Maybe it's just the summer cold I am suffering, but I have become a bit tired of all those crazy rolls at sushi restaurants. I'm not saying I don't want to try new things but some of the combinations have become a little too eclectic for me.
If I'm in the mood for more traditional Japanese food served with flair and just enough imagination, I'd be inclined to make a reservation at Dan Sushi on West Broadway in Kitsilano. I took my parents there in the late spring (yup, behind on posting big time) and we had an excellent meal. It is not inexpensive to dine here but it is good value. We had some stellar plates, and no failures -- the closest was a slightly overdone pork belly dish.
Pacing was great, the atmosphere is relaxing. Service was ocassionally a bit odd but not enough to be off putting. The spacing between the tables is a mite squeezy as my mum noticed when a substantial personage was trying to get in and out of his seat at the bar beside our table. Because they do a fair amount of grilling, it can get a bit smokey, so don't wear your silk duds :-). Also leave the small people at home for this resto. Not salutary for kiddies. And the lighting is very dim which isn't a problem unless you are trying to take food pix without a flash. Please excuse the quality of the attached photos :-).
Dan excels at tempura, which is a feat I think. The asparagus was spot on (first pic) and served with a curry flavoured salt which I thought would be strange but worked really well. The other standout tempura dish was prawns with shiso leaf. Drool.
They also serve chawan mushi, a favourite of dad's that is relatively hard to find, at least a well-executed one. I include two bad photos because I loved the little pot it came in.
Next it was on to the ankimo. Now, I am not a fan of any kind of liver, but this was some mighty fine monkfish organ :-). Very smooth with lots of flavour but not too strong.
Uzusukuri is a must-order for me and Dan's platter of paper thin white fish did not disappoint. It was hirame IIRC, but I'm floundering a little as it was several months ago :-).
We ordered a dish of beef (tenderloin?) that had peppercorn like beasties on top of it (final pic). This dish was tasty in and of itself, but what put it over the top was the ma la imparted by these little round dealies. Why oh why didn't I write this ingredient down?
We also had local tuna sashimi, avocado roll, unagi, deep fried octopus and several desserts including yuzu ice cream and a creme caramel that was surprisingly good.
I recall they had a decent selection of sake and ume wine as well.
We will be back once the warmer weather subsides (no AC here).