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Pho Japolo is a local chain of Vietnamese restaurants (plus one sushi place). Their newest location is in Kitsilano on West Broadway, just off MacDonald street. It took over the former “Tang’s Bistro” location.

We stopped in a for a quick weekend lunch. We were seated immediately upon arrival.  The menu is fairly standard as vietnamese restaurants go.

This is the grilled pork and chicken with rice

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This is a fillet of boneless chicken, marinated in lemongrass and garlic, grilled lightly.  Its served alongside a thin boneless pork chop, similarly marinated in lemongrass and garlic.  They served over white rice, with a side of shredded lettuce, matchstick carrots and slice cucumbers.  It’s dressed with a sweet oil and scallion sauce, and served with a cup of dipping sauce (made from vinegar, fish sauce, sugar and crushed chili peppers).

The pork and chicken had some really good flavors, but both were slightly tough.  Not sure if it was over cooking, or lack of tenderization.  The greens were crisp and fresh, and the sauces were aromatic and sharp.

We also had a small side dish of deep-fried chicken wings.

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This is five chicken wings, marinated and dredged in (probably) tapioca starch and rice flour.  It’s deep-fried to light crisp and served hot.  These were nice wings.  They were hot and very crisp, and still juicy inside.  But they kinda lacked in seasoning.  There was some salt in there, but that’s about it.  It could use some white pepper or something else to give it some more oomph.

The room is a decent size (probably seats 40-50), it’s clean and bright.

The servers were efficient, but not especially warm or helpful.

The prices were a little high for Vietnamese cuisine, but probably what I should expect on the west side of town.

Pho Japolo on Urbanspoon

This is a relatively new restaurant in the Riley Park-Little Mountain area of Main street.

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We had reservations are were seated immediately upon arrival.

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It’s a decent sized space… not too crowded. Quite clean and new.

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We ordered from a set menu.  The first to arrive was soup.

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This is a bit like a larger version of what Hong Kong Cafes refer to as “borscht”.  It’s a beef and vegetable soup, loaded with carrots, onions, cabbage and large chunks of beef, in a thin savory tomato and beef based broth.

Second arrival was a cold appetizer plate

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This consisted of marinated wood ear mushrooms and fried tofu cubes dressed in a sweet and spicy sauce.

The tofu is semi firm and spongy, with some nice texture.  I liked the sweet and spicy flavors of the sauce.  I the wood ear mushrooms have a texture that borders between chewy and crunchy.

This was followed by a crab dish.

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This is dungeness crab stir fried with ginger, onions, scallions and garlic.  It’s a good dish.  The crab is fresh and cooked to the right doneness.  The ginger, onion and garlic sauce provide a lot of savory aromatic flavor.

Next was the Beef and rice vermicelli noodles with satay sauce.

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This is stir fried beef fillets, dressed in a thick savory spicy satay sauce, studded with green peppers, onions, and pineapple cubes.  It’s served over thin rice vermicelli noodles.  This is a curious dish.  I like the savoriness of the beef and satay sauce, but I found the pineapple cubes distracting.

Next came a vegetable dish.

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This is braised bak choy with bean curd sheets and garlic.  It’s served in a thin chicken stock.  I found the bak choy bitter.  But the bean curd sheets were thin and light and the broth had good flavor.

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Next was sweet and sour deep-fried fish.  This is small fillets of fish (I think it was cod) dredged in seasoned starch and deep-fried to a light crisp.  It’s topped with sautéed slivered onions and red & green peppers and a sweet and tangy vinegar based sauce.

At this point we thought the meal was finished, but to our surprise, one last dish arrived.

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This is crispy skin chicken.  It’s a half-chicken that’s seasoned and air-dried, and poured over with searing hot oil until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is crispy.  It’s chopped in small portions and served with a small dish of sweet chili sauce. This was a pretty good chicken.  It was properly cooked through, and well seasoned with some nice crispiness.

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Lastly came tapioca and coconut soup.  This is a cold coconut milk soup, studded with small tapioca pearls.

This was pretty good.  Nice sweetness, but not overly so.  The tapioca pearls were very soft.

The service was decent enough.  Efficient and attentive but chinese restaurant standards.

House of Canton Chinese Restaurant 粵來粵好小菜館 on Urbanspoon

To celebrate my dinner companion’s birthday, we decided to try “The Flying Pig” at the Olympic Village.
Flying Pig bills itself as a “nouveau Canadian bistro”, meaning local seasonal ingredients in a casual atmosphere, and at a reasonable price.

