You think by now that I would have tried a Japanese Barbecue in the city with the most diverse restaurants, but I believe this is my first time. Never even heard of the place, until a friend wanted eat here. Let's take a look, shall we?
New Restaurant, New Experiences
When I go to barbecue restaurants, they usually tend to be Korean style - perhaps that is the preferred choice in the city? So when I heard Japanese barbecue, I was intrigued, wondering if anything is different from the familiar Korean barbecue.
The restaurant is widely popular in Japan, has several locations all over the U.S. (highly congested in California), and recently opened a second location in Vancouver. The one that we went to is the original location when they first opened. At first, I was a little lost finding the place, because it's hidden in a complex, but here it was, hiding from other buildings:
Sitting in the corner, you could nearly miss it if you blink
When I entered, the restaurant had just opened, and people were already waiting to be seated. You think at 11:30 on a weekend, people wouldn't be up for barbecue at such an early time... I guess that's just me. While I was waiting for my friend, I took a photo of the place:
Big, Open, and Spacious
Very clean and comforting, not quite like other barbecue restaurants. Based on the ones I've been to, they're usually small and cramped, but this one has a nice atmosphere. We were greeted by the staff, shown to our seats, and away we ordered. My friend suggested to get the Meat Lovers deal, which was about $55, and not bad when split between two people. You get a bunch of meat that you cook, and a variety of side dishes as well:
Salad was tasty, nothing compared to bento box salads
MMM, Chicken Karaage
At this point, my friend was giving me a blank stare for taking photos of the appetizers... Sometimes, you have to live up to the stereotype d"; We were given about 4 different types of meat, which included 2 types of beef, pork, and lamb. My friend thought it wasn't enough, so we also ordered the Basil Chicken to make all the meats complete (that was a bad idea). Little did we know how much those small portions could make an impact to the stomach, we were eating with our eyes. I only took one photo of the meat, to prevent myself from getting stabbed by my friend:
Blurred, but delicious
The concept is simple: cook the meat when you want to eat it. Makes much sense, that way your meal is always hot and ready. There were these 3 sauces you could choose from to dip your meat. One of them was sweet, and another one was spicy; I couldn't quite differentiate one from another, but they all complemented the meat rather well. And if that wasn't enough, they gave buttered corn to put on the grill, and the meal also came with a Japanese style of Bibimbap (that's my favourite!)
After stuffing my face with all kinds of meat and carbs, I thought it was over... And then my friend reminds me of dessert o_O At this point, my stomach could explode. But when ice cream came, you make room:
Black Sesame & Green Tea
Recently, I've been craving black sesame desserts: they're unusually satisfying. It was an excellent way to end the meal.
If you ever visit downtown, may I suggest this place just for the difference? Keep in mind, when we left the restaurant (about two hours later), it was crowded. I would say to come when it opens, and you'll be full all day long. Nothing like good food to bring keep company with a friend :"D