Tiny, unpretentious James on Hastings won a Chinese Restaurant Award for its fresh, curry crab a couple of years ago. It was deserved then and maybe even more so now. We ordered one last night -- and I'm guessing that about half the tables in the restaurant did so as well. Of the many Chinese fresh crab preparations we've tried and enjoyed (the Tai Chin crab hotpot at Kirin comes to mind), James's crab stands tall -- the crab is dry cooked but the curry coats both shell and meat (with a touch of diced onion) in a wholly succulent way. Plus, the chef prepare the crab so that the meat is done but not a second overcooked.
There are plenty of other dishes worth trying at James, but if you go, take a little extra cash (a 2.5 pound creature came to 57 CDN) and make sure that you don't miss one of the best dishes you are likely to find in Vancouver.