The Olympic Village location on West 2nd Avenue (between Manitoba and Columbia street) is the newest one, open since late December 2014.  The others being the original location in Yaletown on Hamilton Street, and in Gastown on Water Street.

The restaurant did not accept reservations, but we arrived on a Wednesday night, and there was ample seating available.

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While examining the menu, the server brought out a complimentary basket of bread, with a plate of extra virgin olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar.

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The olive oil was fruity, and the aged balsamic vinegar had some nice sharpness to it.  The bread was quite soft and tender, but not especially crusty.  There actually four slices of bread, I was slow on the camera.

My dinner companion’s starter was Salt & Pepper “Humbolt” Squid.

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This is tender strips of squid, battered and deep-fried, garnished with salt, pepper, diced raw red onions, and served with lemon and dill yogurt dipping sauce.    This tastes and feels very much like a greek calamari to me.  It’s good.  It’s tender and well seasoned, and tastes pretty good,  but misses a little because there’s not much crispness.  If its deep-fried, I expect a little crispness.

 

My starter was Rocket and Watercress Beetroot salad.

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This is a green salad of rocket and water cress, tossed in an olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette, served with candied walnuts, fresh soft goat cheese slivers of fresh pear, and large cubes of roasted beets. This is a nice salad.  The greens are fresh and crisp.  The beets are roasted to a firm (but tender enough to cut without effort) al dente.  The walnuts are slightly sweet and nicely crunchy, and the goat cheese provided some creaminess.   I kinda thought the beet cubes were a bit too large though.

My dinner companion’s main was Pan seared BC Sablefish.

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This is a large filet of sable fish, seared on the skin side and finished in an oven, then served over a lobster bisque risotto, with vegetables and a chive beurre blanc sauce.  This was a very nice dish.  The risotto was tender and creamy with a light hint of lobster.  The sablefish was perfectly seared and roasted to just the right doneness.

My main was Blackened Steelhead Trout.

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This is a fillet of steelhead trout heavily seasoned with Cajun spices, and heavily seared on one side and finished in an oven.  It’s served over a ragu of shrimp and chorizo sausage pasta, studded with peas and zucchini.  This was a terrific dish.  The trout was boldly seasoned and cooked to the right doneness.  The pasta was spicy and held up well against the Cajun flavors of the trout.

We finished with a shared dessert of Bourbon maple creme brulee.

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This is a rich creamy custard, topped with carmelized maple bourbon sugar.  It’s served with fresh fruit and an oatmeal cookie, and dusted with powdered sugar.  This was a superb creme brulee. The custard is silky smooth and creamy, with just enough sweetness.  The bruleed top quite thick, but wonderfully sweet and crunchy.  The cookie was nice, but not especially noteworthy, next to the custard.  It’s a fairly large serving, and it was enough for two, given that we were pretty full from the rest of the meal.

The dining room is expansive and open, and quite loud from the ambient music.  It’s clean and little on the dimly lit side.

Our server was very attentive, and cheerful.  She also comped the dessert when she learned we were there to celebrate a birthday, so she gets bonus points for that.

The Flying Pig on Urbanspoon

Mui Garden is a local chain of Hong Kong style cafes, with a little bit of a malaysian influence. This stop was in the Main Street location in the Riley Park neighborhood.

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As with many HK style cafes, they have an expansive menu that covers north american influence dishes like sandwiches and ham & eggs, to cantonese comfort food like congee and stir fried noodles.

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We decided to grab a “combo” off the lunch menu, and a “snack.

The combo includes a large bowl of soup.

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It’s a decent soup.  There’s some good flavor in the broth and it’s a generous serving size.

This combo featured a malaysian influence stewed brisket.

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This is cubes of brisket beef that are seasoned, browned and simmered in curry coconut sauce for hours until the beef is soft and tender.  It comes with a side dish of rice.

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This curried brisket is, as I understand, one of Mui Garden’s signature dishes, and with good reason.  It is really good.  The beef is fork tender, and well seasoned.  The curried coconut sauce is rich and thick and savory, but with very little heat.  There are cubes of potatoes in there as well, and they too are tender, and permeated with the same flavor of the curried coconut braising liquid.

We also ordered some fried chicken wings with fries potatoes as a “snack” item off the menu.

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This was four chicken wings (no drumettes), seasoned, dredged in (probably) starch, and deep-fried to a golden crisp.   The wings were nicely cooked, and had some decent flavor on the inside, but I couldn’t help but think it needed something else on the outside.  Some extra seasoning in the dredging, or tossed with some garlic and chilies….  The fries were okay, pretty sure they are the frozen variety… they needed salt.

