Think of a really funky, pop-art decorated interior, Johnny Cash, Wall of Voodoo and Depeche Mode remixes on the stereo, Astroboy, a punked-out painting of Warhol's Chairman Mao on the wall with the caption, "Miso Horny" underneath, and the famous Campbells soup can image with "Mmmmm Sushi" on its label, and you have the Eatery.
No, this is not a run-of-the-mill Japanese restaurant served by kimono-clad waitresses This is not where you go if you're a Japanese food snob.
This is a snazzy Kitsilano institution where the local universtiy students go for experimental inventive sushi and a blend of west coast and Japanese cuisine. It just happens that it's in an artsy pop-culturally chic atmosphere. It's fun, it's casual, always has good music and always has friendly staff. Popular with the locals in Kits (ie: young trendy crowd). The food is good and there's a huge selection. It's open late at night too, which is a nice bonus.
Favorite Dish: The spicy tuna rolls, the miso udon soup and the yam tempura rolls. They have a good selection of rice bowls, teriyaki dishes and non-sushi items to make the non-sushi fan's visit enjoyable. This restaurant is also vegetarian-friendly with a lot of choice.
The menus are so extensive, they're 8-10 pages and feature endless choices, it's overwhelming. Last time I had a KFC roll with yes... you guessed it... fried chicken inside. Gotta love it.
My only "bad" experience:
I went to the Eatery last in September 2004 on a Saturday night around 10pm. Big mistake.
First, all the tables were squished together so that if you were to sit down, your elbows would be resting on the neighbouring tables. They pack so many people into a tight spot, it becomes uncomfortable. Absolutely no privacy whatsoever. That ruined it for me.
Also, there were several parties going strong inside, including one stag party going strong, blow-up dolls and all. It just felt like one big frat party full of 18 year olds. As a 24 year old at the time, I felt out of my element.
While I have a sense of humour and love having crazy fun, I wasn't expecting this at the Eatery. The place was so loud, I couldn't even hear my boyfriend speak to me as he sat 2 feet infront of me.
Mind you, despite this, service was incredibly quick and food arrived within 10 minutes of being ordered...
... but I won't be going back on Saturday nights any time soon.
But that's just it. This place is not a place to go if you're tired, hungry and you just want to eat alone with your boyfriend or girlfriend. This is a place where you start off a party, or where you go to with a large group of friends. This is that kind of atmosphere.
The Eatery has evolved into a hugely popular place for young sushi lovers in Vancouver. In addition to a wide variety of offerings - some traditional, some innovatively new & crazy - your senses will be graced visually by a wild array of colourful decor and your ears will be bombarded by a loud sample of Lounge music.
If you want to talk, this isn't the place to go but if you're hanging out with a group of friends and want to be "in the scene" then it might be worth a visit!
The Eatery is a neat place to check out at least once.
I don't know if the food itslef is exceptional in comparison to other sushi places in Vancouver but I know I certainly was not dissapointed.
This is a restaurant where you will find mostly students and young people (because of it's close location to UBC) but celebrities have also been known to drop by.
The decor itself is almost worth a visit as the Warhol prints and constantly updated photos on the wall keep every experience interesting and entertaining.
This is where I had the best sushi of my life and whats most in terribly cheap prices.
It is a student hangout, a happening place, always full but worth waiting for tasting amazing sushi dishes, like the combined Rock ' n 'Roll dish