Before diners place their orders at Thai D'or waiters will often inquire, "Can you handle spicy food?" True to Thai culinary techniques, many of its dishes brim with fiery spices and chili-infused sauces, but chefs are eager to adjust spice content to suit each individual palate. Named for the French word for gold, the Thai restaurant lives up to its title with its fresh, authentically prepared curries, noodles, and specialties and its commitment to cultural traditions of hospitality. Servers bear blended cocktails and simmering meat, seafood, and vegetarian dishes into the dining room, where guests recline on cushy leather chairs beneath the glow of red lanterns. Eastern decor adorns the wall, and water trickles down from stone mosaics. The restaurant opens its function room to private parties, designing customized menus for family gatherings, business meetings, and kindergarten graduations.
Akari Japanese Restaurant’s menu consolidates centuries of Japanese culinary history, placing traditional noodle entrees alongside modern interpretations of classic sushi rolls. The sushi bar’s Japanese-trained chef, Lee San, creates more than 40 rolls, including 19 specialty maki that enfold tempura-fried yams, scallops, or mango. For more flame-kissed flavour, the kitchen’s chefs glaze barbecue beef ribs with teriyaki sauce and deep-fry pork cutlets. The dining room’s decor echoes the menu’s minimalist presentation while still incorporating accents from across the Pacific, such as Japanese figurines, displays of sheathed swords, and wheezing giant squids that occupy an entire floor of the restaurant.
Spicy or mild, classic or unexpected, or filled with tuna or pumpkin, the rolls and cones at Kojima Sushi dazzle palates with artfully curated flavor combinations. In addition to nigiri, sushi, sashimi, and maki, chefs fry golden-battered tempura and skewer barbecued chicken. Countless pages comprise the Kojima menu, offering taste buds of all stripes a satisfying feast.
The chefs at Zen Japanese Restaurant serve up Japanese cuisine with West Coast flair. Sushi rolls unite traditional ingredients such as shrimp and tuna with fusion adornments such as honey-dijon sesame sauce and mango chutney. Cooked selections such as new york cut strip steak and tuna paté sizzle in tempura batter or atop a robata grill.
One of the first participants in the Vancouver aquarium's Ocean Wise program, Zen also helps customers make ocean-friendly choices by marking sustainably fished seafood dishes with a special logo on its menus. Ocean views both inside the restaurant and on a heated outdoor patio also let them show their love of things marine by waving to wistful mermaids out at sea.
At Gen Sushi, chefs roll more than 100 sushi options that populate a menu marked by authentic Japanese reverence to simple ingredients. The interior is a lesson in subtle elegance, with the restaurant's friendly staff seating guests at mahogany tables in a dining room with large, black-panelled front windows and walls pocked with traditional Japanese artwork. With a boatload of sushi offerings, rice bowls, and noodles, the eatery also serves convenient lunch and dinner boxes as well as mammoth party trays ideal for corporate eating contests.