Just got back from Vancouver and here is my impression of five places I tried with a friend.
hapa izakaya at 1479 Robson Street is a MUST GO TO restaurant. We were given it by our waitress at Bin 941 which was very good but it has been reviewed extensively on these boards. Hapa is a japanese fusion restaurant and my friend and I loved everything we had. I wasn't prepared for how wonderful it was because I hadn't heard anything about it. YUM YUM YUM YUM YUM! Definitely get the deep fried shrimp. I also adored the bacon asparagus dish. Everything was tasty and interesting, great sauces and condiments. The panna cotta was boring but other than that everything was top notch and very reasonably priced. You should make a reservation unless you show up very early. We got there at 6:30 or so and there was a 20 minute wait, people who arrived after us without a reservation couldn't even get a table without over an hour wait. THIS PLACE IS HOT!
The Elbow Room at 560 Davie street is a wonderful place for breakfast, delicious bacon, omelettes and I loved the banana walnut bread french toast. The wait staff is very tart and borders on abuse, they are known for it but the food is worth it. A very solid choice for a hearty breakfast if that's what you are looking for.
Joe Fortes was really great for fish. Their secret is the freshest fish simply prepared, we both loved it. Very basic but very good. Delicious.
We wanted to go to Vij's but it was closed Sunday afternoon so we tried the cafe next door with the same owner called RANGOLI and it was delightful. Really delicious and much cheaper than Vij's. Just whetted our apetite for Vij's. Definitely try the break dessert with mango custard, which you can share. Delicious. You must go here and enjoy the great food.
Finally I must report a very disappointing meal at Rain City Grill. AWFUL and EXPENSIVE. I would never go back there. The wait staff was hit and miss, everyone waits on you so it's very haphazard but the food is even worse. I had overcooked pork loin and nothing had much flavor. My companion had elk which ranged from acceptable to tough in the same serving. And it was very expensive. DON'T GO.