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Restaurants Under The Radar (merged)

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VanMag this month has a great rundown of 25 restaurants flying under the radar in the city. In alphabetical order they are:

Aurora Bistro



Cafe De Paris

Casa Verde

Dundarave Fish Mkt

Hamilton Street Grill

The Ivy


Lucy Mae Brown

The Mouse and Bean

Octopus's Garden

Ordinary Cafe

Pearl on the Rock



Sage Bistro


Simply Thai

Smoking Dog

Tacos Mexicos Rico


The Templeton



Obviously agree with HSG - but now the hanger steak and HSG GBP will be even harder to come by. Tacos Rico is great and glad to see that Cafe de Paris is back on track - may have to check it out. Also - great to see LMB and Aurora on the list. Okay - some of these places I have not heard of - so they were truly under the radar for me and I will add them to my list of places to check out.

A great sidebar to article also mentioned restaurants will one great dish. I full agree with Mui Garden's Curry Brisket as their great dish. The list also includes egullet favorites such as Au Petite, Kolachy, Kedah and many others. One problem though - it lists Shanghai Ya Yun - which sadly no longer exists and it looks like the chef has decamped to Shaghai Wind in Richmond (the mention of which is like pouring salt into an old wound - very sad that they moved).

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I have been to 11 , plus my own so that makes me the race leader with 12. One could dispute eating at my own place if we needed a tie breaking protocol.

Ah yes ... but have you ever eaten from the menu??? It's not bad - you should try it.

I've been to 8 ... 9 if you include the tacos I had from the Mouse & Bean stand at the Taste of Vancouver last year. My bloody "go to" list keeps getting longer!


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I have been to 11 , plus my own so that makes me the race leader with 12. One could dispute eating at my own place if we needed a tie breaking protocol.

I'm right there with you Neil: 12 for me.

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

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I'm tied with Canuckle at four as well, though mine are a "solid" four. Aurora is currently at the top of my list, if that counts for anything. And there are other places on my radar, just not confirmed kills (so to speak).

I always wonder with these lists, whose radar are they checking? (This time it was mine, apparently.)

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If I am not mistaken Brown's (on Mainland) was having their opening party last night!  That's jumping the gun a bit for flying under the radar

I think the reference was for the Brown's on Lonsdale in North Van.

As an aside, My count could be up to 13 but I only had dessert at one place so I did not count it. I find this very strange as I feel I never get out and am always a bit jealous of the tales of everybody else's dining exploits.

Perhaps it is because the HSG is flying under the radar that I seek similar restaurants.

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill


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I've only hit three, which confirms what I already knew a) I don't eat out enough, and b) it is so often Asian that I miss some of these other spots! I'm going to have to make an effort but maybe not until Sept - July and August seem so busy already!

Also, who has been to Saveur, you are not telling us about it and we want to know! Please post something if you have been - especially if your experience was positive, I heard something else good about it, but from an insider.

Edited by SushiCat (log)
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i'm down for 14, but i've eaten at 1 10-12 times and another 3-4 times Does that count as 27-30 :biggrin:

also, if i owned a previous incarnation of a joint does that count as having eaten there (I know i was certainly fed my lunch) :shock:

Edited by gerald (log)

Gerald Tritt,


Vera's Burger Shack

My Webpage

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I had to edit my posting - nwyles beat me to it on Brown's.

Gerald - you are the man! I am vacillating between jealousy and murderous envy.

To make myself feel better - I've been compiling my own under the radar list and so far - I am batting 100% :laugh: . Like Sushicat - it is mostly Asian though - so the Vanmag list gives more to aim at.

Edited by canucklehead (log)
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14 for me.  :huh:

Question: what other worthy restaurants remain "under the radar"?

The revolving restaurant on top of the Sheraton Landmark. Unbeleivable view, and the view rotates every hour 360 degrees.

Killer sandwiches at La Grotta


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I've been to a lowly 6 spots too... must get out more! : biggrin:

As to places that I believe are flying under the radar:

Tamarind Bistro owned by the same folks who ran Rubina Tandori for years and years. I've only had dinner there once and we were in a great rush to get to the theatre but as I recall the food was fantastic. Service was a tad off but it's still relatively early days for them and they'll soon learn how to handle a crowd.