The room is spacious and reasonably clean, but very tired and in need of a refresh.

The service was, actually a little slow… by the standards that I use to measure chinese restaurants.  Given that the restaurant was fairly quiet at the time, I would have expected more prompt service.

Mui Garden 梅園粉麵茶餐廳 on Urbanspoon

Au Comptoir is a relatively new french bistro in Kitsilano, just across the street from Whole Foods. Roughly translating to “The Counter”, this little bistro does it’s best to capture the look, feel, sound and taste of a small parisienne bistro. And it does a pretty good job of it.

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We started with a basket of complimentary bread with butter

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The baguette was crusty on the edges, chewy and tender inside.  It came with a small cup of unsalted creamery butter.  This was nice bread.

D’s starter was the thursday night cheese platter special

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This consisted of Roquefort, Camembert, apple slices, fig jam… and a couple of other aged cheeses that I couldn’t get the name of (noisy room plus the server’s thick french accent).  I liked the creamy roquefort cheese, and loved the sweet fig jam.

E’s appetizer was the Oeufs Meurette

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This was eggs poached on a warm shallot red wine sauce, with crispy bacon, garnished with perigord truffle shavings.  It was served with a couple of slices of crusty bread.

J’s appy was Bloc de Foie Gras.

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This was goose liver, seasoned, cured, and rolled into cheesecloth and aged.  It’s then sliced into discs, and served with toasted brioche.  I’ve only had foie gras once before, and while I thought it was pretty good, I was, and still am, at a loss to understand what all the fuss is about.  After this, I still feel the same…. it’s good, but to me it’s still just pate with toast.

This was my starter….Salade Vercingétorix.

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This was crisp baby gem lettuce, dressed in a garlicy mustard vinaigrette, topped with a soft-poached egg, gruyère, and anchovies.

My instinct is that this is a twist on a caesar salad.  The anchovies, the egg yolk, the croutons, etc.  I split the egg, and mixed it into my greens to produce a rich thick dressing.   It was pretty good.  The greens were fresh and crisp.  The croutons were crunchy.  The dressing was tangy with some good saltiness from the cheese, and the egg yolk provided some serious richness.

J’s main was Faisan Roti et son pithivier.

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This was roasted pheasant breast, chestnut pithivier, with coffee-roasted carrots.  The chestnut pithivier was the most intriguing part of the dish.  It’s basically a savory miniature chestnut pie.

D’s main was Magret de Canard.

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This was seared duck breast, gratin dauphinois, pickled raisin purée, endive.  The duck was beautifully done, good duck flavor, well seasoned.

E’s main course was Blanquette de Veau.

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This was a classic creamy veal stew served with rice.  The veal was incredibly tender and rich.

My main course was Bavette Pommes Dauphines

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This is skirt steak, seared and finished to medium, dressed with a shallot and red wine vinegar reduction, served with greens and mashed potatoes formed into balls and deep-fried to a light crisp.  I actually requested a medium-rare steak, but I anticipated that it would arrive at my table closer to medium.  This is just my experience… most of the time, steak will arrive slightly more “done” than requested, and this was pretty much what happened.   It had some good beef flavour.  It was properly seasoned, with a good char on the top and bottom.  The shallot and red wine sauce provided some sweet and tartness.

The pomme dauphine are whipped mashed potatoes, combined with the dough of choux pastry, formed into balls and deep-fried to light crisp.  These are fabulous.  They’re crispy on the edges, but pillowy soft and tender in the middle.

J’s dessert course was Paris Brest

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This is a choux pastry, filled with butter creme, dusted with powdered sugar.

E’s dessert was Creme Caramel

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This was a traditional vanilla bean caramel flan, served with a biscotti wedge.

D’s final course was Tarte Citron.

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This is a lemon curd served in a pastry short crust, topped with a light meringue.

My dessert was Tarte Tatin.

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This is basically an upside down apple tart, topped with a scoop of salted caramel ice cream and a square wafer of dark chocolate.  The pastry crust was short and crumbly, rather than delicate and flaky.  The apple was thick tender and caramely sweet.  The salted caramel ice cream was probably my favorite part of this dessert (the fruit and pastry were …. just okay).

The room is warm and inviting, with a distinctly french charm.  It’s not too crowded or cramped.

Our server was very good.  He was pleasant and friendly, and patient and willing to please.  He sported a thick parisienne accent, which adds to the charm of the experience, but also occasionally makes it difficult to understand the description of the menu.

