along with various bits of positive chatter on other food forums.  Again, much like Clubhouse, it sure doesn’t have a lot going for it as far as curb appeal goes.  There are days when I’m looking for just some simple, budget priced sushi, which has led me to duck into numerous nondescript spots just to try and uncover a gem.  For the most part, I’ve taken way to many hits for the team and have come away disappointed in many a sushi place in Vancouver.  So while my interest was up along with my expectations, I tried to keep them tempered in case I was in for another let down…

Now I think I’ve heard rumors of a new management although they have kept everything the same.  I think I’d heard a Japanese couple used to own this place, but no longer judging by the other Asian language I heard being spoke by the sole female server and the man behind the sushi bar.  After perusing the menu booklet laden with photos, my dining partner and I elected to go with various nigiri sushi and a roll.  The latter was something dubbed  a Crunch Roll, covered on the outside by tempura bits.  Texturally it was surely different.  I had one piece, and since I’m not a regular maki eater, I’ll leave my comments just at that.

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Omakase at Kimura – Vancouver, BC


Kimura
3883 Rupert Street
Vancouver, BC
(604) 569-2198

[Original (Oct 2010) post here]

Itsuroku Kimura, the itamae at his eponymous sushi restaurant Kimura, is a bit of a workaholic. After selling his previous restaurant in Santa Monica (one of a number he has owned in his long career), he moved up to Vancouver to retire.

“But I was bored of playing golf all day, so I opened this restaurant,” he told me on my first ever visit there a couple of weeks after he opened. Jazz – another of his passions – is the theme here at the restaurant. He plays it over the sound system, and his website urges you to “listen to our Sushi that Swings.”

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Sanpachi – Edmonton, AB


Sanpachi
3803 Calgary Trail NW
Edmonton, AB
Tel: TBA

Gotcha!!!

Thought it was open now didn’t you?

Well, as of 10pm MST last evening, this is what the front door looked like.

Still covered up with ‘opening soon’ paper noting just the information of a local contractor doing the work inside apparently, I’m not exactly sure when the doors will open to customers as it was difficult to see through the small bit of uncovered space at the entrance in the freezing Edmonton night I might add.  With some flurries coming down, this was a quick drive by and shoot, as the trigger finger on the shutter felt like it might just fall off from the cold.

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Namoo Sushi – Port Moody, BC


Namoo Sushi
3003 St Johns Street
Port Moody, BC
(604) 949-1017

In an attempt to bolster the registry of locations outside of the usual haunts in the GVRD, a quick lunch stopover in Port Moody while on the hunt for other sweet goodies took place that led me here, to Namoo Sushi.  Funny sounding name indeed, but namoo means tree in Korean (and is also the symbol I see on their business card).  The location is in a commercial building along the main thoroughfare of the old section of this quaint city.  Parking was available just outside.

My visit took place on a weekend, roughly after the 1pm time frame.  A few tables were occupied but it seemed they were known/friendly with the staff.  I saw a drop in customer come get some take away as well.  Service was polite and attentive before and during my meal, I just ran into a bit of lack of attention when I tried to pay (stood way too long at the register with her seated in discussion with the chefs just meters away).  I’m not sure how busy this place can get, and it was hard to judge how the wait staff would cope when it busier.

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Genji Japanese Restaurant – Burnaby, BC


Genji Japanese Restaurant
7533 Market Crossing
Burnaby, BC
(604) 433-9710

My first experience dining at this restaurant that is situated in the relatively new commercial shopping area on the southern edge of Burnaby along Marine Way was mixed to say the least.  My brief recap that I’d posted as a regular post on Urbanspoon was as follows:

A newish-looking and spacious interior, perhaps a bit too large as near the entrance its quite barren and when there are few customers, it just feels really cool and library-sih quiet. Had an assortment of roll sushi with a friend who enjoys that kind of thing. Wasn’t horribly bad until our off-the-wall pick of one that had some white sauce. Had a bit of an annoying mix up, mainly due to language barrier with our server, that dragged on much longer than we thought it should as it was an communication mistake (on their part) and though we thought they might ding us on the bill, they didn’t. Not enough shines thru with the sushi to get me to come back.

Now I’m at times a forgiving fellow.  Even when it comes to places to eat that I was less than 100% satisfied.  Part of returning is to be fair, and also to see if things had improved at all.  This time I went solo, as I did not want to burden a dining partner as I had the first time.  For sushi in this part of town, choices are somewhat limited, so Genji Japanese Restaurant has that going for it, for now…

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Katsu-ya Sushi – Richmond, BC


Katsu-ya Sushi
7900 Westminster Highway, Unit 101
Richmond, BC
(604) 232-9770

As I think back to foodosophy‘s early days, I can recall a lot more random outings like these where I had no specific eating intention or destination but ended up taking the proverbial “bullet for the team”. While in Richmond dealing with some business matters recently on this particular block, I did so again and ended up ducking quickly into the nearest place to warm up (man, is it ever cold these days!) and get a quick meal rather than seek out something specifically and have to drive around this city which tends to have its own logistical challenges.  While I did not engage in a wider round of choices from their menu as I was dining for one (Follow Me Foodie ate other items apparently) at Katsu-ya Sushi, I did end up having much the same kind of experience.  Here is my take on things…

A simple setup, I knew immediately that I had to make a quick call.  Keep going or step back out (into the cold).  The temperature won and I resigned myself to asking for a spot for one.  A female server glanced over to an empty table (another was occupied by a group of four men, who seemed to be their on their lunch break, and looked to have been employed at a construction site judging from their steel-toed boots).  I received the laminated menu sheet and decided to play it safe and go with one of their set combinations.  “A”, I think it was.  Strangely, the woman did not say a single word to me when I entered, gave my order and when I went up to the til to pay.  I think there was some shyness and language issues involved, so can accept that.

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