Guu is G'uud. At least that's what the motto says. =P I'm the first one to admit that I'm a a Japanophile and I've been more than pleased with the popularity of Japanese Izakaya restaurants around Vancouver. One of the more famous "chains" of Izakaya is Guu. There are a grand total of six "Guu'd" restaurants in Vancouver: Guu on Thurlow, Guu on Garlic (Robson), Guu in Gastown, Guu in Richmond, Guu Garden, and Guu Kobachi. Each of these restaurants has a different specialization and unique "house specials." The cuisine of the Guu's takes traditional Japanese food and give it a nice "twist," it's not necessarily always "east vs west," but instead whatever the chef wants. =P
The one that I went to this particular night was the original flagship store of Guu, Guu on Thurlow. I will confess to you, my dear readers, that one of my dreams is to eat at every Guu store for lunch and dinner. OH and eat everything on the menu. Haha, but that will have to wait for a time when my wallet is fuller...*sigh*
At every Guu they have two menus, one hand written with specials and seasonal items and the other the "permanent" menu.
It was fresh, it was good, and it was savory. Citrus flavors with meat and garlic is probably one of my favorite flavor combinations. I enjoyed everything on the plate, eaten together or separately, and was very pleased that the beef wasn't "frozen" for it's preparation. I've had some beef tatakis that are icy in the middle...thankfully this time wasn't one of them. I was picking at this plate for a long time, even though all the meat was gone.
|Grilled Sea Bass|
This dish is definitely an oily one, from the natural oils of the sea bass and the addition of mayonnaise on top. It's also a very sweet dish, due to the miso marinade (which probably includes some sugar and mirin) to the natural flavors of the fish. Very good in any case and an oily indulgence.
|Sato Imo/Taro Croquettes|
The fried skin of the croquette was good, but the inner filling was where it fell flat. Once you bit past the crunchy skin, the filling of the croquette was very solid and a bit tasteless. It derived most of the flavor from the sauce on the plate and even then it wasn't enough to make this little croquette very appealing. It had taken the worst qualities of taro, the starchy, sticky, throat "prickliness," and the worst qualities of the potato, flavorless-ness, and made that it's filling.
You can see in the picture that another party, other than us, had ordered it as well and it is a staple on the Guu menu. However, I'm just not a fan.
The sauce that you see pooling at the bottom of the dish is a light yuzu ponzu sauce, again proving that the ponzu + meat combination is killer. In the good way! =P
Good, buttery, and carbo-y. This called out to my childhood. I liked it a lot.The only problem we really ran into was mixing it all together. We were left over with quite a bit of kimchi and neither of us particularly liked to eat a pile of kimchi straight. So my word of caution with this dish is probably just: MIX WELL.
Overall, Guu on Thurlow didn't really differ from my previous Guu experiences. Good atmosphere, excellent execution, and polite service. I recommend that you give this Guu a try. Thanks for coming!
Kid Friendly: I would lean towards no, very cramped and items on the menu are definitely for bar faring adults.
Price: $$$ out of $$$$$
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