One of the first things I did when our office moved was to find a new sushi joint. There is certainly no shortage by my office. According to Urbanspoon, there are 53 downtown sushi restaurants. How do you start? I went to the closest one. That would be Urban Grill and Urban Sushi on Granville St.
The restaurant is a sushi restaurant on one side and a stir-fry grill on the other side. There is seating on both sides, some booths and a large communal table, but the seating fills up really fast at lunch time. They seem to specialize in a take out menu. They also have a great website that allows you to pre-order your sushi. The website says they will also deliver within walking distance of the restaurant although they suggest 24 hrs notice for that service.
I have been to the sushi side a few times now and the grill once. I like the selection of sushi combos that they offer as I tend to order combos more than individual pieces. My first visit was my standard setter for a new sushi restaurant, a dynamite roll and gyoza.
Dynamite Combo- 8pcs: Dynamite Roll & Salmon Sushi x 3 $7.65
Wow. Was the plating ever a nice surprise. It was much fancier than I had expected for a fast-food type of sushi place. I would have liked the lettuce to be dressed, since I did eat it, but I liked having it on the plate. The salmon sushi was a nice cool temperature. Not too thick, and tasted really good. The dynamite roll was the perfect size. Sometimes they can be made as a large roll which I find hard to eat. The tempura was still crisp and it was not swimming in mayonnaise. This roll was a win, in my opinion.
The gyoza ($4.45). If you are a reader of the blog, you will know how much I love food wrapped in dough- it is my favorite food group. The plate started out well:
The gyoza had a nice, crisp outside and then I picked up the first piece. There was a pool of grease underneath it. Like they poured the gyoza, oil and all, onto the plate. Not appetizing.
They were unremarkable in taste as well. Standard, not very fresh tasting but I was really put off by the grease pools so that really put me off the taste of them. I think this was the first time in my life that I wished I hadn't ordered the gyoza. It was a good thing that I got the beautiful, and tasty, sushi plate first. That saved the experience. And the fact that the price was great.
As I really enjoyed the sushi, I went back for a second visit. I stayed away from the gyoza this time but I did choose another combo
Urban Sushi Combo- 8pcs: Sockeye Salmon Sashimi x 3, Tuna Sashimi x 2 and Urban Roll (imitation crab meat, prawn tempura, avocado, cucumber, lettuce, & Fish Roe) $10.50
I liked this one more than the dynamite combo. I really enjoyed the sashimi combo. The fish was fresh and I liked the thickness and cut of them. The urban roll was great. I liked the size and again it was not floating in mayo. Another sushi win. I am certain this combo will become my regular order.
Off to the grill side. I am always weary of these because I inevitable take more food than I can eat and then it becomes fairly pricey. I have learned to stay away from noodles and pile the plate with leafy greens before I add anything else. This seems to work to keep my plate price down.
All of the items looked really fresh and I was there quite early so it was all full. I choose to go with a beef short rib and a soy sauce. Happily, the price came to about $8.00. Perfect.
Nothing really fancy about this lunch, but it was fresh and well cooked. The beef short ribs were really moist and tender. I would go back here again.
There is self serve green tea available, but a warning, the spout spits off to the left side and the tea is really hot when it splashes on your hand.
There is not much to say about the service, all the cashiers were pleasant and the food came quite quickly but there is not table service once you sit down and the tea and water are self serve. I like the clean modern look of the restaurant and the sushi was good enough that I will be back for sure. I just have to get to the 52 other places first....