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Dec 1, 2010 01:29 PM

Izakaya crawl with SF Hound Osho

Per Osho's post here he, Farman and friend, fmed and moi did a bit of a crawl on a very cold November Wednesday. We didn't have resos anywhere and only got turned away from Gyoza King. We started with 8 or so dishes at Guu Garden, which because of construction is a little hard to find. I wasn't blown away by any of the dishes here, and thought the deep fryer was maybe running a little cool. We tried Cajun onion rings $4.80, yamaimo (marinated mountain yam) $3, yuba suimono (deep fried tofu skin) $4, ingen fries (deep fried green beans) $4, yuzu marinated firefly squid (this one skeeved me out in texture and sharp taste but others really enjoyed it), a tongue dish, gindara saikyo, and a tuna tataki. A couple of the group tried the Guu Ale and pronounced it guud.

Next we scurried through the night in the sub-zero uncharacteristically chilly air to original Guu on Thurlow. There we had spareribs, kakuni (stewed pork with radish, fmed's favourite), grilled pork cheek $5.30, deep fried mackerel $6.30 (this tasted a bit fishy to me but then it was mackerel), yakko (tofu with sashimi) and pumpkin croquette (a bit disappointing -- I like this bettter at Guu with Garlic) . See photo of bill for prices. We also tried the Sayuri sake, which is in a delightful pastel pink bottle but looks milky in the (shot) glass. It was served chilled and I enjoyed it very much but I was cheating as I had brought a bottle home from San Francisco previously.

We soldiered on down the hill to Gyoza King who were too full so we went for the Guu triple header and invaded Guu with Garlic. There we tried the jellyfish, the tuna tataki (IIRC) and a kimchi hotpot. Osho ordered the house sake and kindly shared it, even getting it warm as by this time we were getting quite chilled.I think I may have missed something here as I accidentally deleted the shot of the bill; maybe fmed can help out:-).Our guest of honour needed to head back to his family so we took our leave and farman, fmed and I headed over to Zakkushi for a nightcap of things on sticks.

We tried tsukune, mentayaki, shishitou, shiso maki, mochi maki and momaki. All were tasty though I detected a bit of "gas" flavour on the shishitou which is confusing since they use charcoal to grill here. The standout for me was the garlic bolt wrapped in pork. I've now tried all the Zakkushis and they are officially my favourite izakaya style restos (for now!). Well satiated, we headed home (actually, farman headed to the Bayside but that is another story...).

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  1. Photos from Guu Garden:

    5 Replies
      1. re: grayelf

        Photos from Guu on Thurlow:

        1. re: grayelf

          Photos from Guu with Garlic:

          1. re: grayelf

            Photos from Zakkushi on Denman:

            1. re: grayelf

              zakusshi is on my top 3 list of izakaya's too. i prefer the main location best. they are not all about meat on a stick.

      2. You guys are brave souls to head out in that unusual arctic air last week.

        My friends and I also ordered the firefly squid at Guu Garden and were also a little bit sketched out by it. We thought it would be something else.

        My personal favourites at Guu Garden is the Saba Shima Sushi and the Beef Tongue cha-zuke.

        Thanks for the the report and pics.

        838 Thurlow St, Vancouver, BC V6E1W2, CA

        Shima Sushi
        1088 Denman St, Vancouver, BC V6G2M8, CA

        4 Replies
        1. re: moyenchow

          Sounds like a great crawl!

          Agree with moyenchow... the Saba and Beef Tongue at Guu Garden were fantastic. However, if I were wanting to be a glutton, multiple orders of deep fried chicken knees and Sapporo megabeers would be highly appropriate. Liter beers!

          838 Thurlow St, Vancouver, BC V6E1W2, CA

          1. re: peter.v

            Ha, peter, that's the dish I forgot at Guu with Garlic, chicken knees. Yum!

            The beef tongue dish we had at Guu Garden is the fifth one pictured in the first set of photos, where they pour broth over it. Is that the one y'all are liking?

            BTB I agree that the Main Street Zakkushi is more than just sticks but I guess sticks are what I'm after at this venue :-).

            1. re: peter.v

              Mmm gyuutan cha-zuke...that's my favourite at Guu Garden as well.

              Though I also love the yamaimo...not something you get all too often outside of Japan!

              My only compaint about that place has been service...I swear they mess up some part of my order every time I go. Though it hasn't stopped me from going back, so, I guess they win.

              1. re: jerkstore

                Hey jerkstore, I've been on a bit of a yamaimo kick lately. You can also get it at Ajisai and Tokyo Thyme in Kerrisdale.