Robson Street's Sushi Itoga shuts down in Vancouver's West End after decade-long run

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      While sushi shops once surged in number to become the most ubiquitous type of Japanese cuisine to be found in Vancouver, that's not necessarily the case anymore in a certain section of the West End.

      In the stretch near the intersection of Denman and Robson streets, a growth in the number of sushi restaurants were followed by a wave of izakayas, which in turn were succeeded by a proliferation of ramen shops.

      Although a few stalwart sushi-oriented eateries kept going, their number has been in decline, with one more location calling it quits.

      Sushi Itoga at 1668 Robson Street (near Bidwell Street), which began as Sushi Mart a decade ago, had its last day of operations on February 23.

      According to the shop’s website and a message on its front door which thanks customers for their patronage, the shop has closed due to the expiry of its lease. Its Facebook webpage has been taken down.

      Craig Takeuchi

      The casual spot, which was a partner of the Vancouver Aquarium’s ocean-friendly OceanWise program, offered authentic and quality sushi, nigiri, and sashimi at reasonable prices.

      The menu spanned Japanese classics like futomaki and inarizushi to western-style offerings such as California, B.C., or Alaska rolls, as well as ebi, tako, unagi, hamachi, and various fish roe nigiri.

      While a cooler offered prepackaged grab-and-go items, the rectangular room featured a communal long table for those wishing to dine in.

      This closure follows another Japanese restaurant that shut down a block away about two months ago.

      Sapporo Japanese Restaurant closed on December 26 at 1709 Robson Street due to the retirement of the owner.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook