Foodosophy Restaurant Update – December 2009


Taking a cue from Foodosopher, I thought I’d re-examine some places already written about here on foodosophy, but with additional information gleaned through subsequent eating experiences.  To keep it simple, this recap will just focus on Asian cuisine (in particular: Chinese, Japanese, and Korean)…

1. Meok Ja Gol – Burnaby, BC

Followed up my first lunch visit with several dinner outings, including two very satisfying meals grilled with their charcoal bbq.  Fantastic use of the rotating grill, that functions as a quasi-table heater in these colder days.  The cooking device reminded me of the kind I had once in a restaurant in the Kangnam district of Seoul.  Best to call ahead and reserve this as it takes them thirty minutes to have the hot bricks ready.  Great for larger parties.  The accompanying Korean miso soup is excellent as well.  On another visit, had the daegutang (spicy cod soup), a mouth watering dish, loaded with vegetables, making it a very well balanced meal in itself.

2. Cho Sun – Vancouver, BC

Discovered they join a select list of places that offer tangsuyuk (pictured in the bottom row of the above set) which I described in a previous post as usually being “a mixture of red peppers, onions and crispy deep fried pieces of pork, all coated in a sweet, and slightly sour sauce”.  Unfortunately, theirs is not as crispy as I like.  As well, they have the savory noodles better known as jajangmyeon.  Unfortunately, this was a disappointment as well – Dae Bak Bong Ga downtown does it way better.  The kalbi was okay, marination was fine.  I guess I just prefer to grill mine on my own at the table.  For an order of one though, not possible.

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Safari Gourmet Pies – Burnaby, BC


Safari Gourmet Pies
102-5777 Beresford St.
Burnaby, BC
(604) 431-7403

I was inspired by this post. Also due to the fact that two separate planned trips of mine to South Africa in recent years have been nixed at the last moment, I was feeling like I had to get a taste of some food from that part of the world to get over the bitterness.

Foodosopher detailed quite well many of the items that I made on this purchase in the above link, so feel free to peruse that again to get the background on what biltong and the like are all about…

Safari Gourmet Pies is a bit tricky to find.  South a few blocks from busy Kingsway, and nestled amid many automotive-related businesses and shops, is their storefront and production facility.  It is associated with a trading company that imports good from South Africa as well next door.  On my visit, their shelves were a bit sparse, with the kind proprietor Pam telling me they were expecting shipments again soon.

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Everyday Sushi Bar – Vancouver, BC


Everyday Sushi Bar (formerly Samurai Sushi Bar, formerly Wonder Sushi Land)
4572 W 10th Ave
Vancouver, BC
(604) 228-9266

What’s in a name?

This place became known as Samurai Sushi Bar back in the late-fall, complete with a new exterior signage and menu.   My visit to it was based on when it was known as this.

But a few weeks later the same restaurant was re-branded as Everyday Sushi Bar.

Three names within a month, not a good omen I’d say.

The sudden swap made me wonder, was it a copyright issue?  After all, this place is trading on that name already in the GVA.  I guess you can’t get anymore generic than dumping “everyday” into your title.  So perhaps they can avoid any more lawsuits…

Regardless, when I asked the new owners of the then-Samurai Sushi Bar, how they came to get the keys to the palace, she mentioned they bought out the previous proprietors.  I’d noticed not much had changed inside the place, though the menu had been revamped, and heavy on the maki (rolls).  As she asked if I’d been here before (the previous place), I replied yes and she emphatically told me I’d like the new version better.  We’ll see…

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Helen’s Grill & Restaurant – Vancouver, BC


Helen’s Grill & Restaurant
4102 Main Street
Vancouver, BC
(604) 874-4413

Despite being called “the most important meal of the day”, I often find myself skipping breakfast and making due with a cup or two of coffee in the morning.  I applaud those that make the effort to start their day with a hearty meal instead of doing without, or just wolfing down whatever last night’s dinner leftovers might be lying around.  On weekdays, I just can’t gather the energy to make breakfast, and even on weekends, despite the luxury of more time, its not one of my favorite things to do from a food perspective.

Also, is it just me or is it getting harder and harder to find a local joint that serves up a quality, satisfying breakfast service, AND at a reasonable price?  Just my opinion but I get the sense that too many places are trying to “get with the times” and make this part of the day more “fancy” than is ever needed.  Which in turn, results in one plate breakfasts breaking the ten dollar and over barrier, which is something I can’t fathom.  To me, some eggs, potato hash, bacon/sausage and some toast should (or at least I wish) hover around less than half that.

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Rasoee – Vancouver, BC


Rasoee
104 – 2138 Western Parkway
Vancouver, BC
(604) 221-9355

Classes are out for the winter break at UBC.  Though I’m sure there are some who have to stay behind and get through the end of year festivities on their own for whatever and various reasons.  Instead of a hearty turkey dinner with family, I’m sure some might make their way to University Village, for whatever might be open to serve those unfortunate souls spending this week on their own…

In November, Rasoee set up shop in a former video rental store space.  Its a quick and easy, mainly take away franchise chain with origins in Toronto.  Over the last seven years, it has expanded to other cities out east (Burlington, ON), as well as out here in the western provinces (Calgary, Edmonton, Whistler and Vancouver).  This particular location has a very small counter where you could eat your meal in-house so to speak.

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Nat’s New York Pizzeria – Vancouver, BC


Nat’s New York Pizzeria
2684 W Broadway
Vancouver, BC
(604) 737-0707

This is just a hunch but I have this feeling that right up there with posts on sushi, pizza is a very close second here on foodosophy.   Both in terms of the number of entries and also the variety of locations that its been consumed by our writing staff.

I thought I’d contribute more to this food item, though I am not as knowledgeable as the likes of foodosopher and gastronomydomine, with a write up on a place that I’ve often passed by but had never gone into, until recently…

Nat’s New York Pizzeria has two locations, one downtown and the other in Kits.  As the box notes, they offer pizza by the slice, eat in and take out options, as well as delivery.  The West Broadway location which I visited, was decorated quite enthusiastically in various kinds of New York-themed paraphernalia.  Also spotted were many pictures of people (staff?) on fishing trips showing off their catches over the years.  Clearly, there is a comfort level here in decorating to their tastes/liking.  For me, it seemed a bit tacky and artificially-New Yorkified (that a word?). 🙂

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Shiro’s Sushi – Seattle, WA


Shiro’s Sushi
2401 2nd Ave
Seattle, WA
(206) 443-9844

I have had Shiro’s Sushi Restaurant on my wishlist for a few years, ever since I learned about the master-student relationship between Japan’s revered sushi master Jiro Ono, and Shiro Kashiba.  When I recently found myself on a short notice trip to Seattle, I was elated to learn that we scored a dinner reservation.

Unfortunately Kashiba-san was out of town, so we were at the mercy of his deshi.  The many reviews out there, state that the best seat in the house is at the sushi bar (which was full), so we opted for the Kaiseki dinner to give us an opportunity to try a variety of dishes.  With three price-points to choose from, we went with the $80 middle option.

We begin with a trio of appetizers:  tempura of king salmon wrapped with smelt, asparagus with a miso dressing, and yellowtail collar. At first glance, I thought we were given a fried salmon roll, but the tempura of two variety of fish with a squeeze of lemon made this the stand-out of the trio.

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