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KK Law

4 Asian Adventures

By TIM PAWSEY

Ocean Wise kaisen tomato ramen at Gyoza Bar + Ramen (Photo: KK Law)

Ocean Wise kaisen tomato ramen at Gyoza Bar + Ramen. (Photo: KK Law)

In this cosmopolitan town, myriad Pacific Rim flavours tempt at every turn.

1 Gyoza Bar + Ramen Find an edgy but cozy updated take on traditional ramen and gyoza in a warmly refurbished heritage setting. Go for the teppan gyoza served in a sizzling cast-iron pan, but don’t miss the kaisen tomato ramen brimming with fresh Ocean Wise seafood (pictured).

2 Banana Leaf This friendly, brightly decorated, casual chain celebrates all things Malaysian with wide-ranging cuisine from the heart of the Spice Route, such as rendang beef and Singapore chilli crab.

3 Kingyo Always hopping, this West End izakaya caters to a loyal following with polished small plates ranging from tantan noodles to miso-marinated black cod to pork tenderloin tempura.

4 Pink Elephant Thai Boldly fuchsia-toned, this Alberni Street haunt lures a lively crowd for smart cocktails, fusion dishes, and classic Thai tastes such as chicken satay, hot and sour soup, spring rolls, and spicy lettuce wraps with a choice of meats and tofu.

For more from Tim Pawsey, go to hiredbelly.com

Bella Gelateria’s Sweet Treats

By TIM PAWSEY

Award winning James Coleridge

Award winning James Coleridge (Photo: KK Law)

The first full-service room from gelato maestro James Coleridge, Bella Gelateria in Yaletown offers his celebrated gelato with other Italian treats such as Neapolitan pizza. Coleridge’s latest invention is the Gelatini: think affogato but with gelato instead of ice cream and a martini in lieu of coffee. Tiddly temptations abound, from Saffron Persia to Matcha Smasha to Wild Evita (salted caramel with scotch).

For more from Tim Pawsey, go to hiredbelly.com

Mahony & Sons: Irish Escape

By TIM PAWSEY

Guinness with a view at Mahony & Sons (Photo: KK Law)

Guinness with a view at Mahony & Sons. (Photo: KK Law)

Hop aboard the Aquabus (directly from the foot of Davie Street in Yaletown) to reach this newly unveiled, lavish Mahony & Sons, right on the False Creek waterfront at Stamp’s Landing. Drop by for casual bites such as fresh oysters on the half shell, thin-crust pizzas and burgers. Or tuck into classics such as Irish stew, Guinness-battered fish ’n’ chips, (Irish) bangers and mash, and plentiful West Coast chowder. Best-kept secret: the upstairs private room.

For more from Tim Pawsey, go to hiredbelly.com

Spanish Modern

By TIM PAWSEY

Small bites at Salida 7 please all palates (Photo: KK Law)

Small bites at Salida 7 please all palates. (Photo: KK Law)

A block from Gastown’s Maple Tree Square, newly landed Salida 7 heralds a Spanish resurgence. The two-tier room and bar revels in its Catalan roots, with contemporary-styled tapas as well as classically grounded, sophisticated entrées. Early faves include steamed mussels, escalivada with sardines and extra virgin olive oil confit, Catalonian seafood soup with saffron aioli, and traditional fideuà: baked garlic vermicelli and Dungeness crab served paella style. Wines include no shortage of good cava and many unique labels from across Spain.

For more from Tim Pawsey, go to hiredbelly.com

Chambar: Belgian Deluxe

By TIM PAWSEY

Chevreuil et chutney at Chambar (Photo: KK Law)

Chevreuil et chutney at Chambar. (Photo: KK Law)

A few steps from Rogers Arena and the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Belgian-influenced Chambar cossets with its red-brick heritage interior, long bar and bustling lounge. Chef Nico Schuermans and his wife Karri have created a sustainable, ethically raised, all–Ocean Wise menu that’s also highly inventive. Favourites roam from pan-seared scallops (with mint pea purée and tandoori papadum) and moules frites congolaise to lamb shank tajine and venison short loin. Wines are well chosen, often unique and always thoughtfully paired, and cocktails are smartly conceived, at this carbon-neutral, stylish emporium.

