Best Casual Japanese 2014

May 1, 2014


Silver: Kishimoto | Bronze: Guu | Honourable Mentions: Suika, Yuji's From Japan


Kingyo (Gold) remains the city's most polished (yet jubilant) celebration of Japanese izakaya dishes-one that unfolds in a brassy, convivial atmosphere. Judges go in the evening for beef tongue, grilled pork cheeks, and miso black cod. But the lunch has been a well-kept secret: "The pork-loin tonkatsu is delightful and-served with a DIY sesame sauce in a mortar-and-pestle-it's fun, too." Kishimoto (Silver) nabbed attention this year for bringing great sushi to a grateful Commercial Drive. Presentation is key here, with boards of sashimi and spicy chopped scallop rolls arriving as staged and gorgeous as miniature opera sets. Guu (Bronze) was our first izakaya 20 years ago, and judges still love it for catering to homesick Japanese students and off-duty chefs. Small plates and cheap drinks (and one loud party) keep judges going. (Try the delightfully seasoned beef tataki.)





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