Resto roundup—Japanese edition: Kozakura, Raisu, and more

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      While fans of Japanese cuisine have never suffered from a shortage of options in this city, there are a number of more Japanese restaurants coming your way.

      Joining the Japanese

      Entering the Japanese restaruant market are a number of non-Japanese restaurants that have been reincarnated as new Asian-inspired establishments.

      There have been two such examples in Gastown, the first being the Cork and Fin relaunching as 'ONO raw bar in March.

      The second was the Italian restaurant Notturno, which we previously noted was reopening as a Japanese restaurant Kozakura, which means cherry tree in Japanese.


      Kozakura, which opened on on June 17 at 280 Carrall Street, focuses on kappo-style food, which is traditional Japanese fine cuisine which is made by the chef right in front of the diner.

      Anago dashi chazuke

      The menu covers à la carte items as well as omakase (chef's menu). Offerings vary from tako no yawakarani (sous-vide octopus, smoked ponzu, mizuna) to aigamo sumiso (sweet soy cooked duck breast) and familiar favourites like anago dashi chazuke (slow-cooked eel, steamed rice, dashi, and mitsuba).

      Nice rice

      The team behind Kingyo, Suika, and Rajio have opened their newest addition, Raisu, which we mentioned back in April.

      The Kitsilano spot is located on the second floor at 2340 West 4th Avenue, which was formerly occupied by the fleeting deaf-themed establishment Deafined.

      The tapas-style fusion menu includes bento, teishoku (a pre-set meal with various sides, rice, and miso soup), sushi, udon, and rice bowls (with prices ranging from about $14 to $32), with some yoshoku (Japanese takes on Western food) items such as wagyu beef hamburg (hamburger).


      Rice dishes include the seafood "donabe takikome" rice, with sea urchin, snow crab, and broth served in a clay pot ($22) or sizzling stone beef steak hit sumabushi, with Canadian AAA tenderloin beef steak on top of garlic butter fried rice in a hot stone bowl with dashi soup ($20).


      However, as much of a draw is their drink menu, which offers an extensive selection of sake, which includes Masumi, Senkin, Hakkaisan, and Raisu's own house sake. There's also shochu, plum wine, red and white wines, cocktails, beer, whiskey, and a selection of teas.

      West End changeover

      Kadoya has closed its 202–1184 Denman Street location.

      Its 1063 Davie Street location remains open, with its menu of inventive, way-out-there sushi rolls, such as the Stanley Park roll (yam tempura, unagi tempura), the Phoenix roll (pumpkin, salmon, imitation shark fin), and the Snow White roll (prawn tempura, ebi, tamago, coconut).

      Ocean Dream Roll
      Sushi Nami

      The Denman spot been replaced by Sushi Nami, a Japanese fusion restaurant, which has a location at 1315 Lonsdale Avenue in North Vancouver.

      Their menu covers a wide range of rolls as well as Japanese menu staples such as donburi, udon, yakisoba, tempura, and more.

      Ramen roundup

      We previously mentioned a number of new places that will be fuelling Vancouver's ramen craze.

      Natsumi opened up  at 1170 Commercial Drive to offer East Vancouver a noodle spot, while Men-no Kura and Toronto-based Touhenboku are joining the concentration of ramen joints in the West End near the Denman and Robson street intersection. Meanwhile, Richmond-based Yah Yah Ya Ramen will open up shop in the downtown core at 570 Robson Street.

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