The SandBar is a newer restaurant in Vancouver, attracting a unique crowd of hipster urbanites, cougars, and tourists. It's quite large spacially, with a nautical/west coast wood beam decor, three floors and a gigantic 3rd floor deck, an outdoor bar, live seafood tanks, fireplaces, a sushi bar, and a live DJ setup for the evening. It combines Vancouver's west coast cuisine of local seafood and Asian recipes together quite eloquently.
Not surprisingly, the SandBar is owned by Sequoia Restaurants (ie: Cardero's, Sequoia Hilltop Bistro, etc) - a company whose strength lies in its ability to find scenic locations, and open up restaurants with Vancouver-inspired cooking that caters to locals as well as tourists. While some of the wording on the menus looks similar (ie: Wok Squid and Wok Mushrooms is definitely Cardero's lingo), they maintain a unique identity in the Vancouver restaurant scene. For one thing, the SandBar is frequented for its nightlife as well as for its food!
When I first went to The SandBar, it was for lunch on a sunny May afternoon. The restaurant was packed, but not full to capacity. We sat outside on the deck, between 2 outdoor fireplaces, just over from the bar. We had a nice view of the downtown skyline, but the most prominent structure was the massive Granville Street Bridge directly overhead. The beams from the bridge almost weave into the architecture of the restaurant. The view is quite unique!
As for our lunch, the menu was a lot smaller than I expected, but there was still plenty to choose from. Worth noting is that if you arrive later, their dinner menu doubles in size once they start serving sushi.
Service was perfect - friendly without being fake, and always a step ahead - we never had to wait for anything! The SandBar is definitely a place I'd like to return to, though perhaps next time with a group of friends. I'd also like to check it out in the evening, to see how this restaurant turns into a popular nightlife spot!
Favorite Dish: We shared the Tuscan Flat Bread ($4.50) which was a plate of about 8 pieces of what looked like a pizza, except it was topped off with caramelized onions,
goat cheese, and cracked pepper.
My boyfriend ordered the Wok Squid ($8.50), made with chilies, garlic, cilantro, and ginger. It was presented in an oval dish and tasted very, very spicy!
I had a craving for something casual, so I ordered the Salmon Burger ($11.50) made with wood grilled wild salmon filet, homemade bun, and tartar sauce. It came with a choice of salad or fries. I opted for salad. The salad was delicious - made with mesclin greens, a homemade vinaigrette, topped with roasted pumpkin seeds.
The Sandbar is a popular hangout for Vancouver's yuppies and tourists alike. It's situated right underneath of Granville Bridge. Try to get get a table by the window so you can watch all the comings and goings in False Creek. In 2005 they raised an old fishing boat up on pillars to make a more interesting view than the grey wall that had previously covered the bridge support pillar. It was then restored (at least on the surface) to pristine condition.
Favorite Dish: They offer a wide selection of seafood, with a number of fresh items.
This is a popular place on Granville Island. Food is contemporary with lots of seafood options. Quality of the food was high but everything tastes a bit sweet from the chowder to the salads.
Prices are competitive though and it has a good view of the surroundings. The wine menu is exstensive and the beer comes from the brewery next door.
Ah yes my new place of employment. Better not say anything too bad as I have been in the kitchen. I kid! It's agreat restaurant and Chef or Jason to his close friends his phenomenal. They have a great list of fresh seafood in the summer (a briefer one during the winter). But they also have affordable dishes. The restaurant architecture is awesome huge windows in the dining room, a patio with a fantatic view as well as a mezzanine and a lounge downstairs. The weird thing about Sand Bar is that the afformentioned lounge attracts trendy, yuppy singles in their 40's and 50's on friday and saturday night and they come out in droves. It is really quite the site. I have never seen so much grease and silicone in one place (in Canada) in my whole life! Ridiculous but definately fun to watch.
Favorite Dish: The food here is great. I like the Escolar and the crab and lobster are also awesome! For those of us who can't afford the above the daily pizza is usually a good buy and is usually a creative combination (yesterday was chorizo sausage sundried tomato, artichoke hearts and aioli...fantastic) and only sets you back 12 bucks. drinks aren't that cheap so the price per person goes up but all in all this place is great.
Oh ya be sure to smile back at that blonde busser serving your complimentary bread...he's probably me!
It is a nice restaurant on Granville Island with a great view on the water.
Favorite Dish: Ending up here three evenings of six I really enjoyed my Salmon Burger after a long day with lots of walking in town.
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