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South Granville Eating

From West to Go Fish to Cru and Vij's, might as well try to group these guys together. For anyone from out of town all these restaurants are within a few blocks of each other....

Mark Taylor (Cru) has just opened another place on W.12th in the former Thai Spice (Star Anise) space called Siena. More casual than Cru with some former Cin Cin chefs among others. Looks like it might actually stick as a concept.

Anyone remember when that space was called Basils??

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  1. That zone is a bit of a minefield. Suppose we'd better toss Lin's (their XLBs, anyway) into the mix. Suika's lunch is looking much better than dinner based on a recent test (hello portabello mushroom set). And down by the bridge I enjoy Paul's for breakfast fare, though it suffers a bit from the two bucks too much syndrome. Dim sum at Fortune Garden can be decent, though the har gow are as big as your head. Can't think of much else worthwhile but would love to hear what I'm missing as that's all walking distance to work for me.

    1 Reply
    1. re: grayelf

      There's Ouisi Bistro on Granville @ 14 Ave, a place I never quite got their angle, and while overall the food is alright, I never really felt compelled to go there as a destination, only going because I happen to be in the area. Having said that they've withstood the test of time so kudos.

      Portobello Ristortante on Broadway between Granville & Hemlock is pretty good.

      There's that ramen place just to the east of Cru, but never eaten there.

      There's Memphis Blues BBQ House. Somehow I mention them with some trepidation.

      There's Mochikas Peruvian Cafe on 5th Ave @ Pine ....... been wanting to try them for awhile !

      Appollonia (Greek) at the corner of Fir & 2nd Ave has been around for awhile, but changed owners so I can't attest to their current status.

    2. Been a few years since I've been to Café Salade de Fruits.

      1 Reply
      1. re: el_lobo_solo

        Good one, reliable classic bistro food. Love an omelette baveuses, pomme frites and salade verte for a late lunch.

      2. There's Kyo an AYCE sushi and Korean BBQ place upstairs around Granville and 14th in the old Shabusen location. Pretty typical AYCE affair, not horrible, not great.

        In that same vein, I actually have really enjoyed Kaneda at Broadway and Hemlock, also upstairs. Used to be FIsh on Rice. I've been a few times and it's the best AYCE I've been to in Vancouver. Good selection, good quality. Don't feel like you're totally paying the AYCE tax (massive chunks of rice, super low roller fish) that you do at most places.

        I love the chorizo scrambler at Caffe Barney. One of my hang over guilty pleasures.

        I still love Vij's, and I really like the portobello mushroom and paneer curry at Rangoli.

        There's a new Go Fish which was okay the one time I've been.

        I still occasionally do Maurya for their lunch buffet. Sometimes it's really crappy, sometimes it's really good. Can't really figure it out.

        Cheesecake Etc. always has a ton of people late night.

        1. Todd's on 6th has oyster nights Thu and Fridays. I haven' t been. (I hear Todd was a former partner at Rodney's). It is a just a regular panini cafe during the day.

          4 Replies
          1. re: fmed

            Yeah, sis lives in the building and was trying to get me to rearrange my ski schedule in March to coincide for a visit to Todd's. I think she said something about someone taking over the kitchen in the evening once a week and using it to test recipes. If you let them know in advance, they'll slot you in. For the life of me, I can't remember the guy's Chow handle but I think he'd know more about Todd's. Brain like sieve moment, have even tried trolling old posts to find it...argh...

            1. re: bdachow

              Yeah, David Gunawan is doing his ph5 nights at Todd's.

              1. re: bdachow

                bdachow - I have ph5's contact info in case you need it. I went to their second dinner featuring a 21-day aged quail which was excellent. One of the best meals I have had in recent memory. (I actually attended it with farman!)

                1. re: fmed

                  Thanks Fmed but I've probably got 2 dinners in Vancouver next trip around and it'll get spent with family most likely.

            2. Thanks for the intel on Siena, totally missed that. The menu looks promising (arancine/i!) and this would be so convenient for dindin with the inlaws. I wonder if they take resos? Will give them a few weeks to settle in and then check it out.

              2 Replies
              1. re: grayelf

                Stopped by for an early dinner tonight. I overheard they don't take resos. Cosy room, friendly staff, and it felt open with the windows looking onto w 12th. Everything's Mediterranean, including the wines. Had a couple of the bruschettas: the mushroom and marscapone and (my fave) fig, chevre and walnuts. The ravioli of braised lamb was delicious, and I liked the hint of orange zest on top. Then had the rich choco-marshmallow tart with marscapone chantilly and schmear of maple syrup caramel. I'd like to try their risottos next time. It gets busy pre- and post-Stanley theatre productions.

