Lime - great sushi on Commercial Dr...finally.
As most Vancouver chowhounds know, Commercial Dr not known for 'high-end' food. The restaurants on the Drive are typically in the cheap eats category. The last time someone did a survey - there were 128 food establishments in the 15 block strip. The strip's offerings are Culturally diverse, but none of the places would land in the upper echelon of any foodie's list.
The sushi on the Drive has always been abysmal. I would take my kids to the family-run Brittania Sushi for cheap tempura, nigiri and maki. The servers and chef barely know anything about sushi, but the fish is fresh and the service is fast. Just don't order anything in Japanese, because they don't speak it. If you want karaage, order the chicken wings...you get the idea.
So finally, we get Lime. Lime occupies the same space as Rime. They renovated the space and despite a few questionable aesthetic choices, I think the space is very cool and well laid out. They still do live music and comedy nights (which strikes me as discordant to the overall aesthetic). Last night, they had a very good acoustic blues trio. I didn't really watch much of their sets because I was at the back hanging out at the sushi bar with the chefs.
These guys are top-notch, "proper" Japanese sushi chefs. They used to work for a couple of high-end places in town. The food was fantastic. One disappointment - they only have one type of sake on the menu.
Check it out...especially if you live in the 'hood like I do.
Finally got out to Lime last night. Food was fantastic, though I think in the future I will stick to their restaurant-specific dishes (as opposed to sushi varieties I can order elsewhere). Favourites included the hamachi roll (very fresh, great textures), toro stack, and pork belly. I liked the idea of the soba-stuffed sablefish, but somehow it came off too dense... maybe had it not been chilly by the time I'd eaten it (timing was a bit off, I think, and all the dishes we ordered came out at once, overwhelming the table). Also had a delicious cocktail with house-made ginger lemonade (I am a sucker for anything that is both ginger and made in house). It was a bit pricier than most izakayas and came to just under $50 each after tip/tax (3 of us shared 6 dishes, 2 desserts, and 2 drinks). Not terrible, though, considering we were able to stick around for the live show.
Which brings me to this question...
We were there for the comedy show, and the comedians kept making reference to needing to find a new venue for their show. The waitress had informed me it'd be the last comedy show, but made it sound like it was because the host was moving onto bigger and better things (he'd recently won a big competition). However, one of the comedians (a friend of someone in our party) said that Lime is not going to have any more live shows. Is that true? That would make me sad... because it's a pretty nice venue, and they have some interesting acts lined up... but I wonder if it's not good for business for them (most people just sat and didn't order anything).
I won't miss the live shows, frankly. I prefer to have just sushi. I really quite resented the cover charge ($5 for the times I went...sometimes I heard it went up to $10 or more). I'm sure all of most of that charge went to the act....so less revenue for the restaurant.
I honestly think that they will do well by just being a sushi place. It's very good and skillfully made sushi...not garden variety stuff. I'm willing to pay for that kind of quality. I like their kitchen food as well...they need more variety and selection though.
Now if they can only do something about their very limited sake list. I would love to see a dozen or two premium brands like at Kingyo and Blue Water.
I just thought I'd update this post having returned to Lime for the first time in months. I dined a bunch of times in a flurry when they first opened.
My wife and I ordered the sashimi (stunning, amazing, fresh, expertly cut), lobster salad, some izakaya-esque kitchen dishes (an avocado rice crispy croquette), zarusoba which uses their own housemade, handcut 100% buckwheat soba noodles (they are the only place in Vancouver that makes their own soba, AFAIK), fresh oysters, and some cocktails.
The service from both the chefs and our waitress was excellent. We paid no cover charge (they often charge this when they have performers).
Lime is easily in the same league as the top sushi places in town, IMO...this night it became my favourite destination sushi in Vancouver. Lime is not inexpensive - you pay top dollar to dine here...but it is definitely worth it. Make sure to sit at the raw bar to catch the chefs in action - it is a sight to behold.
Some new pics
Lime - Japanese Cuisine
1130 Commercial Dr, Vancouver, BC V5L, CA
Thanks for the update, fmed (useful to add to the info in my developing best places on the Drive file). The dishes look and sound excellent. Can you tell me how the performance impacted on your meal? Was it loud/distracting? I'd like to take my dad here for a sushi fest but he's not super great in noisy enviros... TIA.
Luckily, the band hadn't started playing. The last time I went, there was an excellent acoustic trio in front...it was a tad loud, but quite tolerable. Go early way before they start so you won' t have to shell out for the cover.
Also....sit at the bar and engage the itamae. They put on quite a show...not flashy at all. They dealt with the fish with a great deal of confidence and finesse. Definitely order the sashimi - it is out of this world.
Lime is sounding better and better. DOD loves to sit at the bar and talk to Itamae-san. He also loves sashimi, and even better usuzukuri.
I noticed when we walked by tonight that they are not having entertainment every night now so as well as going a bit earlier I will check the website or call before... many thanks.
We had a friend from Toronto in town and we took him to Lime. He lived in Vancouver for a few years and missed the "non-sushi Japanese food" that we have here. It was an opportunity to try some of the kitchen dishes I haven't had there. (We did order one order of assorted rolls).
My favorite dishes tonight were the yakitori, the eggplant stuffed with scallop and their tongue-in-cheek version of MOS Burger's (http://www.mos.co.jp/menu/rice/) rice bun burger. I haven't had their house-made zarusoba in a while so I ordered it for myself.