Recently, my roommate told me she’s experienced a string of excellent service. Wherever she goes, she encounters cheerful shopkeepers who make her day better. Fortunately, I can say the same. Both yesterday and today’s posts are on Japanese restaurants, and at each place I received exceptional customer service. It was the kind that leaves you with a goofy smile on your face, which is then mirrored by everyone you pass. People smile at smilers, it’s a fact.
When customers enter, they’re greeted by the entire staff, and the same thing happens when they exit. My server didn’t have all of her ducks in a row, but she was sweet as honey and I really liked her.
The interior was small and tidy, with spiky dried blowfish hanging above the chef’s counter. I first ordered a bowl of miso soup ($1.00) to warm up, then decided on a dynamite roll ($4.25), gomaae roll ($3.25), a smoked salmon nigiri ($1.75), and an inari nigiri ($1.25). This restaurant doesn’t have extremely high ratings on Urbanspoon, so I figured I’d stick with the simpler things. It’s very inexpensive and popular for takeout; many customers came in to pickup dinner while I was there.
My soup came first, and as I looked at it, I realized I never give miso soup any credit. It’s simple, healthy, and restorative, and settles into the most unusual cloud-like forms when left for a few minutes. It was just what I needed to cut through last night’s chill.
The rolls and nigiri were decent, but not terribly remarkable.
The dynamite roll was filled with more rice than I would have liked,
but I did like the sweetness of the green gomaae roll, which had avocado and cucumber in addition to the spinach.
I’d never had a piece of smoked salmon nigiri before, and it was nice. I am, and always will be, a big fan of smoked salmon.
As usual, I loved the sweet, toothsome inari. I could eat an entire meal of these little rice-stuffed bean curd pillows.
The quality of the rice wasn’t stellar, which is what so often separates an OK piece of a sushi from a great one. As I said, however, the people were lovely and it’s cheap – just the thing to grab for dinner if you’re tired on a weeknight. Plus you’re likely to leave smiling!
And now, because November tends to be a busy month, here’s an event to put into your calendars now: The 2nd Annual Fishermen Helping Kids With Cancer Herring Sale.
When: Saturday November 24th, between 7am and 4pm (or until sold out!)
How does it work?: Bring cash to purchase 20lb bags of freshly-caught herring for only $10 (or customers can bring their own five gallon pails), with 100% of proceeds going directly to BC Children’s Hospital.
Last year, organizers set a fundraising goal of $25,000, and after fish sales and donations were tallied, they ended up raising a total of almost $60,000! They decided to make it an annual event, and volunteers (including musicians) are lined up again this year to help make it a success.
Unsure of what to do with all those herring? Me too! But don’t worry, we’ll figure it out. I have some pickled herring research in my future….
Cash and cards accepted
Vegetarian (and vegan) options available