Sunday Food Porn: Sushi Sunday

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There are some photos which are pretty to look at, but don’t actually cause any ripples in the world. Then there are photos like this, that cause … well, let me tell you what this particular photo (taken on my infamous crappy old iPhone) caused.

This is a Chirashi bowl from the 89 Inn on Fraser Street at 48th in Vancouver. For those of you who don’t know, chirashi bowls are basically unconstructed sushi: there’s a substratum of rice down below, then some vegetables, then the fish goes on top, cut to nigiri-sized pieces, but not rolled. This way you can have your sashimi and your ballast too, just by digging down. It’s rare that I finish a whole one. I often order the Chirashi Bowl at the 89 Inn, when I don’t order the 89 burger, which is a pretty bog-standard diner burger with cheese, mushrooms, and bacon, except that it’s a double burger, comes with fries, and clocks in at $7.50.

The Chirashi Bowl is a solid $12.99. That’s right, this bowl of incredibly fresh, high-quality seafood was less than fifteen dollars. I believe there were 15 pieces of seafood in it, plus avocado and salad down below, then hot rice with sticky sweet sauce. Not exactly what you’d expect from a narrow place with a cheap yellow awning, a decor that hasn’t been updated since the 70’s, and the words “Chinese and Western Dining” prominently listed on the front of the restaurant. There’s an oil painting hanging behind the cash machine that has glitter in it.

Anyway, one night I was out at a networking event to meet some of the staffers of Automattic, the company that brings you WordPress and provides a host for this very blog. They were from all over, and naturally they wanted to know what was good in Vancouver. Naturally, I whipped out my phone and showed them this. Naturally, since I know Automattic has money and was probably paying for dinner, I told them to go to Tojo’s.

Tojo beat Iron Chef Morimoto when the secret ingredient was fish. I’m not even kidding.

Basically, this picture caused a stampede; they couldn’t get out of there and into the sushi bar fast enough. But if Matt isn’t buying your meals, or you don’t feel like changing out of your “America: Canada’s Underpants” sweats for dinner, try the 89 Inn. It’s my new favorite diner on the planet, and I loves me some good Chinese and Western Food diners.

Some day I must even try the Chinese food there…

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2 thoughts on “Sunday Food Porn: Sushi Sunday

  1. Funny story about Chef Tojo….. when my oldest son who is now 30 was born his father’s best friend was working at Tojo’s…. and when my was born Tojo’s sent up a huge tray of sushi for the family….. so much care in that package…… wonderful people there in those days

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    • That’s awesome! I’ve only been to Tojo’s once in my life, but I looked at the menu and it’s expensive, but not outrageous. I may go there to celebrate the first paycheque from The Sikrit Projekt or The Redacted, when I get them.

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