Gyudon Ya is a Japanese fast food restaurant on the corner of Robson and Richards. For all you old-skool Vancouverites, it is the Cafe Sil Vous Plait location. (I miss their cornbread.) They used to be very recognizable from their giant orange canopy outside the restaurant but I guess they decided to tone it down and now the signage is red. They serve one thing, Gyudon-a Japanese dish consisting of a bowl of rice topped with beef and onion simmered in a mildly sweet sauce.
I have never been to Japan, so I can't verify the authenticity of this place, but I have always enjoyed my meals here. They serve a couple of version of Gyudon- beef, short rib, chicken, curry and veggie. The restaurant is set up for the single office worker to grab a quick lunch as most of the seating is bar or window seating. There are a couple of two people tables at the back. They always have a line up of to-go orders as well.
The menu is fairly simple with the 5 bowls offered. You can order them alone or as a "value meal" which comes with soup and a pickled salad.
I went with the "Grilled" Short Rib bowl ("grilled" is always in quotes on the menu, like "100% All Beef TM") for $6.50.
From the menu: "Grilled Short Rib- Beef short ribs marinated in a fruits and garlic based soy sauce. The beef is cooked on the grill and served with sauteed onion and chopped lettuce on the bowl of rice".
I think the portion size of these bowls are perfect. I normally like to have some more veggies with my lunch, but sometimes a straight-up bowl of meat and rice hits the spot. The first time I had this I was worried that the meat was going to be tough, but it was really moist. There was just enough sauce to make it flavorful, but not runny. This one is my favorite.
This is not a meal that will blow your mind, but it is tasty and quick and sometimes exactly what I am looking for. The service is always very friendly and welcoming. I would think the low Urbanspoon rating probably reflect the "authenticity" of the Gyudon, but I have always had a good meal here.