Resto roundup: New location for SMAK healthy fast food, Verve Bistro closes—and another ramen shop on the way

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      Here's a roundup of restaurant newss, including two places about to open—including yet another ramen joint if you can believe it—and a closure.

      Gluten-free goodness

      If you're looking for gluten-free healthy fast food downtown, access will be getting easier.

      Locally based SMAK will be opening a second location at 545 Granville Street, in the space formerly occupied by Taco Del Mar, by the end of July. 

      SMAK, which strives to be a zero-waste facility, currently operates a location in Coal Harbour at 1139 West Pender Street.

      Michelle Da Silva

      By phone, owner Brendan Ladner says the Granville location will be larger that the Pender one, with approximately 30 to 35 seats.

      SMAK's menu offers everything from smoothies and breakfast sandwiches to salads and hot bowls, such as dahl curry with Asian slaw, ginger pork with Thai slaw, or their most popular dish: green curry chicken bowl.

      As for their name, Ladner says it means tasty in many languages, which reflects one of their major priorities: to make ethical food more accessible and available to as many people as possible.


      Rampant ramen

      How many ramen shops can the West End market sustain?

      At ground zero for Vancouver ramen near the Robson and Denman intersection, there are currently seven shops: Kintaro, Motomachi Shokudo, Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, Marutama Ra-Men, The Ramenman, Danbo, and Hida Takayama (in Robson Public Market).

      That's not including Hapa Ramen, which just closed on June 7, and Ramen Koika on Davie Street, not to mention other Japanese restaurants in the area that include ramen on their menus.

      As we previously mentioned, Koyuki Sapporo Ramen will open soon at 795 Jervis Street.

      Men-no Kura
      Craig Takeuchi

      As if that's not enough, Men-no Kura House of Ramen is under construction at 1773 Robson Street in the former La Casita Tacos space. No details about the new spot are available yet.

      We'll have to see who is left standing as these noodle wars continue to play out.

      West End loses Verve

      Verve Bistro
      Craig Takeuchi

      Verve Bistro, which opened in the fall of 2015, didn't survive its first year in business and has closed at 1072 Denman Street.

      Its Canadian-oriented menu offered items such as wild boar meatloaf, elk burger, braised beef poutine, and B.C. mussels.

      And the eats go on…

      Other recent restaurant news includes:

      Nabebugyo opened its doors at 3190 Cambie Street on June 6 with its menu of self-serve hot pot options that draw from Japanese, Korean, Thai, and Western cuisines;

      • Malaysian coffee bun café PappaRoti will be expanding nationally, with 15 new locations across the country (10 of them will be in B.C.);

      17°C Dessert Café opened on May 21 at 2229 Kingsway with its bowls of shaved ice, fresh fruit, syrup, and toppings;

      Hapa Izakaya and Hapa Ramen were closed at 1479 Robson Street on June 7 with a notice of seizure. Its Coal Harbour and Yaletown locations will remain open. Owner Justin Ault told the Georgia Straight that the closure by a bailiff took him by surprise.

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