Au Comptoir on Urbanspoon

Suika Snack Bar is a bustling and boisterous izakaya on West Broadway, near Fir Street.
We arrived at about 6:30 on a Friday evening without reservations. They were full, but agreed to give us a table if we could assure them that we could finish before 7:30. We agreed and were seated immediately.

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Suika is a large space, well-lit, with a fairly modern feel.

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We stared with th Hainese Chicken Salad

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This is steamed sliced chicken thigh served over greens (iceberg lettuce, cucumber slivers, radish slices, cube tomatoes, sprouts), tossed with a ginger and scallion dressing.  This was an okay salad.  The greens were crisp and fresh, the dressing was tangy, with sweet tones.  The chicken was a well prepared, but added very little flavor.

Next came the Kakuni Bibimbap

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this is stewed pork belly, sweet dried shrimp and scallions, dressed with thick sweet soy, served over short grained rice, served in a searing hot stone bowl.  The server mixed the rice and other ingredients together at our table side.  The taste of this dish was terrific.  The sweet and savory flavors worked well together, and the pork belly was rich and meaty.    But usually, bibimbap has crunchy rice on the bottom and sides, resulting from the hot bowl.  While this bowl was hot, the rice never developed a crunchy layer.  Was it not hot enough?  Was the sauce making everything too wet?  Not sure.

Next came the Enoki Mushroom Pizza

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This is a very thin flat bread, topped with enoki mushrooms, seaweed, scallions, and a creamy cheese sauce, baked to a light crisp.  This was only okay.  It was an item on the daily feature menu, and it sounded better on paper.  The flat bread was crisp around the edges and on the bottom and held up to the toppings.  The seaweed, and the sauce had some decent earthy savory flavors, and the scallions provided some fresh green herbaceous snap.

Lastly came the Aburi Toro Battera

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This is a pressed sushi, smeared with avocado and sesame seeds, topped with fatty tuna, and pressed into a mold.  The tuna is then seared with a torch, then topped with thick soy and seaweed sauce, then sliced ans served on green shiso with a generous mound of pickled ginger.  This was excellent sushi, some of the best I’ve had in long time.  The rice was just the right doneness, with a light tart flavor from rice wine vinegar.  The tuna is mild and silky smooth.  The soy and seaweed sauce added some sweet and savory tones, and the drizzle on the plate had a fruity tart quality.

Our servers were cheerful and pleasant, but very busy and difficult get any additional attention.  When the house if busy, to room is very loud, in part due to the music and the din of conversation, and in part due to the boisterous shouts between the servers and the kitchen staff.

Suika on Urbanspoon

Sliders is a relatively new place on West Broadway, near Cambie, across the street from London Drugs.

It’s a casual place where you can get your burger, fries and a shake, but with a little twist.

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Upon arrival, you place your order at the counter, and pay for your food, receiving a plastic table marker with your order number on it.  Find yourself a seat, and when the order is ready, a staff member will call your number.

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The menu is a nice mixture of sliders (miniature hamburgers) with something to meet many a craving… from the basic hamburger, to pulled pork, grilled chicken, jerk chicken, pork belly, cheese steak, porchetta, fried fish, fried oysters, and a number of vegetarian options (like chickpea fritters, grilled mushrooms, and cauliflower patties.

To go with the sliders are a selection of side dishes like french fries, poutine, coleslaw, green salad, etc.

I started with Mixed Green Salad

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It’s a blend of crisp fresh red leaf lettuce, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, shredded carrots, pickled onions, dressed with either of House made buttermilk ranch and sun-dried tomato vinaigrette.  I chose the sun-dried tomato vinaigrette.   This is a very fresh, crisp salad, but it was very light on the dressing.  I could barely taste it.

My first was Sliders Original Beef

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Shortrib-chuck-brisket beef patty, grilled on a flat top.  It’s topped with aged cheddar, slider sauce, pickles, hickory sticks, served on a soft lightly toasted brioche bun.  This was a pretty tasty burger.  The ingredients are quite fresh.  The burger patty is properly seasoned.  The pickles provide some tang, and the hickory potato sticks have some nice crunch.

My second slider was an Oyster Po’boy

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 Cornmeal crusted oyster, deep-fried to a light crisp, served on the same lightly toasted brioche bun, topped with pickled red onion, leaf lettuce, horseradish aioli.  I really liked this.  The oyster is very fresh, well seasoned and cooked to the right doneness.  It’s light and crispy on the edges, but very moist on the inside.

