Tuesday, April 13, 2010

April 12th - Excellent Sushi - Good "Go-To" Sushi for Lunch Downtown

Excellent Sushi is on Granville near Davie so it is a bit of a hike from work.  On nicer days or less busy days, I do not mind the speedwalk to pick it up.  I call ahead to reduce the wait.  It can be very slow.  I have made the mistake of ordering on arrival and waited for a long time.  Bizarre as well, the place will be virtually empty and everyone seems to be waiting. You gotta wonder why they have so many seats when they cannot handle a handful of seated guests and take away.  Perhaps it is all the call in orders.  However, it is cheaper yet without sacrificing the quality like other places like on Dunsmuir, blech.  Plus they give you Miso soup with the Sushi combos.  For 6 bucks, it is the best deal downtown.

That said, it is a total cafeteria style restaurant.  You are not coming for the decor or ambiance.  The staff is friendly and there is a steady stream of regulars.  For a while, the waitress were different everytime I went but recently, it has been the same dude.  I am guessing the owner uses Japanese English Language students like Japadog.  Actually, today, I noticed, that he finally hired some kitchen help too.  There was a new older man on the sushi counter.  I have not tried the other non sushi dishes but I hear the microwave door too frequently back in the kitchen and I hate, hate, hate that noise in a restaurant.  They do their sushi well and I'll stick to that.  Their tempura Yam and Prawn in their rolls is fresh, not nuked so I'm good.  I know you are meant to judge a sushi chef by his Tamago (or Omlette) but in these mainstream places, I think you can best judge by their Yam Roll: Is the Yam cooked through? Is the tempura oily? Has the Yam been soaked through because it has been sitting around?  Is it cold in the middle?  I have seen examples of these in a few of  the places in the downtown area.

I always get the Daily Special to go.  It is a 22 piece Sushi Box that includes 8 pieces of  Tuna roll and then your choice of BC, California or Dynamite and your choice of  Tofu or Yam Roll.  Their California is fairly standard, good, but standard.  Their BC roll is a bit oily but at least it actually has the Salmon Skin and not just chopped salmon.  Their Dynamite is my preference, partly because they do it well and partly because it is a premium roll in most of the places around here. 

One downside is that some of their rolls are very 'ricey'.  Whereas my other 'go-to' place, Bay Sushi Cafe, has so much filling that the rice does not close up,(which is bad form), Excellent can have a tad too much rice.  Sometimes, I peel some of the rice away and leave it because it is too much for lunch.  Today though, it was not too ricey.  It must be the new guy that is the difference here.  I also really like the little bowl of Miso.  I mean it costs nothing for them and it makes a difference to me :)  Just be sure to call your order ahead!

Cost: $
Ambiance: Cafeteria / Dive
Staff: Friendly but slow service
Location: Granville and Davie, downtown

Excellent Sushi
1157 Granville St
Vancouver, BC V6Z
(604) 687-0038

for easy, tasty, affordable sushi


for dining experience, efficiency of kitchen and over use of microwave

Excellent Sushi on Urbanspoon

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