My fam & I had a real nice time during our visit thanks to a lot of suggestions here.
First night was Kirin on Alberni. Wasn't all that much available in the live tanks, curiously enough. No spot prawns, king crab, or geoduck. We had Shanghai sytle smoked fish, 4 crab claws with minced shrimp, 1 large live lobster, a squab, spicy green beans w/ pork, squid in spicy pepper salt, and a delicious soup of crispy rice w/ assorted seafood. In all, good but I'm not sure I'd go back given the number of alternatives.
Lunch next day was at Go Fish, where one son had halibut & chips, the other cod & chips, my wife a bowl of soup, and I got the salmon tacos. Pristine seafood well done, and we got there right at 11:30, so no line at all. The halibit was exceptional. I liked my tacos, but wasn't blown away by them. This place was fun.
Dinner was at Chambar. We loved this place. Wonderfully geeky sommelier who really knew his stuff and was more than happy to take a few minutes to talk about BC wines w/ which I'm utterly unfamiliar. After delicious cocktails and apps of lamb loin and octopus, the boys had the ribeyes, my wife the char, and I the mussels congolaise. Some of the best mussels I've had. The somewhat cheapish Quails' Gate dry riesling matched well. Deserts of la bombe and a chocolate & pear thing rocked, as did my post-prandial sazerac.
In fact, we liked Chambar so much we went to a late breakfast the very next day at Cafe Medina -- great hot chocolate and coffee. 2 orders of eggs cocotte, one fricassee, and one tortilla. All pretty tasty.
Escaping the AC/DC fans, we headed to Phnom Penh for dinner. I'm a fan of this place. Dry egg noodles, butter beef, spicy garlic frog legs, black pepper squid, bahn xeo, lotus roots w/ garlic, and spring rolls w/ vermicelli noodles. Whew. And a helluva deal to boot.
On our way to a 3 hour wait at the border, we stopped at Sea Harbour in Richmond for dim sum. I'm going to go to this place for a dinner next visit. If any evidence is needed that the big dim sum cart method does not do dim sum justice, places like this provide it.
In all, we had a nice intro into the Vancouver dining scene, though I'm aware it would take multiple visits to even begin to truly scratch its surface. All you folks are lucky to live in such a great place!