For more from Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Serious Steak

By TIM PAWSEY

Gotham serves mouth-watering steaks and cool cocktails. (Photo: KK Law)

Gotham serves mouth-watering steaks and cool cocktails. (Photo: KK Law)

A downtown destination that celebrates with unabashed flair and opulence, Gotham Steakhouse & Cocktail Bar lives up to its reputation for superb, 28-day dry-aged, prime Alberta beef, paired with vintages from one of the city’s most extensive cellars, displayed on an interactive iPad list. Start out at the art deco–inspired cocktail bar, perhaps with a classic Manhattan, before settling into the plush, wood-panelled main room. Highlights range from an impeccable porterhouse to bone-in New York strip to two sizes of filet mignon, plus seafood selections and steak-and-marine combos. The well-executed lunches lean towards lighter fare, such as lobster bisque, tuna Niçoise, a hand-peeled shrimp sandwich and Dungeness crab cakes with lemon-dill mayonnaise.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

West End’s Left Bank

By TIM PAWSEY

John Blakeley at Left Bank. (Photo: KK Law)

John Blakeley at Left Bank. (Photo: KK Law)

John Blakeley (of Bistro Pastis) recently opened edgy, modern Left Bank in the space that over four decades saw various incarnations of Café de Paris. The result is a clean-lined room with an airy feel that complements Spencer Watts’s French-inspired menu, highlighted by tempura green beans, spicy albacore tuna cone, crispy ling cod, steak frites with Szechuan peppercorn sauce and dark chocolate tart with green tea anglaise. Also new is the West End’s first laneway patio, seasonal but heated, already a popular hangout.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

5 Italian Haunts

By TIM PAWSEY

Bruschetta (front), braised meatballs (R) and potato doughnut (L), at Nicli’s Next Door. (Photo: KK Law)

Bruschetta (front), braised meatballs (R) and potato doughnut (L), at Nicli’s Next Door. (Photo: KK Law)

These neighbourhood “go-to” haunts offer a slice of la dolce vita, and more.

1. Nicli’s Next Door Adjoining pizza specialist Nicli Antica Pizzeria, this cozy space yields inspired cicchetti (think Italian tapas) plus a worthy wine selection.

2. Bufala This Kerrisdale pizzeria yields a superb array (including an irresistible margherita) but don’t miss the smoked olives or the full-on roasted mortadella.

3. Nook Go early to these laid-back spots—in the West End (just a few steps from Georgia at Denman) and across from Kits Beach—known for fresh pasta and well-chosen vino.

4. BiBo This lively Kits spot offers the classics, from hand-made fresh-daily pasta to traditionally certified Neapolitan pizza baked in a wood-fired oven.

5. Ask for Luigi This friendly, tucked-away neighbourhood find in Railtown (just east of Gastown) offers family-style plates of handmade pasta and good wines to match.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Thai Redux

By TIM PAWSEY

Yum nua (beef salad). (Photo: KK Law)

Yum nua (beef salad). (Photo: KK Law)

After a seven-year absence, Montri Rattanaraj has returned to Vancouver to open Thai Cuisine by Montri, in Kitsilano. The celebrated chef shops daily for fresh, local ingredients and flies in Thai specialties as needed. Dishes are deeply heated rather than overtly spiced, prepared according to taste, and very detail driven. Montri’s pad thai remains a standard bearer, as do the chicken satay, stuffed chicken wings and delicious pak boong (wok-cooked crunchy greens). Sommelier Jonathan Lai offers a smartly picked selection of Thai-worthy wines, including Germanic and BC aromatics and plenty more.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Bean There, Done That

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

This fall, the folks at Bean Around the World are raising a glass—better yet, a mug—to 25 years of top-notch coffee with West Coast roots

Bean Around the World roasts their beans daily. (Photo: KK Law)

Bean Around the World roasts their beans daily. (Photo: KK Law)

Some leave their heart in San Francisco, but founder Pete Boëda found his when he spotted his first coffee roaster while visiting the Golden City in 1978. Though it took over a decade, Boëda’s newfound love came to fruition when he opened a small cafe complete with in-house roaster—not a common sight at the time. Now, 22 independently owned cafes, each with their own unique style and flavour, bear the Bean Around the World name. (more…)

Notable Newbie: Boulevard Kitchen

By TIM PAWSEY

Boulevard’s seafood tower is sure to satisfy. (Photo: KK Law)

Boulevard’s seafood tower is sure to satisfy. (Photo: KK Law)

With reams of Italian marble, white oak floors and sparkling chandeliers, the newly unwrapped Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar at the Sutton Place Hotel is as stylish and polished as anticipated. On the seafood-inclined menu: marine specialties with contemporary flair, such as a cornucopian seafood tower, caramelized jumbo scallops and roasted sablefish, as well as grilled rib-eye, a premium burger and more. Expect meticulous but friendly service from one of the city’s most well-honed crews.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

50 Things We Love About Yaletown

By KRISTEN MORAN

Nestled between False Creek and the bustling downtown core, in what used to be the warehouse district, trendy Yaletown is filled with upscale restaurants, high-end stores, fashionistas—and tiny purse dogs

The streets of Yaletown buzz with activity all year long. (Photo: ©istockphoto.com)

The streets of Yaletown buzz with activity all year long. (Photo: ©istockphoto.com)

1. Strolling the seawall and checking out the gorgeous boats in the marina.

2. Getting pampered from head to toe at Blo, Noir Lash Lounge, Pure Nail Bar and Bombay Brow Bar.

3. Shooting pool at Soho Cafe & Billiards.

4. Divine Italian cuisine at Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill & Enoteca, La Terrazza and La Pentola della Quercia.

