Stonegrill – Toronto, ON


Stonegrill
51 Winchester St
Toronto, ON
(416) 967-6565

Anyone familiar with Korean gogi gui or Japanese yakiniku, has experienced being served a platter of raw meat and given full control to cook at their own table. Stonegrill, takes this in a slightly different direction by replacing the sliced meat with a thick steak, and the table mounted grill with a pre-heated slab of stone.

Pictured here is the 10 oz. Certified Angus striploin, cooking atop the stone block.  Our waiter explained that “the stone is a volcanic rock imported from Iceland, heated to 750 degrees – which sears in the natural juices and is the healthiest way to cook a steak as it requires no additional oil”.

stonegrill_steak

I didn’t want to get into any major discussions about this at the table (as we were visiting some old friends) – but can someone explain to me how this could be any “healthier” than cooking my steak on a bbq? The myth of searing meat to contain natural juices is a topic I won’t dive into on this post.  Nonetheless, I was a little disappointed that they use this to promote their restaurant concept.

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Won Jo BBQ and Noodle Restaurant – Coquitlam, BC


Won Jo BBQ and Noodle Restaurant
105-508 Clark Road
Coquitlam, BC
(604) 931-1004

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The chill is definitely in the air in the Lower Mainland now after our fantastic summer.  Perfect time to switch my focus onto hot stews, soups and hearty, filling meals.  Thankfully, Korean cuisine has many choices when it comes to dishes like this…

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Elwood’s – Vancouver, BC


Elwood’s
3145 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC
(604) 736-4301

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Along this end of West Broadway, pubs are quite well represented. Perhaps its due to the relative abundance of residential areas just blocks off on each side of this corridor, and the proximity to the University of British Columbia campus. So if you like to have a quick pint after work in your neighborhood or on the way back home from a busy day of classes, this stretch has several options for you (Coppertank Grill, The Shack, Gargoyles, The Wolf and Hound, etc.).

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Sushi Oyama – Burnaby, BC


Sushi Oyama
5152 Kingsway
Burnaby, BC
(604) 568-1012

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Apologies for another cellphone pictures collection… but I wanted to share a dining experience at this uniquely situated restaurant in Burnaby.

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CoCoLo – Vancouver, BC


CoCoLo Japanese Casual Dining & Sake Bar
#202 – 1926 West 4th Avenue
Vancouver, BC
(604) 732 4676

So with all of that in mind, I cannot even rationalize why it was me, who boldly suggested to an acquaintance that we venture out to what I’d heard was yet another place riding the izakaya wave.

Figuring to keep up with the local way of experiencing an izakaya, I went with the mindset that I would eat more than drink.  But in the end, we did put down a few bottles of Asahi, so all was not lost.

Located across the street but on almost the same block as the excellent Zakkushi, and next door to the highly lauded and recently opened Maenam, is CoCoLo – which bills itself as Japanese casual dining plus sake bar. Open since the early part of June, CoCoLo took over the long standing Kitsilano institution for high end sushi, Shijo.  After apparently shifting to new management in 2008, the apparent decline in food quality and business lead to an unfortunate end to their operations.

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Foodosophy of Izakaya – personal reflections


[The following is part commentary and part personal reflection on a specific dining out genre.  All thoughts and opinions are solely mine (shokutsu).  It is followed immediately by a related post.]

Although we’ve covered many visits to restaurants in the greater Vancouver area, some of you may have been aware and perhaps wondering, why the limited coverage of izakaya [inserting pet peeve here: please people and writers, don’t pluralize this word]?  Other than Manzo (in Richmond) and Kakurenbou (downtown Vancouver) which could fall into this Japanese genre, discussion to this point on what is a popular segment of the dine-out scene here on the west coast and often a source of envy from North American diners outside Vancouver, have been few and far between…

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Meok Ja Gol – Burnaby, BC


Meok Ja Gol
4992 Newton Street
Burnaby, BC
(604) 436-5005

May 2010 re-visit post here
December 2009 re-visit post here

Original post here:

On the prowl in my car for new places to eat, I find that strong visibility from the road always plays a strong role in first my ability to spot them, and also my decision to actually check them out.  The major artery of Kingsway is probably one of the best examples of this…

Way back in 2005, I can remember dining at Meok Ja Gol and having the barbecue.  With those faint memories in my mind, during a weekday out in Burnaby for some meetings, I came across this restaurant once again.  As I alluded to earlier, had it not been for the sight lines from the road, I probably would have missed it and not recalled my first visit years ago.

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Handi Cuisine of India – Vancouver, BC


Handi Cuisine of India
4432 Dunbar Street
Vancouver, BC
(604) 738 3186

Dining solo has been a topic that’s come up from time to time in posts as well as in various comments.  Lately, when I’ve had to eat alone, I’ve tended to go the take away route.  Perhaps I’m being influenced by those who cringe at the thought of eating on their own, whereas in the past I had not been so self-conscious…

Handi Cuisine of India situated in the Dunbar neighbourhood (with another location in West Van) is a place I’d driven past many times over the years but had not yet gone inside to order.  It seemingly has a strong local following and reputed solid service, so my expectations were good.  Recently, I was finally able to find out for myself by dialing ahead and placing an order for pickup.

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Ddoo Gau Bee – Burnaby, BC


Ddoo Gau Bee
203-4501 North Road
Burnaby, BC
(604) 422-0500

Slowly but surely, I’m making the rounds of the various Korean restaurants in this geographic area that borders Burnaby and Coquitlam.

Mexican Chicken Hof
Wang Ga Ma
Insadong
House of Tofu Soup

A few more to check out and I’ve done an initial look-see in some of them yet explored, but meanwhile here is one of my most recent visits…

Debating between Ddoo Gau Bee and another Korean restaurant in the same building complex, after looking inside both and finding this one busier, we elected to dine-in here.  Seated at a booth along one of the far walls, I noticed that there were several combinations and set meals available.  But we selected some choices from the extensive menu booklet instead.

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