These people put quite a lot of love in their food, and it shows.  I would get the oyster po’boy again without a second thought.

Sliders on Urbanspoon

I had dinner with a meetup.com group, and we met at a recently opened thai fusion restaurant in Kitsilano.
We had reservations, but being a mid-week evening, it wasn’t really necessary.   ‘D’ was early and was already seated when I arrived.

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The menu is mostly Thai with a mixture of other influences.  There seem to be some taiwanese and japanese influences in the dishes on the menu.

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We took some of the server’s recommendations for house specialties, and added a couple of favorites of our own.

Our first dish was Zesty Raw Fish

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This is sushi grade snapper, sliced thin and shingled over greens, dressed with a citrus glaze, slivered raw onions, crispy fried garlic, and fresh sprouts.  The citrus was very mild.  The snapper was firm and rather mild, so the presiding flavor here was the garlic.

The next dish was Spicy Citrus Seared Beef

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At a glance, this appears to be the ‘turf’ variant on the previous ‘surf’ dish of sliced raw fish, but it’s not.  This is lightly seared rare beef, served over greens, garnished with raw onion slivers and sprouts, then drizzled with a citrusy sweet spicy dressing.  The spiciness kind of sneaky, it hit on the third or fourth chew.  The citrus flavor here was very pronounced.

The next dish was Chicken in Grains of Paradise.

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This is a fillet of chicken, dredged in flour/starch, battered and deep-fried, then sliced in strips, served on a bed of fresh greens and crunchy cabbage, dressed with a pepper-tree prickly ash sauce.   This was probably the best dish of meal.  The chicken is tasty and quite crunchy.  It’s nicely seasoned and spicy, with a bold crunch.

This was followed by Barbequed Pork Jowl

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This is pork jowl, grilled, and seasoned, sliced thin and served with a sweet salty dipping sauce.  This dish came twice. The first arrived a little overcooked and dry.  When ‘J’ brought this to the servers attention, he offered to take it away and bring a newly prepared one.  The second was much better, still tender and juicy.  The dipping sauce has strong citrus and fish sauce flavors.

No Thai meal would feel complete without curry.  This is Coconut Green Curry Chicken

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I was a little slow on the camera here, but this is a mild green curry filled with carrots, green peppers, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, lime leaves and chunks of chicken.  Its served with bread that’s been smeared with shrimp paste and quickly flash fried to a light crisp.  The concern with curried chicken dishes is that the chicken is frequently overcooked and dry, but not here.  It was tender and moist, with just a little heat.  The bread was wonderfully savory and crispy.

The other ‘must have’ dish is pad thai.  This is the Thai One interpretation of the oh-so familiar dish.

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This is  fresh rice noodles, with bean sprouts, ground chicken, tofu, basil leaves, stir fried with fish paste and a spicy sauce.  It’s served with crushed roasted peanuts and chili flakes on the side.  This is apparently their own spin on the classic pad thai.  The noodles are nicely ‘al dente’ (for lack of a better word), but it doesn’t have much tanginess nor sweetness to it.  It’s predominately savory.  I squeezed a little lime juice for a lime wedge provided, and it added a little tartness.

The room is very contemporary and modern, and sparkling clean.  The restaurant has been open for only a couple of months.

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It’s quite comfortable and spacious.

Our server was quite helpful and pleasant, and very accommodating when we had issues with the pork jowl dish.  As asian restaurants go, this service was quite exemplary.

This place is a little bit pricier than a lot of other Thai restaurants, but we had a 20% off coupon, so that helped.  I’ve seen some groupon offers for this place as well.

Thai One Asian Fusion on Urbanspoon

Lucy’s East Side Diner on Main Street

While in the Main & Broadway part of Mount Pleasant and pining for lunch, we waffled between Burdock & Co, and Lucy’s East Side Diner, before picking Lucy’s. I guess it was more of a comfort food day, than a west-coast cuisine day.

It was pretty busy, and we had a brief wait for a table (less than five minutes).

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Lucy’s feels very much like a throw back to a greasy spoon diner of yesteryear. And I mean that in a good way.  The checkered floor tiles, the swivel bar stools, the lino counter-tops, and certainly the menu.

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The menu is a mix of old school comfort food.  Mac & Cheese, meat loaf, burgers & fries, hot dogs, club sandwiches, salads, fried chicken, milk shakes, and an extensive brunch menu.

This being a weekend, the brunch crowd was here in force, but I wasn’t in the mood for omelets, hash browns, or sausage.

