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Omakase in Vancouver: OG vs Ajisai vs Tojo

a
alley Jun 16, 2008 08:21 PM

I will be in Vancouver next week and would like to try omakase at one of the better sushi places in Vancouver - heck, why not, the best sushi restaurant in town, why settle for second best?

From reviewing the board it would seem to come down to Octopus's Garden, Ajisai or Tojo. Tojo sounds like it is over-the-top and over-priced, although I would be willing to pay for the experience if it is really worth it. I'm leaning towards Octopus's Garden, what do you think?

  1. a
    alley Jun 29, 2008 11:01 AM

    Thank you all for your recommendations. I ended up choosing Octopus' Garden partly because of the location, and experienced the chef's special omakase ($100 per person). Quite an interesting (and very filling) evening. I sat at the sushi bar next to two Japanese gentlemen who were trying the less expensive omakase - we shared many of the same dishes, including some very good sushi and sashimi, soup with fresh clams, fresh oysters, salad with raw salmon, tempura, marinated mackerel seared with a blowtorch. None of us were expecting horse sashimi (a dish that I have not tried outside of Japan - and even then, only when out drinking with a bunch of Japanese friends). I lost track of some of the dishes.My countermates seemed envious of the yellow tuna neck that I was served, and definitely of my foie gras sushi.

    I was force fed two desserts: the first was tempura bananas with ice cream: too sweet, I wished I had skipped this dish. Then home-made soy gelati (one off-white, one blue-grey) with fruit, a very interesting finish to the evening.

    The service was excellent, the food was was well-prepared and constantly surprising. With some tea and good quality sake it was around $140 for one person, which is certainly not cheap, but was justified by the quality (I have spent almost twice as much for omakase at Yasuda in New York, which I also felt was worth the money for a rare and exceptional experience).

    Next time I will check out one of the other recommendations. Thanks again!

    1. j
      J and V Jun 20, 2008 09:36 PM

      Keep in mind that Ajisai is not able to serve cooked food as they don't have the ventilation to do so (the building was not built to house a restaurant). So go for the sushi but don't expect grilled, cooked, etc.

      1. j
        JWh Jun 17, 2008 09:00 PM

        For straight up sushi for sure AJI SAI. This place is true japanese style, no front like Tojo's. But then again Tojo's does serve fantastic food if you can get around the big headed chef himself. I can't do Tojo's anymore due to his annoying ways. I promise you will not be disappointed with Aji Sai (go early to get a seat at the bar as they get busy right at 5pm)

        1. waver Jun 17, 2008 08:37 PM

          Octopus my vote, but then I've never been to Tojo!

          1. g
            gourmet wife Jun 17, 2008 09:14 AM

            Tsukiji in Richmond does japanese very well. The fish is extremely fresh and they offer many tapas type food as well. They also have specials that aren't on the menu that's executed perfectly.

            http://tsukijijapaneserestaurant.com/

            1. fmed Jun 16, 2008 08:33 PM

              Octopus' Garden would be my vote....but then I have not been to Ajisai.

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