Saturday, March 19, 2005

Okada Sushi, Downtown

I've heard that there are about 400 sushi places in Greater Vancouver. I don't know if this is an accurate or current number, but suffice it to say there are plenty. Obviously, some (sadly, only a small proportion) will be better than others, and I think I've found another of the really good ones. Okada Sushi (M101 - 888 Nelson St, at Hornby) is on the third level of this building, above Relish, and next to a really cool multi-level fountain. Because it's up high, it's easy to miss this one walking past it. I found it through a post on VanEats (a great Vancouver food website) about a worldwide sushi listing. At this first visit, I only tried a few simple items, but from those, I definitely decided that this restaurant is a keeper. I had the chirashi sushi ($13.50), which was a beautiful assortment of sashimi served on rice with some little extra bits like mushroom and lotus root. We also had some wonderfully fresh salmon sashimi ($11.95, 8 pieces), and the very nicely executed agedashidofu ($3.95). The room is pleasant, small, quiet, and it felt like it was filled with people who know their Japanese food. We didn't have any trouble snagging a table for two without a reservation though, even on a Saturday night. They have tanks of live lobsters and crabs, and have a daily special sheet, so although we chose some basic items this time for a quick meal, I could see that this would be a fun place to splurge, and really have a grand meal. Service was quick and hospitable, but I always seem to find the service in Japanese restaurants hospitable. I'm not sure what it would take to get a (Vancouver sushi restaurant) Japanese waitress to be snarky to a customer, if it's even possible. The sushi here was better than Kitto, on Granville, which is another Japanese restaurant close by, that I like for a cheap, quick bite. The atmosphere at Okada allows for a nice, relaxing conversation over dinner.

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