Do we went with a more “lunch” selection. First was the meat loaf with mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables

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This is two slices of meatloaf, seared on a flat top, served with steamed veggies and two scoops of mashed potatoes topped with brown gravy.  The meat loaf is tender and well seasoned, with a little bit of a char on the sides.  The mashed potatoes were silky smooth and fluffy.  The gravy was okay, it had a “made-from-a-mix” flavor (looking throughout the menu, there’s really no roast beef or anything that yields pan drippings from which to make a gravy, so a prepared gravy is quite likely).

The second lunch selection was the philly cheese-steak sandwich with green salad

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This is thin slices of beef seared on a flat top with sautéed onions and bell peppers, served on a toasted hoagie bun, topped with melted processed cheese and grated cheddar and jack cheese.  It comes with a side of green salad with dressing.

I don’t normally like philly cheese steak.  It seems like a poor way to use rib eye beef, which begs to be roasted to medium, or grilled as a steak to medium rare.  Normally cheese steak cooks the meat to medium-well or well-done, which just seems sacrilegious.  But I digress.  I decided to give this a try.

This is actually pretty good.  The beef is sliced thin and cooked to well done, but it’s still fairly tender with some light caramelization around the edges.  The onions and peppers are sautéed to tender and sweet.  The melted process cheese is on the sparse side (which I consider to be a good thing) because the grated cheddar and jack make up the extra “cheesiness”.   The hoagie bun is toasted on the outside, but fluffy on the inside.

The green salad is made of leaf lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, and chickpeas.  It’s fresh and crisp.  The dressing that comes on the side is a mustardy vinaigrette.  It’s mild and slightly tangy.

Overall, this is decent comfort food at a reasonable price.

The room is very retro.  It feels like its cut out from the 1950s.  It’s a little cramped in there, probably seating only 30 or so, and when it’s busy, there’s a lot of bumping around into others, or squeezing between them.

The service was pretty good, attentive, and friendly (in spite of how busy it was).

Lucy's Eastside Diner on Urbanspoon

I had a groupon voucher for Jolly’s Indian Bistro, a small restaurant in Kitsilano, on West Forth Avenue, between MacDonald and Bayswater.

We arrived at 6:30 pm on a weeknight and were seated immediately (the restaurant does not accept reservations).  The place filled up by 7pm.

The menu is fairly comprehensive, covering all the most familiar Indian dishes.

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We started with the samosa.

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This is cooked Potato and peas wrapped in light pastry, deep-fried until crispy, and served over curried chickpeas and a lighlty sweet chutney, and sprinkled  with fresh cilantro.  This was a very good samosa.  The pastry was crisp around the outside, but the filling of potatoes and peas were fluffly and light, and savory.  The curried chickpeas were mildly spicy and aromatic.  The chutney was a sweet blend of honey and mango flavors.  The cilantro added a nice herby freshness.

Next came the dosa stuffed with chicken.
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This is a South Indian crepe stuffed with minced grilled chicken served with daal and more of that sweet chutney. The “crepe” is a thin pancake made from a blend of rice flour and (traditionally) black lentil flour mixed with water and allowed to ferment.  Its cooked over a flat griddle much like a crepe.  This dosa was stuffed with grilled chicken, and served under a blanket of daal and more of that mango chutney.

Although this is an appetizer, it’s a pretty hearty serving.  It was nicely seasoned, with an earthy flavor from the daal and little fruity sweetness from the chutney.

Lastly we had the kashmiri lamb roganjosh

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This is a Leg of lamb pressured cooked with rare mixed spices and mint.

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It’s served with saffron basmati rice, and a green salad.

The lamb also comes with a serving of garlic naan.

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The lamb was very lean and a little dry and stringy, but not intolerable.  The braising sauce is a potent rich blend of shallots, garlic, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, chilies, mint and yogurt.  The rice was light and slightly nutty with a hint of turmeric.

The salad a nice fresh bundle of greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, cabbage and sunflower seeds, drizzled with a sweet fruity dressing.

The naan is a leavened wheat flour flat bread cooked on the inside of a searing hot tandoori oven.  This naan was crispy on the edges and quite thin.  It didn’t have much tenderness on the inside. It was smeared with a garlicky buttery spread. This was not bad naan, better than average, really.

Our server was prompt, patient and nice enough.

The room is warm but dimly lit, with lots of red, yellow and orange tones on the walls and hangings.  In spite of it’s modest size, it feels a little tight and cozy.

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