                1. re: el_lobo_solo

                  Too bad no resos had planned to try it but no dice.

              2. Has anyone tried Luke's Corner Bar & Kitchen (in the old Red Door spot on Granville @ West 14th)?

                3 Replies
                1. re: islandgirl

                  Second hand report only -- chow-ish mum ate there and would not rush back.

                  1. re: grayelf

                    Luke's is for all intents & purposes a neighbourhood bar.

                    Meinhardt's-never a chow worthy destination-has sourced some decent muffins.

                    Nasha is long gone.


                    1. re: Sam Salmon

                      Luke's was ok...nothing worth writing home about.

                      There's also Marquis, hidden on the east side of Granville between 10th and 11th - only tried a few appies but they were decent. Good drink specials!

                      I'm excited to try Siena...

                2. Mochikas (5th and pine: it's kind of tucked away behind the auto spa) is a great peruvian place. I highly recommend their peruvian bouillabaisse (I forgot the name for it): very dense and intense. Ceviche was a little watery and lacking flavour the last time we tried it, but I'd give it a second chance. PS they are cash only and serve lunch only on weekdays.

                  I also like Goldilocks (Broadway and Fir). S.O. is a big of their congee and grilled chicken. I like their pastry roll stuffed with adobo chicken - extra hot sauce on the side of course.

                  I would agree with others and skip Luke's - uninspired food and overpriced beer.

                  Nostradamus's truck at Broadway and Granville was nice in the summer and I wouldn't mind the long line when the weather cooperates. I vouch for the old-fashioned lomitos.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: happycamper

                    Stopped in for a late lunch yesterday at Paul's Place Omelettery and I have to say they deliver in the comfort breakfast /lunch category. The place has aged very well, is immaculate and the food is good with great portions. Large selection of breakfast and lunch options.

                    I had the Corned Beef Hash with poached eggs and although it isn't the trad CBHash it's still very good and lots of it. Hadn't been in for awhile but I'll have to put them back in the rolodex. Closes at 3:00.

                    1. re: eatrustic

                      omg I am SOOO happy to have Siena within walking distance of home... went with the bf for a belated Valentine's dinner and it was one of the best meals (all things included... ambiance, service, food) I've had in as long as I can remember. He had the lamb ravioli and absolutely loved it, I had the risotto special (it was chicken risotto) which was so much more delicious than it sounds and we also had the cheese + charcuterie plate, which, for the first time in my dining experience, actually worth the price. Everything was delicious, service was impeccible and we had a lovely, romantic evening. I hesitate to reccomend it only because I don't want to have to wait next time I go. I absolutely do not rave about restaurants usually, but I have to share my opinion on Siena, it was that good.

                  2. Live in the hood and agree with most of the comments here. I would add Rangoli (Vij's casual and much more accessible room next door) and Meinhardt's Fine Foods. Before I get flamed for the latter, I just need to qualify that I agree that this place is over priced and yes it is on a decline and yes you can get most of the things here at a number of other places in the city for a much better price. But that was not always the case and Linda Meinhardt was introducing fine food to the city back in a time when the concept of fresh pasta was new and exciting. Meinhardt's deli does make wicked curries and surprisingly the are very good value. Ten bucks for a double pack of two curries and rice which should make at least dinner for two and one lunch. Picked up when fresh they will not disappoint.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: lunchslut

                      Meinhardt's deli's roast chicken is pretty dang good, or at least the last time I bought them. For around $12 IMHO it's slightly better than Whole Foods' chicken.

                      Since I haven't shopped Meinhardt's (Granville) for quite awhile, what do you mean they're on a decline ?

                      1. re: lunchslut

                        " Linda Meinhardt was introducing fine food to the city back in a time when the concept of fresh pasta was new and exciting"


                        Fresh Pasta has been widely available since the early 80's and her Granville St store opened in 1997 IIRC.


                        "Since I haven't shopped Meinhardt's (Granville) for quite awhile, what do you mean they're on a decline ?"

                        A number of suppliers were burned in the aborted expansion on Arbutus St and no long do business with Meinhardt's-their products are nowhere to be found.

