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“Nothing polished here!”

Shizen Ya on Hornby
Ranked #88 of 3,803 Restaurants in Vancouver
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $16 - $39
Cuisines: Japanese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Neighborhood: Granville Street
Banff, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Nothing polished here!”
Reviewed June 25, 2013

This is a Japanese restaurant, owned and run by Japanese. So the master chef knows his traditions and is honest to them. However, ingredients are whole foods, brown rice, all healthy stuff, so if you're expecting the glossy white POLISHED rice and green tea of trad Japanese establishments, you're in for a shock!
It's really a hole in the wall kind of place, popular with young people. A long narrow shop with fairly limited seating, with the kitchen at the far end. Don't get dressed up in your finery to come here please!
Of course I was limited in my choice, but from what I had, I knew I was tasting fresh, healthy yet uncomplicated ingredients.
I couldn't try the organically brewed beers or drink wine due to the meds I was taking, but I shared a pot of 'gobo', or burdock, tea. Never had that in my 55 years on this earth, or even heard of it during my 10 years spent in Japan! Somewhat an acquired taste, but if you're interested in weird teas from around the world, this surely is one of them! I love burdock, and was very tasty.
Starters we tried were lotus root braised in soy, prawn 'sunomono' and a quinoa and wild rice salad, with edamame. Little dishes we shared. Each dish less than $4.00 each.
Then for mains we both had the Chirashi-Don, (assorted sashimi on organic brown rice in a bowl). The fish was nice and fresh, and as a visitor to Vancouver was delighted with the sockeye salmon sashimi component! YUM. This main cost $12.95.
Service was very good, and there were people coming in to order take-away.
Pity I was only here for just one night before heading back to my home overseas!
So many Japanese restaurants to try all over the world, this one definitely one of the more quirky, yet wholesome, I have tried.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
5 Thank Jonathan P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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191 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Colorado
Level 6 Contributor
147 reviews
67 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
“Delicious, healthy food in very small restaurant”
Reviewed May 28, 2013

Shizen Ya requires reservations because it has only 7 tables, and some of them are only for two people. It may be the smallest restaurant I've ever seen. The food is great though, especially if you are vegan or paleo -- lots of great vegan and organic choices. The size of the restaurant made me feel a little claustrophobic though, and you do pay extra for the quality of the food (organic). If quality and health are important to you and you don't mind paying a little more for it, this is your place.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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Helpful?
5 Thank njcronk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Québec
Level 6 Contributor
99 reviews
63 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Healthy. Yummy. Packed.”
Reviewed May 13, 2013 via mobile

Such a great spot for sushi or teriyaki (with brown rice). A super healthy option in this quiet neighbourhood. Paked on a monday night at 8 pm (consider take out).

Also had ginger ale which tasted home made.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
4 Thank chagallvoyage
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level 6 Contributor
280 reviews
171 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 152 helpful votes
“Cozy 7 table place, inventive healthy and relatively inexpensive”
Reviewed May 1, 2013

Was sort of shocked that they only had seven tables, walked into the last open table. The options really had a healthy spin to them, and the use of brown rice and quinoa was interesting and positive. The spicy tuna roll was tops. If you are looking for flare and presentation/experience this place prob isn't for you. It has a really cozy home feel to it where you get some wholesome food at pretty good prices. I was a fan and would return. Seems like a great place to get takeout as well.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
6 Thank Cursive9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa
Level 6 Contributor
376 reviews
161 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 182 helpful votes
“A little overrated”
Reviewed April 27, 2013

I tried this restaurant based on the positive reviews on Tripadvisor and Yelp. I was a bit disappointed as the place is overrated. The sushi is good, well prepared and fresh and the use of brown rice is certainly a novelty. And I think this last item is what has people glowing about the place (as well as it's use of quinoa and its vegan options). Yes, it is good to try a brown rice sushi, but this isn't exquisite sushi. The taste of the brown rice overpowers everything else - at least that was my experience with the three rolls I tried. There is many other great places in Vancouver to have good sushi.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank Ottawajester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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