5. Taking a ride to or from Yaletown on the Aquabus or False Creek Ferries.

6. Finding the perfect headgear from Goorin Bros., which carries everything from baseball caps to fedoras to fascinators.

7. Locally brewed beer at Yaletown Brewing Co. and Prohibition Tasting Room.

8. Checking out the newest exhibits at Contemporary Art Gallery.

9. Public art pieces along the water: Coopers Mews, Lookout, Brush with Illumination, Street Light and A False Creek.

Georgie from Barking Babies. (Photo: KK Law)

Georgie from Barking Babies. (Photo: KK Law)

10. Buying our four-legged friends a new toy or spa treatment at Barking Babies.

11. Unleashing our inner artist and enjoying a meal under the same roof at Raw Canvas.

12. Getting in the holiday spirit at CandyTown, a free outdoor Christmas festival on Nov. 22.

13. Vintage treasures at Joyce Williams Antique Prints & Maps.

14. Finding accent pieces for our homes at Chintz & Company.

15. Popping in to The Flying Pig for some delicious eats during appy hour.

16. Gorgeous First Nations artwork at Coastal Peoples Fine Arts Gallery.

17. Elegant desserts and pastries at Footo Croissant and Ganache Patisserie.

18. Brunch served with a side of sass at The Elbow Room Cafe.

19. Browsing through everything from clothing to knick-knacks at Fine Finds.

20. Fine French cuisine at Provence Marinaside.

21. Stretching out tired muscles at YYoga or Westcoast Hot Yoga.

22. Indulging in Italian foods and a whole range of fancy cocktails crafted from locally made spirits at The Distillery Bar  + Kitchen.

Rodney's Oyster House. (Photo: KK Law)

Rodney’s Oyster House. (Photo: KK Law)

23. Slurping raw oysters out of the half shell at Rodney’s Oyster House.

24. Treating our skin to some TLC at Spruce Body Lab and Skn Holistic Rejuvenation Clinic.

25. The flavour-rich cuisine at Urban Thai Bistro.

26. Dancing the night away at Bar None.

27. Spotting celebrities while dining in style at West Oak.

28. Shopping for male-specific goods at Contraband, Masc and Revolucion Cigars & Fine Gifts.

29. Pairing Pacific Northwest cuisine with one of 60 wines at Brix Restaurant & Wine Bar.

30. Sampling some of the city’s finest seafood at Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar.

31. Viewing Philip Jarmain’s American Beauty (to Oct. 19), and Alex Couwenberg and Matt Devine’s California (Oct. 16 to Nov. 16), at Jennifer Kostuik Gallery.

32. The classic old-world charm of Farzad’s Barbershop.

33. Treating ourselves to a juicy steak at Hamilton Street Grill.

34. Watching pups play in the dog park or sitting by the mosaic-lined stream at Emery Barnes Park.

Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre. (Photo: KK Law)

Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre. (Photo: KK Law)

35. The steam engine that pulled the first passenger train into Vancouver in 1887, now showcased at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre.

36. Sipping first-class cocktails while relaxing in a laid-back setting at George Lounge.

37. Handmade Indian treasures at Kaarigar Handicrafts.

38. Washing down delectable Japanese cuisine with a variety of sake at Bistro Sakana.

39. Trying an assortment of restaurants during Taste of Yaletown, Oct. 16 to 30.

40. Practical yet fashionable womenswear at Nygård.

41. Drinking crafted cocktails at upscale Opus Bar.

Society. (Photo: KK Law)

Society. (Photo: KK Law)

42. Sipping a cotton candy martini or spiked milkshake under the pink chandeliers of Society.

43. Mouth-watering, made-from-scratch gelato at Bella Gelateria.

44. Catching a live show at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre.

45. Taking the tots trick-or-treating on Halloween (Oct. 31) at Yaletown businesses.

46. Delicious West Coast fare at Good Wolf.

47. Commuting easily thanks to the Canada Line SkyTrain.

48. Creations from Canadian artisans at Art Works Gallery.

49. Stopping at David Lam Park to people- and puppy-watch.

50. The fascinating mix of old and new architecture.