                        In addition the building is old-it was old in the 70's when I remember it as an A&P-it smells like what can charitably be called over ripe meat juice and the floor sags alarmingly in places.

                        Service was always an issue with some of the oddest characters imaginable in different (non-performing/largely ceremonial) management roles.

                        To be fair I was lunching in the area regularly in Jan/Feb and deli service has vastly improved though customers looked to be thin on the ground.

                        1. re: Sam Salmon

                          @Sam Salmon. Ok my bad, I was searching for an example and my aged brain went back to far. Meinhardt's Dean and Deluca rip was a first in Vancouver and first place I remember to have the one-stop shop "gourmet" experience. I won't bore everyone with the list of all that has come to Vancouver since that time.

                          I am glad that you have had a good recent deli experience. They have always had the best prepared deli food in town (IMHO) but shortly after the Arbutus closure we found that they were skimping on their usually high quality ingredients and after a few disappointments we started avoiding everything but the roast chicken and curries in that section.

                          I live in the neighborhood and we go into the shop at least once every week -- mostly because we are too lazy to drive and prefer to walk to get just a few ingredients.

                          I do miss their heyday when I could impress friends with their amazing flower arrangements, was inspired by their deli foods and bakery, and found myself willing to pay their huge premiums to try that amazing item I had never seen before.

                      2. Farmer's Apprentice on W. 6th near Granville - what a great addition to the area!
                        This is the kind of place I seek out when travelling- excellent neighbourhood dining in a small space with friendly service.
                        The menu is concise and composed of small plates using mainly locally sourced ingredients. Prices are in the teens for the most part.
                        We had the Smoked Gnocchi, Chanterelles and poached egg, The Charcoal grilled Albacore tuna and The Sweetbreads with grilled Cauliflower and shallot emulsion (outstanding!). All good to excellent.
                        The wine list is super short with 4 whites and 4 reds but all really well chosen and priced from $8 - $11/glass.
                        Desserts are very flavourful but don't expect decadence.

                        Love the Green Egg smoker in the kitchen and the record player (with albums displayed) playing nice conversation-respectful background music.
                        3 dishes, 3 glasses of wine, a dessert and 2 americanos= $90.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: eatrustic

                          Stopped by Farmer's Apprentice for lunch the other day. Loved the decor and the open kitchen. Food was good (especially the albacore tuna nicoise-type salad), but found portions to be pretty small for the prices. For example, $8 would get you either approximately 250mL (or slightly more) portion of salad, or a grilled cheese sandwich with no sides.

                          Sounds like the pricing is a bit better at dinner based on eatrustic's post. Menu items also look more tempting. Finally some beef tongue on the menu somewhere again!

                          1. re: twinkienic

                            Tried F's A for lunch the other day and although it was a pleasant enough experience it's quite literally night and day compared to the evening.
                            It's always a trade-off for a primarily evening based small restaurant to open for lunch as you'd hope that what makes them shine carries through in the daytime and at a more reasonable price.
                            My sense is that the chef leaves the whole thing to his Gare de Manger while he focuses on the evening prep.
                            Lentil Soup with Ham, Kale Salad and Pulled Duck Sandwich were nice enough although the Kale was tougher than it could have been if they used better prep technique. In the end nothing I'd go far for.

                            I'll stick to the evenings were I know it's special.

                        2. Stable House Bistro just off 13th (west side) near Granville looks like a cool little spot, about to open.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: eatrustic

                            Mochika's is closed, hopefully temporarily, because of a fire. They have a downtown outlet just over the bridge in case you're craving their chicken: http://www.mochikas.ca/blog/

                            I just found out on another thread that Farmers' Apprentice does brunch on Saturdays only.

                            1. re: grayelf

                              Oh boy. Thanks for the heads up. I hope they will reopen soon.

                          2. Lusso Verde is closing at the end of the month. A bit of a vanity project that had lots of bucks spent setting it up but the location off of S. Granville on W. 8th always made it an uphill battle and the high end cheeses, olive oils and charcuterie were not special enough in this day and age to make anyone go out of their way to shop there.
                            Did like their built-in curing room though. Wish I had a to die for kitchen set-up that I could slide it into....

                            Everything is 40 - 50 % off until the end of the month for what it's worth.

                            1. "Bump n Grind" coffee looks to be spreading out from Commercial with a new spot opening in the former take-away shop beside Meinhardt's (now Patton owned) store.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: eatrustic

                                Will have to check it out. That area is free of good coffee at the moment :-).