Another place that surprised the heck out of me recently is Bogart’s Chophouse. Used to be Carnegies for many years. I had very low expectations going in and was pleasantly surprised. The maitre 'd is a total charmer for starters... and the food was surprisingly good. Now... perhaps that shouldn't be a surprise but to me it was.... don't know what I was expecting exactly but I was definitely pleased. Wine list is okay... a few interesting bottles to choose from... a few ho hum, but I suppose I've been spoiled lately by some places with really great lists. After all, it's really a matter of taste. Interesting martini list as well.

And another place that may, or may not, be flying under the radar is Jolly's on West 4th, just before Macdonald. I haven't been myself but I know people who go quite often and really like it. Food is Indian and really, really cheap. Dinner, including entree and accompaniments, plus a glass of beer is something like 10 bucks. I keep meaning to try it and will do so eventually to report back. If it is good.... they are definitely flying well under the radar :laugh:

Edited by appreciator (log)


Always take a good look at what you're about to eat. It's not so important to know what it is, but it's critical to know what it was. --Unknown

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i'm down for 14, but i've eaten at 1 10-12 times and another 3-4 times Does that count as 27-30 :biggrin:

also, if i owned a previous incarnation of a joint does that count as having eaten there (I know i was certainly fed my lunch) :shock:


... and how come there's not a smilie for cyber-bow...?

I am down for 7, but I am getting too senile to be sure.

And I actually have a couple that I think are even under the radar for whoever that wrote the Vanmag thing (Mr. Maw?):

Foo Faa: The Thai place tucked behind the 7-11 at the end of Robson and Cardero. It's very authentic (as opposed to the many Westernized-Thai places that serve over-sweetened food) and some of the dishes are so well-made that even Salathai, Montri and Sawadee cannot match. It used to offer a Thai hotpot, which, sadly, had to be discontinued for lack of acceptance.

Kalvin's: Seeing how folks appreciate Vogue in this thread, I think the Kalvin's and the restaurants (Vogue and the one that's tucked behind Izumi-ya off No. 3 in Richmond) that are off-shoots from it are not more "on the radar screen." These are very good Sichuan-influenced Taiwanese restaurants and, although not under the radar of the Chinese diners by any means, don't seem to be frequented much by the mainstream. Kalvin's is on Victoria, across from the Chevron gas station.

OM Vegetarian: Located on Cambie across the street from Choice's, it is an ecclectic vegetarian place offering both Chinese and non-Chinese dishes. A world apart from the heavily-sauced Bo Kong and other traditional Chinese vegetarian places, I think it is a good alternative for vegetarians who want to take a break from Naam and Indian.

I am so glad that VanMag is pointing out the roads less travelled and Lee bringing our attention to these worthy restaurants. I will make it a point to try out the remaining 18 or so on the list.

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We went to The Mouse And The Bean last night. I have heard so many great things about its authentic food that I had to go. But I have to say I was quite dissappointed. I had the special which was a stewed tomatoe and strips of beef dish in a jus for eating with some tortillas. My wife had their specialty which is a deep fried bread of some kind which is coated with chorizo and verde and roja (spelling?). Both of them were ok at best. Not bad, but not great either. My beef was quite tough. And there was not nearly enough chorizo on her bread for my or her taste. The rice and beans that accompanied mine were both good, the beans especially. And the tortillas were very good. But the rice was overcooked, every kernel was popped. That said, it could be perfectly authentic for all I know as I've never eaten in Mexico. But my wife has and she wasn't impressed. The kicker though, was the "fresh juice" at 7.99 for a litre we got a tablespoon of sugar mixed with water and a tablespoon of Reallemon , no proof, but that's what it tasted like.

We were told not to miss the Hot Chocolate, but we were suitably unimpressed that we left early to save a couple of dollars on parking.

I have to say that the little deli/take-out joint in Lonsdale Quay is FAR superior. I think it's called Chilescos or something like that. And they sell all kinds of ingredients for cooking mexican, every kind of dried chile imaginable, and even epazote, dried, but oh well. There's no fresh stuff in the city as far I know.

I hope I just got a bad night.


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